I was just talking to Dan Weirback about the $1.1 million expansion that starts today at Weyerbacher Brewing...more on that very shortly...and after he hung up, he called me back about three minutes later: his brewer, Chris Wilson, had seen the seasonals post below, and wanted Dan to make a response. Not a problem, I'm all for it.
Here's what Dan had to say, roughly (because I couldn't keep up -- he was a little excited -- but this is not a quote, it's a paraphrase, and if it's not right, I hope Dan will give me another call!).
It's a matter of demand and capacity. Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale, for example: to meet wholesaler pre-orders, they have to start brewing it in May and continue through to September to have enough for it to be available through the whole season. They don't have room to store it until September, so they start shipping it out in late June...and well, the wholesalers don't have unlimited room either [and I assume no one really wants to have fresh beer just sitting around; I don't] so they start releasing it.The same thing happens with Autumnfest. Most wholesalers in far off states only want to deal with one shipment of a seasonal. So they can ship it in late July, or they can ship it in mid-September. But the wholesalers tell them: if they get Autumnfest in mid-September, the shelves are already full of other Oktoberfest beers, and theirs won't sell."It’s not necessarily the way we want to do it, but if people want these seasonal beers, that’s how we have to do it." [and that is a quote.]