Pumpkin flavors are arriving earlier than ever

Food Early Autumn Brews
This Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 photo shows pumpkin beers on display for sale at a Whole Foods Market in Richmond, Va. Labor Day may be considered the unofficial end of summer, but some craft brewers couldn’t even wait until then to roll out their pumpkin and other fall seasonal beers. Many already have been in stores and on taps for a month. (AP Photo/Michael Felberbaum)
Photograph by Michael Felberbaum — AP

Pumpkin-flavored beers are being released earlier than ever before. Some brewers have refused to even wait until the beginning of September and have released their pumpkin flavors in August.

From September to November of last year, fall seasonal beers made up over 20% of the $19.6 billion annual craft beer market, with pumpkin and Oktoberfest varieties being the biggest seasonal sellers, USA Today reports. Because there is so much competition in the market, it has led to a wider range of seasonal brews and earlier arrival.

Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale has already been released this month. Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing, explained to USA Today why it arrived so early:

There are two main reasons we start our distribution of Harvest Pumpkin Ale in August. First, it means our beer is available when people first get pumpkin on their minds and second, it ensures we’ve reached peak distribution by the time September and October roll around.

In caffeinated beverages, Starbucks announced its wildly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte—which this year will contain real pumpkin—will hit stores Sept. 8.

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