PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- There's been Halloween candy in grocers' seasonal aisles since the kids went back to school. There was still Fourth of July cookout remnant on your grill when the first pumpkin beers started appearing on shelves.
What's the chance that any of it is going to taste good when the first trick-or-treaters start ringing the doorbell?
Seasonal creep affects just about all corners of the retail world, as evidenced by anyone who's ever sighed at a Costco (COST) Christmas display in August, only to buy three rolls of wrapping paper and an illuminated reindeer lawn ornament. We drank our first bottles of Full Sail Brewing's Wassail and Deschutes Brewing's Jubleale in September and realize we're part of the problem, but this is basically what shoppers are forced to do if they want a seasonal offering at its peak.
We wrote our pumpkin beer preview back in August and went into great depth on exactly why brewers hustle that particular beer out so seemingly early. As countless threads on message boards for beer websites such as BeerAdvocate point out, pumpkin beers often made with pumpkin puree and spices -- and little to no fresh pumpkin -- hit the shelves early because you basically stop drinking it after Halloween.Pumpkin beers are increasingly popular, sure, but brewers including Schlafly Beer, Weyerbacher and the Pacific Northwest brewers grilled about the topic by New School Beer last year routinely explain that the only reason it's on shelves in July in August is because drinkers have already switched to winter seasonals by November or even late October.