Discover Why Fall Owns the Seasonal Taps at Drake’s

drake's come and play

drake's come and playFall is a unique time for brewers in that some of the most unique flavors begin to come into market. The flavors range drastically in terms of the Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ales, even far enough to split groups on opinion.

One of the more frequently discussed differentiators in recent years has been Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale and the Southern Tier Pumking Beer. According to Josh Morris of Bluegrass Hospitality Group, the crave for seasonal beers in the fall especially drives the consumer taste buds.

In the past 10 years or so the market has become wide open in regards to fall-styled beers. Morris and his team at Drake’s restaurants have used this time to focus more on consumer demand and showcasing local craft brewers.

“We look to the locals who mostly do an Oktoberfest now,” said Morris. “… We’ve really done a lot with the Pumpkins. We’re getting about any Pumpkins we can get our hands on because those fly out like crazy. We’ve seen more success with those than we’ve seen with the Oktoberfest.”

Over the years Drake’s has seen a lot of success with the Pumpkins, and according to Morris the demand has only grown, pushing them to demand more from their distributors. Additionally, Morris said the Drake’s locations have been highly selective as for when they launch a new Pumpkin beer on tap so that they don’t run out too soon.

“When our distributors come to us with a new Pumpkin we jump all over it,” he said. “Some of the ones that come out early, we’ll take early and then just hold’em. So we try and not to roll’em until October, but this year we saw some come out as early as late August.”

Morris emphasized that the early release didn’t matter to them, they weren’t launching Pumpkins until the time was ripe, hoping to capitalize on the market ten-fold.

“On seasonal stuff we’ll typically do one offs because there are so many,” explained Morris. “If we really like Southern Tier Pumking, we don’t buy three kegs and leave it on the list, we’ll take one Pumking, one Traveler Jack-O, we’ll take one Schlafly Pumpkins and then we’ll just do one offs. And they’ll typically last through the season doing it like that, as opposed to us taking a bunch of one and then getting stuck.”

The Pumpkin beers are clearly on the rise for the consumer, distributor and retailer. Drake’s plan to last the season keeps the taste buds excited with changes throughout the season, which is truly the point of craft beer. Morris concluded, “We’ll do any of them that have glassware with them, we’ll have a Pint Night and all of our stores that get glassware will do that … through the first part of October and into the first part of November.”


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