It’s the last week of July as I write this, and we’re starting a week of hazy, hot, and humid. And that means it’s time for us to start selling our fall seasonal beers.
For the longest time, I’ve been explaining how beer seasons just don’t align with the actual seasons. When you consider production and distribution timelines, it’s really no surprise that the seasonal beers appear in advance. And since the actual Oktoberfest typically happens in mid-September, you have to have the Oktoberfest beers in time!
By their nature, seasonal beers are available for a limited time. For many of our smaller brewers, there are also production limits. I’ve always recommended buying what you like, or what you’d like to try, as soon as you see it. Then you have to hide it from yourself until you’re ready to enjoy it at a more weather-friendly time. Oktoberfest beers are my favorite seasonals, and I always follow that advice. Yes, leaving your favorite beers sit for 6-8 weeks is very challenging.
Here’s a look at some of the seasonal beers that will arrive at the Hopewell and Hamilton Super Buy Rite stores in the coming days:
Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin: 8% ABV. Brewed with pumpkin and spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves), this Pumpkin Ale is heartier, spicier, and more caramelly and pumpkiny than its faint brethren! Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night, or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie.
Yards Oktoberfest: This is a brand-new offering. It’s so new, the information isn’t even posted on their website.
Schlafly Oktoberfest: Clean and balanced in its amber color, sweetness and toasted malts, Oktoberfest is a classic crowd-pleaser authentic in its execution and evocative of its heritage. This traditional Märzen (“March” in German) originated in 16th-century Bavaria, where it was one of the last beers to be brewed for the season before being lagered in stone caves or cellars during the summer. Given months to ferment, it was then ready for consumption at the Bavarians’ fall celebration—“Oktoberfest.” 5.5% ABV
Great Lakes Oktoberfest: Über smooth with vibrant malt flavors and a festive flourish of noble hops (lederhosen not included). 6.5% ABV.
As usual, we’ll have a full range of German and domestic Oktoberfest beers, along with additional pumpkin beers and ales. Check back frequently additions, and remember to grab what you want at your earliest opportunity, while we still have a supply.
—Steve Wernick, Wine Manager