You wouldn't wear a tank top to go skiing, would you? Why drink something that doesn't fit your surroundings? Beer, as we all know, is the ultimate accessory, so you better make sure it's in season!
There are plenty of beers that are great for year-round drinking, but seasonal beers only come along once (or so) a year. Often, it's because the ingredients are in season, the beer is traditional for a certain holiday or because the style makes sense for the corresponding weather conditions. Word to the wise: Don't hang on to your pumpkin beers until April, unless you're the type of mad individual who goes skiing without sleeves.
Winter Beer Styles:
Seasonal beers are typically brewed the season before they're intended to be drunk. So, in this case, winter beers are brewed in the fall. Iconic winter beers include holiday ale, Christmas beer, winter wheats, Scotch ale, old ale, stouts and porters. Pretty much any dark beer or ale is a go-to option for winter drinking.
There's also barley wine, which needs a longer aging and should be brewed a year or more in advance. Despite its name, barley wine is a strong type of ale, not a wine. Either way, we wouldn't turn it down!
Spring Beer Styles:
The best seasonal beers to drink in the spring include Irish ale, Irish stout, green beer (for St. Patrick's Day, of course!), India pale ale, wheat beer and Belgian wit (white beer).
Spring ushers in the brighter notes of fruit beer and the lighter colors of blonde ale. There's also saison beer, which is a highly carbonated pale ale with spicy, fruity flavors.
Summer Beer Styles:
Summer beers are brewed in the spring, so you can expect more light offerings like cream ale, summer ale, saison and fruit beers. Pilsner pale lager, Bavarian wheat beer and highly effervescent steam beer are also summer staples.
You'll also find summer varieties boasting hoppy bitterness paired with citrusy flavors for maximum drinkability. Trust us, there's nothing better than sipping a fruity India pale ale on a sweltering day. We already tested that scenario for you. Just to be sure.
Fall Beer Styles:
The fall season is beer's time to shine! Harvest ale, brown ale and English pale ale are all go-to options as the weather gets colder. Märzen is the classic, full-bodied Oktoberfest style, while Dunkelweizen is a darker take on German wheat beers.
And don't forget pumpkin ale! One of the most popular beer styles brewed in the United States, pumpkin ale embodies fall like few beers can.