The problem of seasonal creep isn’t specific to pumpkin beer or even beer as a product. I mean I love turkey and giblets wet food, but shit doesn’t need to be a year-round offering. But because of the fall’s longstanding connection to pumpkins, pumpkin beers have become a poster child for the seasonal creep debate. Whether it’s aggressive marketing, an ever tightening window of multiplying seasons within which to shove specialty beers, or just bad scheduling, it can’t be denied that pumpkin beers are coming earlier and earlier each year.
To this point, Chicago beer blog Guys Drinking Beer sent out a tweet on June 1st making light of the situation.
Welcome to June, everyone. I give it three weeks before someone releases a pumpkin beer.
— Guys Drinking Beer (@guysdrinkinbeer) June 1, 2015
Subsequently a very real debate ensued over when the first actual pumpkin beer would arrive. It didn’t take long. Cigar City answered the call just two weeks later, taking a chance to poke fun at the controversy with the beer name, but also smartly jumping to the head of the line and driving that stake into the ground ala Tom Cruise in Far and Away.
With numerous articles (see It’s Pumpkin Beer Season — Like It or Not, It’s Not Too Early for Pumpkin Beers, The Death Of Pumpkin Beers, Why I Hate Pumpkin Beers … It’s Because They’re Evil, and Pumpkin Beer Worthy of Your Respect, Even in Pre-Season), espousing various moderate and extreme points of view, one might think this debate is just beer geek and blogger fodder. In many ways it is. However, pumpkin beers are a touchy subject even among brewers, with breweries weighing in on social media.
Rogue made it pretty clear how they feel, although the shot at Libby’s was probably uncalled for. No need for collateral damage in an industry debate.
— Rogue Ales & Spirits (@RogueAles) July 29, 2015
Flying Dog took a broader view on the issue, tweeting the final article referenced above.
And I had to go the archives, but I’ll go out on a ledge and say that I think Half Acre is in the anti-pumpkin beer camp.
But enough with all this fussing and fighting. All the clever quips and eloquent defenses of pumpkin beer above don’t mean shit. Everyone is missing the point. The problem with pumpkin beers isn’t that they’re out of season or that they don’t taste good. The biggest issue with pumpkin beers is that they’re putting honest kittens out of good homes.
Pumking my ass. How the hell is a cat supposed to be a king if you turn their castles into beer. Spring and summer are traditionally kitten season, and by the fall, many of these growing kittens are expected to head out into the world and make their own way. That’s where pumpkins come in. The autumn pumpkin harvest season has historically left a huge overstock of available pumpkins, which are great starter homes for a young cat running low on cash.
However, the beer industry has delivered a devastating blow to the availability of these affordable homes. The debate shouldn’t be whether pumpkin beers are hitting the shelves too early, but whether pumpkin beers should even exist. Next time you reach for a pumpkin beer, think on that.
Now I’m going to the other room to nap in a sun patch, but as President, I am going to issue an executive order calling for an immediate stop to production of all pumpkin beers. Affordable housing meow! Bitches 2016.