Craft ~ brews and reviews
By Greg Richardson
DISAPPEARS! ENTIRE MONTH MISSING!
announced late last night the entire month of November has
disappeared from this year’s calendar.
suggested the month may not actually have disappeared, but been
absorbed into a 90 day “holiday season.” They claimed no days had
technically been lost, but simply reclassified and the name
November had been the eleventh month of the year, traditionally
between October and December on modern calendars. November was a
month known for election days and the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
observers favoring the absorption theory of November’s disappearance
rely on the measurable acceleration of shopping activity at the end
of each year. In the past, consumers spread their purchases more
evenly with distinct periods of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and
Christmas buying. More recently the three months have been
consolidated into one spending season lasting 90 days.
acceleration trend is particularly evident in regions where the
weather consistently remains the same over the entire 90 days.
The loss of
November has ramifications for many parts of our culture, including
brewing and consuming craft beer.
view the consolidation of the year’s three final months as an
attempt to affect statistics of beer consumption. It appears the
creation of a 90 day holiday season may be designed to compete
head-to-head with the popular “summer” beer drinking season.
industry insiders see the effort differently. There appears to be a
lull in seasonally specific flavored brews between the pumpkin-based
brews of October and the more Christmas-oriented beers toward the
end of the year.
Thanksgiving holiday was seen as a flavor profile which was
challenging to match. Most consumers did not resonate with turkey or
stuffing flavored brews. Cranberry saisons were also a difficult
It is thought
the restructuring of three months into a “holiday season” is a way
to ease the transition from summer beer consumption to the end of
the year. It is also an apparent effort to distract attention from
Thanksgiving into the other holidays in the season.
believe in the November/holiday season conspiracy or not, it is an
excellent time of year for drinking craft beer. While there may not
be many seasonally flavored beers specifically targeted for this
month, there are excellent choices for Thanksgiving dinner.
experience Thanksgiving Day as the day before Black Friday,
a daylong football festival, or a holiday with celebrations all its
own, it is likely you will taste turkey in some form this month. I
am an advocate of trying as many different turkey and beer
combinations as possible to find what you like best. The choices can
be a little overwhelming, so a few ideas to get started:
For a traditional
turkey, with stuffing and cranberry sauce, I would suggest an
amber ale, a brown ale, or a strong golden ale like a Belgian
Some of us
prefer smoking our Thanksgiving turkey. For a smoked turkey I
suggest beer with a stronger flavor such as a hoppier brown
ale, a Scotch ale, or a porter.
Alesmith Brewing Company in
San Diego also brews several versions of their Wee Heavy
Scotch Ale, including brews aged in port barrels and bourbon
Firestone Walker Brewing Company in
Buellton brews Bravo Imperial Brown Ale.
I am a serious fan of Stone
Smoked Porter brewed by Stone
Brewing Company in Escondido. While it is an excellent
place to begin exploring the world of porters, many breweries
are increasing their production of porters this time of year.
Take the opportunity to discover what is out there right now.
This month is
more than merely the next step into the holiday shopping season.
Take advantage of the lack of “seasonally flavored” beers and find
something which complements the food on your table.
exploration, and have a meaningful “holiday season,” no matter what
month it is on the calendar.
Richardson is a leadership and organizational coach, and a spiritual
life mentor, in Pasadena, California. He is passionate about craft
brewing, listening, and monks and monastic life. Greg is a
recovering attorney, executive, and university professor. Greg’s
website is StrategicMonk.com and
he is on Twitter @StrategicMonk.
You can email Greg at StrategicMonk@gmail.com.