Fall Forward

In typical beer fashion, the fall season is making an early appearance this year as fall seasonal beers have started showing up since at least Monday, and even earlier in some areas of town. Fall seasonal beers seem to elicit the loudest of the good old 'seasonal drift' debates, simply because there's something inherently absurd about drinking a beer with the word 'October' in its name while sitting in 100 degree August heat. Even breweries have gotten into the squabble this year, with breweries like Sixpoint calling out the early release of seasonal beers, and others, like Weyerbacher, defending it as a move based on demand and capacity. That damn Three Tier System!

Regardless of how you feel about autumn seasonal beers arriving so early (I personally don't mind, because I can't wait to gorge myself on unhealthy amounts of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale), they have started to become available, so here's a quick look at what is already out there and what you can expect to see.

Fall seasonal beers available right now include Avery Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest, Free State Octoberfest, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Shipyard Pumpkinhead, and Summit Oktoberfest.

Southern Tier Pumking starts hitting shelves TODAY, so keep an eye out at the usual suspects (Lukas and Royal have both already announced that it's ready for purchase) to pick this one up. Anticipate it being limited, and remember that Southern Tier is only available on the Missouri side.

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale should begin showing up tomorrow on the Missouri side, and likely the middle of next week on the Kansas side.

Coming down the pipe, other notable beers you can expect to see a Southern Tier's Harvest Ale (think a kicked-up ESB), Bell's Octoberfest, O'Fallon Pumpkin and Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Pumpkin Ale.

One fall seasonal that actually won't be released until September, that I am extremely excited about, is Ska's Autumnal Molé Stout. This beer is the first of their new canned seasonal line, and as the name suggests, will be a stout brewed with cocoa nibs, spices and peppers.

And of course, the one that everyone around here is surely wondering about, Boulevard Bob's 47 is expected to be landing around the 28th of August. AND, we may possibly be seeing Reverb, the new Smokestack series Imperial Pilsner, a week early on the 21st. Keep in mind that has not been 100% confirmed, but it's a possibility.

So, already, you have plenty of options for marzens, pumpkin ales, and other autumn-appropriate beers, with many more coming soon. With the ridiculous heat finally breaking a bit, maybe, at the very least, it will start to seem a little more weather-appropriate to start scooping up beers like these and enjoying them on a cooler night.

What do you think about fall beers starting to come out in August, and even July in some cases? Excusable because of the nature of the business, or is it just that..an excuse?

Also, what are you looking forward to drinking the most this fall?

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