Fall is now here. Tomato plants are making that last push in your garden squeezing out every last fruit they can, and those pumpkin ales that came out a month ago now make sense to your palate when drinking them. Fall is an exciting time of year in the beer world. New beers are coming out every week and almost regularly a limited release small batch of beer is arriving in the stores.
Two years ago I was new into the craft beer scene and missed out on a lot if not all of those special brews. Bitches Brew by Dogfish Head was no where in sights the time I came around looking for it. This was also the year the show on Discovery Channel caused an explosion in demand for this beer. And even the seasonal brews like winter ales and harvest ales I had a tough time getting a hold of. Not prepping for the release and knowing of the early release dates ended with me going home empty handed more often than not.
Here's your basic guide so you don't miss the beer your waiting for.
Early to Mid September;
Harvest Ales by many breweries including Weyerbacher, Southern Tier, Founders, and Sierra Nevada.
Late September mid October;
Stouts, and the beginning of Winter Ales. Look for Founders Breakfast Stout.
Late October through November;
Winter Ales, some Stouts. Keep an eye out for Anchor Christmas Ale which brew a different recipe every year. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, will give you a nice hop kick with nice body. And be alert for Lagunitas Sucks, which replaced the Brown Shugga' in 2011 but became a huge hit.
All Winter Ales. Weyerbacher Winter Ale, Smuttynose Winter Ale, Long Trail Hibernator, Dogfish Head Chicory Stout.
All the while be alert for the limited releases. Supply is usually low and most stores will keep those beers tucked away in the back and limit customers to 1 or 2 each. In this market, most beers come in on Thursday. So make a quick stop at your local store and ask one of the employees what came in. It may sound like trouble but it fully worth it when you drink some of these limited releases;
Dogfish Head Bitches Brew
Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale (this year will be their 16th year)