Showing posts with label seasonal beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seasonal beer. Show all posts

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tis the Season?

Mrs V is a teacher, I may have mentioned that before, and her school is currently still on its winter break. As such, and because I am still looking for my next job, we are enjoying a rare opportunity to spend an extended period of time together without the intrusions of the real world. We are starting to make plans for our vegetable garden, talking about where to put the fruit trees and berry bushes, we pop out to the shops, or just lounge around watching films and junk on the tele - once she is back at school though, the TV gets replaced with listening to daytime radio, an infinitely less moronic choice over daytime TV.

Yesterday we headed into the nearest little town to us to mail some parcels and go get some groceries at our local Food Lion, having eaten through the inevitable leftovers of Christmas. As ever, I perused the beer aisle with my usual critical eye - which basically involves walking past all the 'domestic' beer ('domestic' in the US beer scene appears to mean anything made by a brewing conglomerate, you could say 'large and foreign owned' if you were a snarky git) to get to the 'beers I might be interested in drinking' section, even though there are another 27 days before I have a drink again.

In the coolers I saw a beer that to my mind had no place being there, at least not yet. Already, with the 12 days of Christmas still in full swing, were 6 packs and 12 packs of Samuel Adams' Spring seasonal lager, Alpine Spring. Now, don't get me wrong, I loved Alpine Spring when it first came out last year, as did Mrs V, but having your Spring seasonal in the shops on January 3rd is simply ridiculous. According to convention here in the US, Winter itself only began 2 weeks ago - convention here is that the equinoxes and solstices  mark the beginning of seasons rather than the midpoint as in Britain. Spring doesn't begin until March 21st and yet already there are Spring beers in the shops?

You can argue until you are blue in the face about the need for retailers to have ever changing product to keep customers interested, or distributors wanting the seasonals ever earlier to get them on the shelves but to be perfectly blunt it often seems that the unseasonal seasonals are a rapacious attempt to fleece the consumer for money by using their desire for something new. Would it really harm business to hold off on the Spring beer until at least the beginning of March, at least then I could actually drink the beer in the appropriate season?

Photo credit: taken from the Samuel Adams website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Season of Incongruity

The nights are drawing in, the leaves on the trees are turning their various shades of yellow, orange and brown, finally the fierce heat of summer is a distant memory and it rains pretty much every day, the delights of Autumn are here.

Hang on a minute! When I stand on my deck and survey the trees in my garden the leaves are still green, when I go for my lunchtime walk it is about 90°F, or 32°C for my metric friends, rain is something of a rarity at the moment. Autumn most definitely has not arrived, but in the minds of retailers it has.

Already this year's iteration of Samuel Adams Octoberfest is in the shops, as are innumerable pumpkin ale abominations (I am yet to have a pumpkin ale that didn't taste like wet cardboard). This despite the fact that according to the dictionary, Autumn runs from the September Equinox to the Winter Solstice in December, which means this year's Autumn is from September 22nd to December 21st. As such all these seasonals being  sold in the shops are at least 2 months ahead of the season they are intended to be enjoyed in, never mind the incongruity of drinking an Octoberfest in August (there might be a clue in the name, I am not sure).

This being out of step with the seasons is something I have noticed more this year than in previous years. Especially galling for me was loving Samuel Adams' Spring seasonal, Alpine Spring, and not being able to get it after March, just as Spring began.

I am not sure who is to blame for this silliness, whether it is pressure from the retailers for constantly changing product, the distributors for putting stuff in the market before it is due or the brewers for not having a calendar. Whoever is responsible for this needs to buck their ideas up, stop treating customers like impatient idiots and let us enjoy our beers in their rightful seasons.

I stole the picture above from my friend Hunter's Facebook account, he is also the president a new brewery coming to Charlottesville in the near future.

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...