Rob Hill: Hi! I'm Rob Hill, certified cicerone with Total Wine & More. Today I'm going to discuss seasonal and special released beers. Many breweries throughout the world produce seasonal beers and special released beers which have become prominent and popular in the U.
S. during the last decade in large part due to an increased unavailability through production by American craft breweries.
Seasonal beers are simply defined as beers produced in limited quantities and then released to the market timed to a specific season of the year. Many of these offerings are brewed to classic beer styles that have an historic relevance and a connection to the given season, such as October Fest Beers for Fall, Winter Warmer and Spiced Beers for the Winter Holidays and Bock Beers for Spring, which is as style that seventeenth century catholic monks in Bavaria brewed for themselves as sustenance during the Lent and Fasting season. They called it liquid bread. As with seasonal beers special release beers are produced in limited quantities, however their release isn't timed to a specific season, often a brewery's special release beer represent its forays into the realm of experimentation and creativity, including the use of unique ingredients and recipes and ageing of the beer in wine or spirit barrels for additional flavor and complexity.
Some special released beers around the brewery's rotating production calendar, meaning they will brew it again in a year or so, while other special releases are one-off concoctions with no plans for re-release. It's no wonder that seasonal and special released beers collectively represents one of the top selling categories in beer today. Their popularity is tremendous, since they are amongst the most flavorful brews the world has ever seen, it's no surprise they tend to sell quickly no matter the time of the year it's likely that there are seasonal beers you are going to love. It's all about your own experimentation in flavor and trying new things. Since these beers aren't available on the shelves year around, it's recommended that you buy your selections as soon as you see them, as they may not be available the next time you are in the store. It's always the season for great beer. Have fun enjoying this world of flavor. Cheers!