As we told you this morning, Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe, Arizona, has decided to release its Pumpkin Porter a little bit early this year because, as head brewer Andy Ingram said in a statement, “By any measure, summer 2020 has sucked. At this point, everyone’s over 2020. We just want the year to end. We may still have a few months to go, but at least summer’s over now that Pumpkin Porter’s out.”
Okay, he does have a point. On a global scale, 2020 has not been the greatest year we’ve ever had. (Though my own personal 2019 was probably worse.) The pandemic and job losses have been undeniably terrible. I hope the protests mean we’re eventually headed toward a better world, but for now, it’s led to a lot of fighting and outright violence. In the U.S. we still have what is shaping up to be an epically nasty presidential election ahead of us. Most of us will probably be relieved when it’s finally 2021.
And summer in Arizona is definitely not a time to be cherished. They don’t even have the daily distraction of the late afternoon thunderstorms that make August in Florida so exciting (at least for me when I lived there). As my friend Amy Silverman, a journalist and lifelong Arizonan, wrote: “Do not come near me in August in Phoenix. Eleven months a year, I work hard to love my hometown. But all bets are off in August. The weather is beyond disgusting and we are trapped because school starts Monday (which genius thought of that?) and all I can do is try to get from one end of August to the other. Don’t go outside, don’t make any big life decisions. I plan to spend the month seeing as many movies as possible and looking for just the right glitter and plastic desert animals to make my monsoon globes.” And she wrote that last year, before the pandemic.
But for the rest of us, do you know what fall means? It can mean crisp and clear days with achingly blue skies and beautiful changing leaves. But more often it means endless cold rain that seeps into your soul. Sweaters and flannel and warm beverages lose their charm very quickly. And this year, we won’t have the comfort of hanging out with our friends in restaurants and pubs or even their living rooms. During the summer we’ve at least been able to meet up in backyards and on patios and in parks. We’ve been able to leave our homes to go for walks and sit outside. In the often crappy fall, what will we have?
Now I’m really depressing myself, because usually fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and this stupid pandemic has ruined it! But as long as we’re jumping the gun on fall foods, do you think anyone can arrange an early batch of apple cider doughnuts? Or caramel apple anything?
Why else should anybody outside of Arizona be happy about fall?