The opinions expressed in this op-ed do not necessarily reflect those of the American Homebrewers Association. The AHA staffer who wrote this letter has chosen to remain anonymous for their own safety.
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Hello, my pumpkin beer naysayers,
I’m as giddy as a gourd. I recently took a stroll through the beer store and stumbled upon a display of pumpkin beers, each quaff offering its own take on the jack-o-lantern and begging me to take one (or five) home with me.
Yes, I am an open pumpkin beer lover. And despite the recent news of craft brewers cutting pumpkin production, I don’t think pumpkin beer is a dying style—it could be one of the oldest styles in America (colonists who couldn’t find affordable malt turned to other sources to make beer, which included, you guessed it, pumpkins).
I know I look forward to it every year. I love spending more on a single pumpkin beer that I’m eager to pair with grandma’s pumpkin pie (my grandma makes the best pumpkin pie dammit!) than I do on Christmas gifts (sorry in advance for another ice cream scoop, Grandma).
I’ve tried to help myself—Narconon therapy, Keeley Institute, monasteries, shrinks—all to no avail. I’ve tried convincing myself the seasonal creep of pumpkin beer in August is ridiculous at best and blasphemous at worst. But then I find myself buying bathing suits in February and singing Christmas carols before Halloween. No-go on that theory.
Am I fooling myself on the freshness or realness of these beers? Doubtful. A fool, but an honest fool, there are plenty of fresh and, like, “real” beers out there, man. Generalizing all pumpkin beer as not being fresh or “real” enough holds as much water as my tiny little bladder.
More About Pumpkin Beer
I’ve considered the “reject it because it’s cool theory,” and I totes get it. I can understand the anti-pumpkin spice craze that goes hand in hand with sorority brothers and fraternity sisters. But, the only perfect pumpkin beer is the one in the toilet? Maybe if you’re worshiping the porcelain throne for a night, which was your own damn fault. But these beers are made by real craft brewing professionals and award-winning homebrewers.
Then I realized: why do I bloody care? I gotta do me. Yes, I know you care but who’s counting? Just like any style, there are really good and really bad versions. Dismissing an entire class of beer out of hand is a sign of an insecure beer drinker. Don’t fret. There’s a help line. 1-899-PUMPKIN. Call whenever.
I’d like to think I have control over some things in my life, one of which is what beer I want to drink. What does it say about me if I let some blogger who wrote a story despising pumpkin beer determine my beer destiny? I say this to you, naysayers: This aggression will not stand! We are going to move on, we are going to survive, we will celebrate pumpkin beer!
Now, I’m not trying to be pushy. Pumpkin beer is just another excellent, exciting style that comes out (ahem) once a year that I think you’d really appreciate if you gave it a chance (or another chance). Just free your mind like in that Funkadelic song, except pumpkin beer will follow rather than your derriere.
Okay, settled then! Let’s pop open a few beers and celebrate! Hmm, we can’t stomach anymore pumpkin this or that…whatever, let’s see what you have in your fridge. I’m pretty broke anyway.