Yesterday I had jury duty out in Riverhead (the County Seat of Suffolk), and took the opportunity to stop by to see my friends at Long Ireland Brewery (817 Pulaski Road, Riverhead). Chatted a bit with Dan while he worked the bottling line, and as I was about to leave he generously offered me a six-pack of what he was bottling: Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale.
Fridays are typically my scheduled day off from my day job so I can take care of Blind Bat Brewery business, and today my wife and I split a bottle of the Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale with lunch while I was between bottling and smoking duties. (Smoking wheat for the next batch of Vlad the Inhaler.)
I like to tweet out when I am enjoying beer from other breweries, and a twitter response from Niko Krommydas (Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!! ) asked my thoughts.
So, here they are...
We found the Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale to be how we remembered it from last year: One of the better pumpkin ales that either of us have ever had, very balanced, not overly-spiced.
As far as having it in August: Today happened to feel quite a bit like September, so it went well with our backyard lunch (eggplant sandwiches on Regina’s freshly-baked Rosemary & Olive Oil hearth bread).
Thoughts about Pumpkin Ales in August: Yes, sooner than the seasonal style would seem to call for, but I understand the pressure for many breweries to get such beers out earlier in order to secure precious shelf space. A lot of retailers make deals earlier and earlier, and it become a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. Sam Adams, for example, has their summer offerings out in March! And so on. There are already a number of pumpkin ales out on retailer shelves as of today, August 16th.
Since I currently sell most of my beer at Farmers’ Markets, Blind Bat doesn’t have the retailer shelf-space pressure that other breweries have. I won’t be putting out a pumpkin ale, but my Sweet Potato Saison will be an autumn offering.