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Doggone the Days of Summer by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson Photographer: Judy Pavlik
Photo: Ginger Johnson

Photo: Ginger Johnson

What season do you look forward to? Maybe there are a few for you. For me, I greatly anticipate the cooler months of the year. Fall and winter are where I revel in the chilly nights and brisk days, sleeping with the windows still open a peep and snuggling deep into the comforter.

So with the temperatures dropping with season change, do your tastes start migrating away from summery drink and food to more hearty and wintery fare?

As a beer consumer researcher I can tell you that many people do in fact alter their consumption habits. In the beer world, various styles and flavors are somewhat tied to seasons. Many of them developed naturally, literally, from their origins, like Oktoberfest and Winter Warmer. When we crave the shift from crisp delicate Kolsch to a deeper richer Porter, for instance, our primeval desires perk up and speak up.

To that end, I’ll make some go-to pairing suggestions to try as we cool down and head into autumn.

  1. Deep stonefruitesque porters, like the venerable Anchor in San Francisco, with black berry pie should make you happy. These two are better together and you can consider using a bit of the beer in the pie making itself. I also like to use high quality (not too salty) bacon grease in my pie crust to provide an added savory layer of flavor.
  1. Oktoberfest beers, which are in season in September (read the story here), with cured meats, particularly stronger ones like lamb and wild game await. Yum!! The solid backbone of these beers partner very well with the distinct flavors of the victuals.
  1. Beer and cheese is a perpetual go-to for a reason: both cheese and beer change with age. Continue your flavor explorations in these two categories year round. Like you needed permission!!

Enjoy the changing flavors of the seasons. While we may lament a delicious beer that has vanished for the time being, know that one of the best things about beer is that it’s best fresh. Look forward to it the next time around and dive into the next fresh seasonal with relish.

Till the next glass ~


Go Here: Many breweries offer public tours. Do a bit of research online to find out which breweries in your area as well as one you may encounter in your travels provide informational tours. Exercise good manners and always call first – they’re busy folks, making fresh beer for all of us!

Try This: Oktoberfest’s are also really dandy with cheese and chocolate. Visit a local chocolate shop, find the closest cheese monger or well-managed cheese department and stock up!

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at or

All Articles by Ginger Johnson



About Basil & Salt Magazine (827 Articles)
Basil & Salt Magazine is filled with recipes, cocktails, wine, beer and travel recommendations, focusing on the enjoyment of the gourmet lifestyle. Our first issue will print and be distributed in September of this year. ~Please join us and poke the 'subscribe' button on the menu to receive exclusive content found only on our printed pages.

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