Brewers Are Scrambling to Get Pumpkin for Fall Beers

Blame it on the weather
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2016 10:40 AM CDT
Brewers Are Scrambling to Get Pumpkin for Fall Beers
Erin Packie and her son, Silas, select from pumpkins lined up for sale at Ellie's Farm Market on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in Northfield, Vt. According to owner Karen Moynihan, the pumpkin crop this year has been poor due to 6 weeks of rain this summer and she was lucky to grow pumpkins to sell.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

No, the predicted Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015 didn't actually live up to its name, as Fortune reported last November. But that's in part because the companies that can pumpkins didn't hold onto reserves for the following year's crop—that would, of course, be this year's crop, so the experts are howling again about a looming shortage given last year's deficit and continued weather issues. And the lack of pumpkin puree currently available has been a problem for brewers trying to churn out pumpkin beers, reports Draft magazine. Multiple brewers have been scrambling to source their pumpkins, with one resorting to brewing five times while waiting for more puree. Another calls it "Pumpkageddon."

Weather is again an issue, reports Fortune. Last year the biggest producer of pumpkins in the country, Illinois, dealt with heavy summer rains that washed out the crops, which like dry heat in the middle of the summer followed by a few good days of rain in August, as farmers over in New York tell Syracuse News. "In August, when pumpkins are gaining most of their size, is when we need rain," one farmer says. But now large swaths of the US are suffering from droughts, including Illinois and California, the second largest producer of pumpkins. With some pumpkin beers already on the shelves, brewers seem to be finding a way. We'll have to wait until 2017 to see what two consecutive years of shortage do to the pumpkin beer supply. (Most people seem to like pumpkin lattes just once a year.)

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