Autumn is Coming: This Beer Signals the Return of Fall

NOT a good example of how to win friends and influence people. Image: Carolina K. Smith MD / Shutterstock.com

Changes in seasons give operators the opportunity to refresh their inventory and menus.

Those changes, when executed with well, can reinvigorate guests and renew their interest in a particular bar, restaurant or nightclub.

That goes for even seemingly subtle changes. Small changes, given the appropriate amount of attention, can have a big impact on traffic and sales.

There are certain signs that signal a coming change in seasons. One winter day we’re looking at gray skies and battling frigid temperatures, the next we hear birds chirping—spring is in the air.

When butterflies begin flitting around and tree leaves are in their full green glory, we know that summer has arrived.

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Just as winter, spring and summer announce themselves with telltale signs, so does fall. The first signal that summer is on its way out has arrived: the pumpkin beers are waking from their slumber.

Whether you, your bartenders or your more opinionated beer drinkers are fans of pumpkin and spice brews, there’s no arguing that they have a place in your bar. And no, snarky beer aficionados, that place isn’t the garbage or underbar sink.

Beers brewed with pumpkin and spice are a staple of autumn months. Regardless of personal opinion, these beers make money and refusing to stock them can, for many operations, be a financial mistake.

Now that we’re past the halfway mark of August, popular (some would say pioneering) pumpkin beers are ready to claim their place at the bar.

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For more than 20 years, New Holland has been brewing Ichabod pumpkin ale. And now it’s ready to, excuse the pun, ride again. At just 4.5-percent ABV, this real-pumpkin ale is sessionable. Pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon notes and easy sipping will help guests prepare for cooler temperatures.

Dogfish Head has also been brewing pumpkin beer for more than 20 years. Punkin Ale, a seven-percent ABV brown ale, was first brewed in 1995. This legendary full-bodied pumpkin ale is known for pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg notes that are the embodiment of fall.

Shipyard Brewing’s Smashed Pumpkin celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month. This big-bodied ale rings in at nine-percent ABV and is characterized by pumpkin and nutmeg notes. Spicy Willamette and Saphir hops play off the pumpkin sweetness for a balanced brew.

The return of the pumpkin beers signal more than just the fall—they make it clear it’s time to finalize your autumn menus. Gather your staff and get to work!

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