Skip to main content

Seasonal Scarcity

Earlier in the month when I was traveling in Ohio, I got to drink some of the first Great Lakes Christmas Ale of the season. I've always been intrigued by its popularity. Even though it's a seasonal beer and only sells for two months of the year, it's the second highest selling beer in GLBC's entire portfolio.

For a beer that popular, it must be good, right? I've always thought so; but I recently looked it up on Beer Advocate, and found that the reviews are not nearly as overwhelmingly positive as I might have expected.

(from The Cleveland Kid on Flickr)

The primary complaint appears to be that it's overly spiced. Beer fanatics, it seems, don't like a lot of "stuff" in their beer. I get that. It's much like a coffee fanatic who doesn't want sweeteners, dairy or other flavors distracting from the taste of the drink.

Even so, I do think the seasonal scarcity is what makes a beer like Christmas Ale so good. You really can only drink the stuff in late fall and winter, which is why I've never found the "Christmas in July" events at bars in Cleveland appealing. Christmas Ale is good because you only have it for 2-months out of the year, then you stop. If it were around for any longer I suspect it would probably start to taste not-so-good and its popularity would wane.

In a way, I feel the same way about pumpkin. When September rolls around, like many others, I'm gung-ho about pumpkin - pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies... but by November I'm pretty sick of it. I don't eat any pumpkin for another year, and then the cycle continues.

Some foods and drinks are seasonal because of mother nature. You harvest certain crops at certain times of year. Others are seasonal because it makes more sense to consume them when the temperature outside is a certain way. Christmas Ale falls into the latter category; but in a way it's also artificially seasonal, in the sense that the brewer decides to stop selling it on January 1st, rather than February 1st or March 1st. That's probably a smart move on their part, at least in terms of keeping the mystique and allure alive.


B. P. Beckley said…
The Great Lakes Christmas Ale thing has pretty much metstasized in Cleveland, as far as I can tell. I don't think it has too much to do with the quality of the beer any more, if it ever did. It's just something you do during the holidays, even if you don't normally drink beer at all. It's a big deal because people like participating in big deals. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Commuting Meets Technology

I'm finally out of the dark ages. I got an Android smartphone over the weekend and have since been in the process of exploring the Android apps market.  One thing I've immediately noticed is the really wide range of usefulness in the apps. For example, the WeatherBug app is fantastic. It automatically determines your location and gives you exact conditions for that location. On the other end of the spectrum, Google's Goggles app is supposed to be a type of 'visual search' where you snap of photo of something and Google searches for it. In each of my attempts to use it, the app hasn't returned any search results. I even took a photo of a bottle of Pepsi (figuring it as a common houseful item) and got nothing.

Somewhere in the middle is this app called Waze. Have a look at their 'guided tour':

Some people might look at it and comment on the amazing evolution of technology or on the incredible value of social networks. To me, Waze says something important ab…