They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday, 15 April 2016

Styles For A Season

Saison in December.. Imperial Stouts in Spring.. Has beer style brewed for particular months or seasons died a death? Is there no more use for the 'beer calendar' any more? These thoughts have arisen over the past year or two as I've seen that every new brewery that pops up these days has to brew a year round Saison it seems. Also I've not seen any Bock beers around this Spring. I've heard there's been some around, but I've not seen any...

Have we got to a stage in the beer industry where breweries don't actually care about the time, just what they brew? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but does anyone follow the old time methods of brewing for the time of year any more?

Maybe I'm just a little tired of so many breweries bringing out a similar type of Saison.. Funny how a beer style that literally means 'Season' has now become a year round thing..

1 comment:

  1. Even though they’ve increased their range of “seasonal” beers in recent years, established family brewers, Harvey’s do loosely follow the seasons with the beers they offer outside of their “core range”.

    Their excellent Old Ale is available over a long winter period, from October to March, but other beers such as Southdown Harvest Ale (September), Bonfire Boy (November) and Christmas Ale (no prizes for guessing December), do follow an obvious seasonal pattern. A light mild is brewed for May (probably to coincide with CAMRA’s Mild May promotion), and there is a Porter available during March, (not sure what the seasonal connection is here?).

    The preponderance of “Saisons” is very much a “craft” thing, if I am allowed to use the phrase, and whilst these beers are very enjoyable under the right circumstances and at the right time of year (spring?), I see little reason for them being available all year round – apart from shifting excess stocks of course.

    Gose and Berliner Weisse, also seem to be “must haves” in the portfolio of every new aspiring brewers, but what these people don’t realise is they are just following a trend. I would rather go and drink these beers “at source”, even though the former is hard to track down on its home turf.

    You mention Bocks, and many Bavarian brewers produce a Maibock around this time of year. Few make it over to these islands though, and every year I keep saying to myself I must go over and try some. So far I haven’t, mainly due to other things going on and other distractions.

    There must be other UK brewers, apart from Harvey’s, who still follow a seasonal pattern with their beers. Unfortunately there are plenty who release poorly formulated and ill-thought out monthly beers, often with daft names, purely to cash in on a perceived demand for seasonal beers; even though what they are producing is little more than a blatant attempt to cash in on the “tickers” market.

    I don’t need to name names here, as most observers of the brewing industry will know who I am referring to, but I’m sure there are brewers who care about the authenticity of what they are brewing and its relevance to the changing seasons; I just can’t think of any at the moment..