Pumpkin Shortages Mean Bad News For Breweries & Pumpkin Lovers Alike

Pumpkin fanatics, prepare for some bad news. Back in October 2015, crop experts predicted literal supermarket insanity due to bad pumpkin harvests and subsequent shortages, but in 2016 we may actually see it happen. In preparation for the fall season, breweries are experiencing major pumpkin shortages. Those who were late in the game are finding it next to impossible to obtain it at all. Brewing companies that are placing orders for the pumpkin puree needed to make seasonal drinks are finding that their suppliers have already sold out.

It all goes back to last year’s shortage. Pumpkins need a specific balance of sun and moisture in the soil to grow properly, but last year brought lots of heavy rain in Illinois, the largest producer of the gourd, that destroyed many of their crops. The second largest producer, California, ironically suffered the opposite problem with several droughts. CNN reported that the 2015 U.S. pumpkin crops only yielded 50% of what was normal, meaning an inevitable shortage of surplus inventory. Which means bad news for any brewery hoping to make pumpkin-based drinks.

pumpkins in a pumpkin field

Romiana Lee/Shutterstock

Nebraska Brewing Co. president Paul Kavulak said that his company struggled to find a pumpkin source in order to brew its largest seasonal release, “Wick For Brains” pumpkin beer. They need 5,000 pounds of puree for their popular drink, something their supplier promised they could fulfill, then backed out of due to the shortage. “We did end up finding a supplier, but not until after a few years were dropped from my lifespan trying to figure things out,” Kavulak semi-joked to Draft. Many other breweries are finding themselves in the same position when it comes to buying the coveted pumpkin puree. So if you get your hands on a pumpkin beer this fall, savor its pumpkin-y goodness knowing that you are one of the lucky ones.

So what does this mean for our sacred pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pies? Not much at all, actually. We should be fine when it comes to finding the right pumpkin for our jack-o-lanterns this year. And the PSL uses very little of the gourd for its flavor. But if the America experiences another terrible harvest, 2017 will be seriously lacking in pumpkin.

[H/T: Bustle]

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