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From Larry...
There is change in the air; both the real air (fall is coming) and the craft beer industry's air (changes on the horizon.) As the cooler air moves in, the fall seasonal brews are already on the shelves. All the fall colors are there, browns, oranges and reds. The fall seasonal brews are more robust and flavorful than their summer brethren; brews that taste great with hearty food beside a fire. After a fall day outside, these brews are 'feel good', tasty and will enhance any day.

As for the industry changes, the phenomenal growth continues with some new twists. Over the last year, several larger craft brewers have formed partnerships with different investor groups. This gives the brewery more capital to use for new equipment and market growth. These partnerships can be good for everyone. The major issue is, will the brewery retain its people and culture or is it just a commodity in a portfolio?  These groups are investing for a reason and don't want to mess up a good thing, so they leave the original team and culture in place. Only time will tell how this will work out.

The brewery of the season is Lagunitas Brewing of Petaluma, CA and Chicago, Ill. Lagunitas makes some great brews and many different styles. Some don't fit any particular style which accounts for the legions of fans. Take a look at their 'beer' page and you will see what I mean. Lagunitas is a craft brewery that has grown into a nationwide brand and now wants to go global. Recently plans were announced that will involve a 50% partnership with Heineken which will give them instant access to worldwide markets. I'm not sure about the deal but if they leave Lagunitas alone, it may be the start of a world wide market for American craft brew. Here is Lagunitas' take on the partnership.

The style of the season is Pumpkin Ale which is the all time favorite seasonal beer. The last time I was at my local bottle shop there were over 20 different breweries' Pumpkin offerings. The great thing about this variety (and craft beer in general) is that no two of these brews is the same. There are style guidelines but they are open to interpretation by each brewer.

It's fall, time to get outside and enjoy the season. Despite national and worldwide brands, some of the best brews are brewed locally. You can't get fresh beer from halfway around the globe; most European brands are 6 months old when you get them 'fresh' off the shelf. As autumn approaches, support local breweries whereever you are; you'll be glad you did!

Cheers,
Larry

         Style of the Season
                Pumpkin Ale
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Pumpkin ales are usually released as fall seasonals. They are one of the most highly anticipated releases each year. Some breweries are releasing them in August due to the demand. The pumpkin is usually added to the mash; either cut up pieces or as a puree. The beer can be spiced with pumpkin related spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves or ginger. Pumpkin ales are usually mild with no hop bitterness, with malts and spices prevalent. Food pairings include hearty fall flavors; look for foods that balance the pumpkin spices, not overwhelm them. A perfect match could be the traditional Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, sweet potato with apple crisp topped with ice cream for dessert. The Imperial versions (higher alc %) tend to be pumpkin pie like with all the spices

Lagunitas_Brewing_Logo

 

    Brewery of the season 

 

This brewery of the season is Lagunitas Brewing Company. Lagunitas started brewing in 1993. Several friends got together and decided to brew some good beer in northern California. The brewery has a cool history, from a St Patrick's Day massacre to troubles with the federal label police. The website has some interesting bits of the history of the brewery. The owner, Tony, is a great storyteller and writes everything you see on the brewery's bottles and six packs.The censored ale got its name as a result of the federal label police not understanding "Kronic" which they were convinced was a sneaky way of promoting pot smoking. The 'massacre' was about the new tasting area not having "control" over the patrons. There were undercover agents involved and thus a new beer was born "Undercover Ale". For many more stories check out the 'stories' page on Lagunitas.com. These guys have come a long way, now going global as described in the introduction section of this newsletter. Did I mention that they make some great brews? Try the latest, Lagunitas Sucks - Cheers!

Locally
Grovetoberfest is happening on October 17, 2015 at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove. This is the fifth edition of Miami's Beer festival, and will be better than ever! There are several free beer tastings leading up to the festival. For the schedule see the website.
 
World of Beer Kendall is going to Pump Pumpkin Up on Thursday October 1st. Join us as we showcase over 15 pumpkin ales on tap and more in bottles. From Cigar City Good Gourd (2 vintages) to Due South Isle of MaGourdo there will be a pumpkin brew for everyone. The celebration goes all day.
lMore Local...
Total Wine presents Beer Me Blind ,a unique tasting class. This entertaining class will offer guests the opportunity to blind taste an assortment of delicious beers. Guests will develop tasting skills as they learn to identify beers by qualities such as color, flavor and aromatics.  Each pairing will feature two beers of the same style from two different breweries. Which beer is declared the winner? You will decide.
 

Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry