ALEXANDRIA, Va. – For many beer lovers, the arrival of pumpkin-flavored beer coming on the tail end of summer means that falling leaves and football can’t be far behind, according to USA Today.
Pumpkin brew has been a popular drink during its traditional autumn season, often rivaling the sales of India pale ales. This year, the beers are hitting stores just ahead of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, which returns on August 28.
Seasonal beers, including pumpkin, represent about 16% of all craft beer sales, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. However, seasonal beers were down 6% last year in the 12 weeks leading up to December 3, 2017. Two possible reasons are the constant flow of new brews coming from the 6,200-plus U.S. breweries and the fact that brewers get a bit overenthusiastic about pumpkin.
Actually, pumpkin beer is not a novelty. George Washington is credited with making the first batch of pumpkin beer, adding the traditional spices used in pumpkin pie to give the drink its festive fall flavor.