It’s easy to understand why certain foods and dishes are seasonal — summer yields different crops than winter or fall. We enjoy apple cider in October and ripe tomatoes in July. But what’s the deal with seasonal drinks? Eighty-four percent of craft beer consumers say they like to choose good craft beers depending on the season. But does it really make a difference? What is a seasonal beer anyway?
While some seasonal craft beers incorporate ingredients that are readily available during a specific time of the year, it’s really more about the mood or emotions certain flavors induce. For instance, in the winter, we crave something that leaves us warm and cozy. Maybe we want to get into the holiday spirit, so a chocolatey or creamy flavor is ideal. In the summer, we like to feel light and breezy, which can be accomplished with some crisp fruit flavors.
To get a bit more specific about what makes a craft beer list appropriate for certain seasons, we break it down below.
If you’re in Delaware with us at the Dead Presidents Restaurant and Pub, you know how chilly it can get during the winter months. To stay warm and celebrate the holidays, we like the following flavors and styles in our craft beers:
- Bourbon barrel aged
- Porters and stouts
- Notes of coffee and chocolate
As we come out of hibernation to see the sun shining once again, we’re craving something fresh, like:
- Fresh hops (it’s the start of the new hops season!)
Finally, it’s the season of barbecues and other outdoor festivities. When the weather gets hot, we like:
- Pale ales
It’s starting to cool down again, and we’ve got plenty of great seasonal flavors to play with. As the leaves turn and Thanksgiving approaches, we’re all about:
- Pumpkin and spices
Bars and restaurants almost always feature seasonal drinks as they rotate their menus throughout the year. There is certainly an art to pairing craft beers with complementary dishes, and picking the right seasonal flavors is one important part of that process. So we would say, yes, beer can be seasonal, and we encourage you to try something new! Of course, if you have a go-to brew that’s available all year round, it doesn’t hurt to go with what you know.