You May Not Drink Pumpkin Beer This Fall

Craft beer producers brace for the impact of last year's great pumpkin shortage

Pumpkin beer fans, beware: As we head into peak pumpkin season, some craft beer producers are struggling to source the beloved gourd for their fall beers, beer website Draft reports.

Last year’s pumpkin shortage (you may recall there was a scare over pumpkin pie filling) may be partly to blame. Bad growing seasons in 2015 forced suppliers like Libby’s, which controls 80 percent of the pumpkin purée market, to sell all of its reserves to meet the demand of the holiday season.

Craft breweries are now struggling to find pumpkin purée, but it appears that most are squeaking by—at least this year. Paul Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company explains:

We did end up finding a supplier, but not until after a few years were dropped from my lifespan trying to figure things out. . . . We bought enough for maybe the first two batches and then went back to buy more . . . and were told they were out. We had to brew [Wick for Brains] five times this year, so you can see the panic that set in. My guess is that this is going to be an issue across the board.

It’s unclear at this point if pie makers will face a similar struggle this fall. We’ve reached out to Libby’s to hear how the company is progressing with rebuilding a stockpile. We’ll keep you (pumpkin) patched in to what we hear.


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