The month of September marks the end of the hop harvest and the introduction of seasonal releases, including harvest ales and lagers. These unique beers are created by adding fresh hops or other recently harvested ingredients, like pumpkin, to a brewer's beer recipe. These field ingredient additions impart rewarding flavors and aromas including citrus, earth, pine and spice from the practice of adding freshly picked whole hops, known as "fresh" hopping.

"The harvest ale is the brewery's celebration of the amazing variety of ingredients available," Julia Herz, spokesperson for the Brewers Association, said in a press release. "When beer lovers think fall, they think harvest ales. Fortunately, many restaurants and better beer stores have prioritized stocking these limited releases from small and independent craft brewers."

The popularity of harvest ales is so strong that 'Fresh Hop' beer, 'Field Beer' and 'Pumpkin Beer' are all sub-categories in the Great American Beer Festival, North America's most prestigious commercial beer competition, which takes place in Denver Sept. 24 to 26.

Through the Web site, the Brewers Association provides information on seasonal releases straight from the brewers who brew them. This site highlights current and future lists of special release beers in their state complete with detailed descriptions and food pairing suggestions.
  • Fresh hop craft beer: smoked meats and foods with strong and spicy ingredients; blue cheese or a sharp and rich American cheese; and sweet, decadent desserts like carrot cake, caramel cheesecake or crème brûlée
  • Oktoberfest lagers: meat dishes like roasted pork tenderloin and pot roast
  • Pumpkin ales: pork chops, roasted corn and chicken chowder and pumpkin pie
Students of the International Culinary Tourism Association's Certified Culinary Tourism Professional program are now able to listen to recorded interviews from industry professionals who are able to give them first hand information about the ins and outs of the culinary tourism industry. Included in these interviews are such culinary tourism professionals as:

For more information on the CCTP program, visit