Back before refrigeration and shipping made it possible to lager beers in the hot summer months or save fresh hops throughout the winter, beer was a creature of seasonal variation. Barley and hops were harvested in the fall, and brewing was often a winter activity – the cooler weather also made it possible to store beers longer, especially beers that needed longer to ferment to higher alcohol levels. By the next spring and summer, these beers were ready to drink, and lighter and more quickly fermenting beers were brewed with what barley and hops were still available.
Even though we now have the technology to brew all styles of beer regardless of the time of year, these seasonal tastes still persist, dovetailing nicely with weather as well as serving as a reminder of the origins of the craft. Hot, balmy weather makes us crave crisp, effervescent, refreshing beers like pale ales, Kolsch-style ales, and Pilseners; on the other hand, cooler weather makes us yearn for heavier, sweeter brews, showcasing dark fruits, roasted malt foundations, and (oftentimes) higher levels of warming alcohol. Our Brewmaster’s Seasonal Series will showcase a few of these seasonally associated beers, including two classic and ancient German styles associated with early spring and summer–the well-aged and full bodied Weizenbock/Doppelbock and the crisp, fruity, soft Hefeweizen, respectively–along with our Eastern European inspired autumnal Imperial Pumpkin Baltic Porter and our smoky, chewy, caramelized take on the classic Scottish Wee Heavy Ale, perfect for those brisk winter evenings.
Here at The Cebruery, the Brewmaster’s Seasonal Series offers us the opportunity to experiment a little as well as to offer you some stronger, more flavorful beers (beers that oftentimes have been maturing and developing in our fermentation cellar for months before they’re finished). It also serves as a reminder of the grand tradition of our craft and the men and women who came before us and perfected it, despite the limitations of their day. So raise your glass to them, and keep your eyes peeled for these delicious rotating annual limited releases!