Yes. You read that headline correctly. It’s the start of July. And I’ve already seen reports that pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest lagers are available for consumption. It’s been on Beer Pulse as well as on Twitter. So if you want to be among the first to try a pumpkin beer this year, you should make a call to your local beer store to see if they have any in stock.
There are two explanations for the early release of seasonal beers. One explanation says that brewer have sought an edge against competitors in the market by releasing their beers for distribution earlier and earlier. At this point, fall beer is released in July. By the time that fall roles around, beer distributors are making room on their shelves for the winter beers which are going to be delivered any day. Another explanation lays the blame on the distributors and the production process. In order to keep up with demand, brewers have to start early. They don’t have room to store it. So they send it out the door to the wholesalers, who don’t have room either. The alternative would be for brewers to do limited releases, but at that point the shelves are filled with other pumpkin beers.
So there you have your explanation. If you want to roll with the release of fall beers in the summer, you can get your first taste of American Oktoberfest beers at the Michigan Bier Celebration on Saturday, July 21st. Frankenmuth Brewery is having a release party for their 2012 Oktoberfest lager at Heritage Park in Frankenmuth. With the purchase of a ticket, you will get a souvenir boot and the opportunity to taste the craft and Oktoberfest beers from a number of different breweries.
Advance tickets to the event are available for purchase for just $10 via Charity Celebration.