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A seasonal beer could be described by the ingredients of the beer itself. For example, summer beers are refreshing and light, winter beers are dark and full-bodied, while autumn and spring beers are somewhere in between.
The flavours can also give a clue as seasonal beers will often incorporate holiday-specific tastes or foods. They are also governed by seasonal ingredients, showing the changing growing season by using elements that become available during specific times of the year.
A seasonal beer is particularly brewed during or for a particular season, holiday or festival period.
The world of homebrew is rooted in creativity, and one of the ways that homebrew shows creativity is through the production of seasonal beers. Seasonal beers capture the essence of a particular season.
The different varieties of seasonal beers bring along a whole new world of tastes. Brew Mart works diligently to ensure that everyone interested knows about the seasonal beers currently on the market.
Seasonal beers adopt flavours and tastes from the seasons we experience. There are pumpkin beers for autumn, citrus beers for summer, even floral notes for spring. Many flavours may be carried by brands year-round, but when we come across an authentic stand-out seasonal beer, you'll hear about it.
The most challenging part is discovering enticing seasonal beers, making the process exciting.
Finding the Perfect Match for your Seasonal Beer
Like the food you eat, the beer you drink changes with the season, as you often enjoy incorporating fresh, seasonally varying ingredients as they become more readily available with the changing seasons.
Some beers are seasonally due to their structure, such as summer beers which are light and refreshing to combat the heat, while winter beers are darker and spiced sweeter.
Other beers are seasonally based on their holiday-specific flavours.
Spring beers are usually on the lighter side as they're trying to entice you out of the winter season. The flavours and styles to watch out for include dry beers, Saisons, American lagers, and Irish stouts.
Summer beers reflect the hotter weather and long sunny days.
Common summer styles and flavours include fruit, wheat, pale, hoppy, and classic pilsners. These beers are drinkable and light with a lower alcohol content. The content is typically 5% abv. Summer Craft beers commonly range from 5% to 10% abv.
They may have citrus or fruity flavour, accented with honey, brewing spices, and floral hops. Several summer seasonal beers are ales and wheat ales.
Saison (The French season translation) has been described as a seasonal summer beer.
Saison beer styles originated from ales brewed during the cooler and less active months in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium.
These inhabitants then stored these beers for drinking by the farm workers during the summer months. General characteristics include a fruity flavour and smell, light or bitter hoppiness, pale orange body, thick head, and light- to medium body.
Autumn drinks start to get heavier as the weather gets colder. These beverages are focused more on autumnal spiciness than being refreshing. You can expect common styles and flavours, including pumpkin, maple, amber, Belgian, and Oktoberfest.
Autumn seasonal beers will incorporate the use of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, which serves to associate the season with the beer's flavour unique to that season".
In Bavaria, Germany and the United States, Oktoberfestbier or Märzen, produced initially for the festival held in Munich, are usually released for sale throughout September and October. Oktoberfest Beers served today tend to be lighter lagers, were as traditional recipes were amber-coloured, dry and malty.
Bière de Garde (English translation: "beer for keeping") is a seasonal beer traditionally brewed in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.
It is brewed in Autumn and stored during the winter, to be consumed during the following year. Bière de Garde was initially brewed in farmhouses in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
Winter is mainly dark and cold, so you need a dark, sweet beer. One that will warm you up and make you feel cosy at home. Some of the flavours and styles to keep a watch out for during the winter months are porters, stouts, imperial, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and eggnog. You will also find that many winter beers are commonly flavoured with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, cocoa, and peppermint.
Winter warmers are a type of seasonal winter ale.
These include old and mild ales that have been brewed during the winter months. Before the Industrial Revolution in England in the mid-eighteenth century, some winter warmers were aged in barrels for months or even years, which added to their flavour profile. The barrels were typically made from oak, and the tannins from the wooden barrels plus the wild yeasts added a mild sour flavour. Winter warmers tend to be full-bodied, darker, and malt-driven styles which sometimes have spices added.
Wassail-style beer is described as a winter warmer.
Christmas beer is a seasonal beer brewed for consumption during Christmas or the winter months.
Some varieties of Christmas beer may be substantial and spiced with various unusual ingredients. Spices used in Christmas beer varieties include allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, orange zest, nutmeg, clove, and star anise. Christmas beers are also referred to as winter warmers.
The beer style dates back to at least 2,000 years ago when it was produced to celebrate the Saturnalia during winter. This tradition was carried on by monks who would make beer for Christmas.
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