The Seasonal Palate

This post is mostly just an observation put into words. No real information to gleam here folks, just an experience.

When I first started drinking beer, I did so mostly out of peer pressure. All my friends were drinking what ever was the cheapest and easiest to acquire. Needless to say I had no palate for beer, it was just something I drank with friends and really had no taste I could speak of.

When I moved to another state, one that had a plethora of beer, I learned that I actually enjoyed beer. Not because my friends were drinking it, but because it had a fantastic taste that I had never experienced before. I quickly fell in love with sweet stouts and porters and drank almost anything that had chocolate in it. Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, etc.

Now, this may be amusing to those of you located in the PNW with us, because the west coast IPA is the beer that almost everyone drinks. It's a very hoppy, bitter beer. How did someone who just moved to what many would consider the IPA capital of the country and not get into IPA's?? I won't get into how that came to be, but let's just call out that I am not a bitter fan and for many years the only thing I drank were porters and stouts. When I first started brewing, I always adjusted recipes to have less hops then most recipes asked for, because I just didn't like hops.

Fast forward to 2017 and I found myself tasting the first IPA I ever liked, a new England IPA, or Hazy IPA. Now this brings me to the point of this post. It was a hot day and for some reason I just didn't want a stout and wasn't really going to drink anything until my friend insisted I taste this IPA. Being a person who will always taste a beer, despite my predisposed views, I did and instantly fell in love with it and started drinking and even brewing Hazy IPA's. Why did I all of a sudden enjoy this beer? I had no idea, but when I discussed this question with others they brought to my attention the seasonal palate. Something I had never experienced on my own and had never observed. Probably due to my selfishness. More and more my palate has adjusted to the weather. Now during the fall I long for Reds, Ambers and Märzen beers, during the winter months I crave my original sweet stouts and porters along with pumpkin ales, spring sees me looking for cream and pale ales and the summer brings me back to hazy and even some mild IPA's along with some good sours.

It's an interesting thing to experience such a change and I'm not sure everyone has a seasonal palate, but I thought it was worth discussing if only to share my experience. Are you a seasonal drinker? Have you always been? Or have you never experienced this and tend to drink only a certain style?

let me know in the comments below, I would love to get an insight!

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