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The Sunset of Seasonals

Once upon a time, beer led us through a cycle from winter warmers to spring ales to fruit beers before greeting us with Oktoberfest and, of course, pumpkin beers. Seasonal offerings kept beer moving. Times have changed.

John Holl Dec 10, 2019 - 10 min read

The Sunset of Seasonals Primary Image

There was a joke in the beer-distributing world that you could tell when it was the Fourth of July because the pumpkin beers started showing up in the warehouse. It wasn’t too far off from reality. In the not-so-distant past, pumpkin was king. Customers couldn’t get enough of it, and the brewers who turned out the spicy, orange-gourd ales were bringing in lots of cash.

Then it hit a saturation point.

Larger brewers who had been making pumpkin beers for years and had gained a following for their recipes suddenly found themselves with too much stock as every small brewery in the country was also making pumpkin beer. There was just so much out there that by the time January rolled around, you could still find cases (on a steep discount) at your local bottle shop.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.