At Bistro on Bridge, my eyes gravitated from the chalkboard to the tap handles. I thought about my recent trips to Wegmans and my recent “Case Swap of Craft Beer” amongst my friends. Something occurred to me — where are the Oktoberfests? I see them, but from a distance. I mean, this is fall, right? Oktoberfest is upon us! Have Pumpkin Beers taken over Oktoberfest?!
I couldn’t shake this off. Was I crazy? This time, every year, all I see are Oktoberfest styles on tap or six packs displayed at Wegmans, but not this year. Something felt different. End caps were featuring hints of orange and devious pumpkins (that’s if Fegley’s is stocked). I needed confirmation, some kind of evidence. Texts were sent and owners were sought out.
I scouted down Zach Hoffman, owner of Bistro on Bridge, to see if this was indeed true. Were the Pumpkins making a comeback this season? Zach responded, “Big time. One of our beer reps says Pumpkin Beers are up 20% this year.”
I threw out the idea that maybe with the craft beer push, more and more people are open to these styles. On Facebook, I see people noting their love of pumpkin lattes and flavored coffee. Has craft beer caught up to something as routine as coffee? Zach responded, “Absolutely. It’s becoming a passion now.”
My phone started going off in mid-conversation. I needed a second opinion, and who better to ask than Craft Beer/Town Dish Aficionado, Amy Strauss.
“I completely agree! I used to have to search for Pumpkin styles and now they’re everywhere!!!” (Exclamation points are not an exaggeration, folks.)
I asked Zach if there was ever a chance we’d see a Pumpkin Fest Pub Crawl in Phoenixville. He’s open to it, but I don’t think Pumpkin Beers will break tradition just yet.
What do you think? Do you believe this to be true? Have Oktoberfest styles taken a backseat to the Imperial Pumpkin King? Or is this just a fad? Only time will tell! Until then, all hail to the Imperial Pumpkin King!