Several readers have written in to express their disappointment after ordering a Samuel Adams Winter Lager and being told by their server that the establishment had already moved on to Samuel Adams Alpine Spring. One Boston reader even said the bar he was at stopped serving Winter Lager on New Year's Eve.
Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch explained the early release of his company's seasonal beers in a statement to the Globe:
"The timing for brewing our seasonal beers isn’t as simple as matching dates to a calendar; we listen to our drinkers and brew to reflect their preferences. In New England, we tend to look forward to next season, especially the end of winter! Sometimes on a cold day, there’s nothing better than sitting inside daydreaming about less dreary weather, longer days and Spring training, which also actually begins in the winter. But it just doesn't seem right to call it "winter training".
Samuel Adams Alpine Spring, a crisp, unfiltered medium-bodied lager, matches that sentiment and is one of the reasons we make it available to drinkers earlier in the year, offering them a refreshing change of pace and a hint of what’s to come.”
Samuel Adams is far from the only company that sends their seasonals out early. I happen to love winter beer, but even if I didn't, New Year's Eve seems very early to me. So does pumpkin beer in July. At the time of this writing my thermometer reads 27 degrees. A little leeway on timing, however, seems fine.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and let's get a debate going,