Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What IS a Seasonal?

Jack asked for our input a little while ago about whether 'seasonals' being the most popular beer is a good thing. I've debated this with myself for a while (and flip-flopped...hey, 'tis the season) and come to a conclusion...sort of, kind of, maybe. Seasonal as a category is somewhat ambiguous. Afterall, almost every beer could be shoe-horned into a season of the year and thus be called a seasonal. So, what does it really mean, what value does that categorization mean? Is 'bock' a style or a spring seasonal? What about barleywine, a winter seasonal? I'm not convinced; why can't we commit to which actual styles are trending up and down? But, if beers are being marketed to newer craft beer consumers as being tied to a particular season - and it works - then, I suppose that's not necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, if we are relying upon specialties, one-off wow beers, and 'seasonals' to drive and sustain growth, then I don't believe it's such a good thing. Getting people to drink better beer on a regular basis and not just for the next big thing is a better way to go. So, I believe that I'm saying I agree with Jack. All that being said, you may have noticed that I put up a seasonal listing of Oktoberfest, fresh hop harvest, and pumpkin beers being brewed up by our Philadelphia regional brewers. Plus a few extra goodies from those brewers who offered up the details. As I get more details, I'll update the list and bump it to the top of The Brew Lounge's homepage...as I've done just.....now. (new info from Nodding Head and Dock Street)


Adam said...

I had a long reply all ready to go and I hit the delete key. Not by accident. I just can't seem to land on any one thing. How about this.

Its still early in the craft beer world and everybody is busy trying things.


Parties are responsible and you have to have the beer fit the occasion.


What exactly is a seasonal release beer?


Short life products always create a firesale effect?

Yeah, I had an even longer post before...

I'm havin' one of each tonight at Victory. Prost!

Dan Bengel said...

I don't know, there has always been seasonals, I think the main difference now is, the breweries make so many kinds of beer, it is almost impossible to throw them all out there at the same time.