The Early Autumn Beer

Eno Sarris, October 03, 2013

Pumpkin beers have been out for a month now. Are pumpkins ripe?

But this isn't about brewers jumping the gun on fall styles. This is a post wondering if there's a beer for those breezy, sun-speckled late summer days in September, when lagers, sessions and pales seem a little light and stouts, imperials and browns might be a little much. That in-between season. Sautumn.

To find your autummer beer style, we queried the database to count each rating for a style in June, July, August and September. We could show the full results, but it's worth slicing and dicing them for easier consumption.

First, let's split the months into two groups. Our summer group and our fummer group. Which styles added the most check-ins in August and September?

Style Fummer-Summer
Pumpkin/Yam Beer 2.93%
Oktoberfest/Marzen 2.59%
Imperial / Double Red Ale 0.25%
American Brown Ale 0.16%
Porter 0.15%
Belgian IPA 0.15%
Harvest Ale 0.12%
Stout 0.09%
Old Ale 0.08%
American Stout 0.08%
Chili Beer 0.08%
Cider 0.07%
English Bitter 0.07%
American Porter 0.06%
Extra Special/Strong Bitter 0.06%
Other 0.06%
Herbed/Spiced Beer 0.05%

Of course we see our fall beers at the top. The pumpkin beers are out, and people are drinking them. It's barely October, but the Oktoberfests are going down gullets. Porters and stouts feel like fall and winter beers, too.

But what about an Imperial Red? A brown? Or a harvest? These are great late-summer styles, and they aren't traditional fall or winter styles either. Maybe a brown is, but in the imperial-ization of craft beer, it's fallen behind its hoppier competition.

Obviously the fall styles are creeping into summer, though. Does August tell us anything different? Did the in-between month move from September into August?

Style Aug - June
Pumpkin/Yam Beer 1.575%
Oktoberfest/Marzen 1.293%
Harvest Ale 0.005%

Come on, people. Are you kidding me? You're drinking a pumpkin beer in August? AUGUST. And don't get me started on the beer named after a month. Oh lookie, a harvest ale again. Barely.

We don't want to leave this exercise with a hatred for seasonal creep and a hatred for seasonal creep alone. So here's a fun leaderboard full of your fummer beers, the best browns, harvests, and imperial reds. Sautumn shouldn't be spent drinking an Oktoberfest.