So, it's no secret that I am not a fan of the standard of the fall seasonal collection, the pumpkin beer. While I am happy to say I found a few that suited my palate fairly well, I typically dislike the all-in-pumpkin-pie flavor that many of these beers and the massive amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other spices that accompany these beers. Again, moderation is okay, but I find few of these beers practice such moderation.
This recent Forbes article tells me I may not be the only one getting tired of the pumpkin beer craze of the past few years. Pumpkin beers enjoyed reported 30+% growth each of the last few years, but sales fell flat recently, and some major retailers had some of the best-regarded pumpkin beers (such as Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and Southern Tier Pumpking) still in stock in February of this year! This was seemingly confirmed by the heads of the beer-tracking app Untappd, who reported increased check-ins for pumpkin beers "far after the new year, as late as January, February, March, or April."
Some thoughts are given for the decline. One potential reason, which could be a possibly encouraging sign, is that many craft beer novices once purchased these beers, only for them to become gateway beers, with these once-novices now purchasing other, different craft beers. The article also points to such things as the often-bemoaned "seasonal creep"--the introduction of such fall beers as early as July--and beer drinkers simply trying to diversify their beer experiences, though there are mixed thoughts on these reasons.
Personally, I am not going to cry too much over a significant reduction in the nation's pumpkin beer supply.
H/t: forbes.com and Tara Nurin