As the dog days of summer begin to wind down and dreams of autumn take shape, social media begins to fill with posts about the return of…you guessed it: pumpkin spice!  From pumpkin spice coquitos (pardon me while I shudder!) to lattes, it will be here all too soon! And the holiday music won’t be far behind…

Beer lovers – always a step ahead in my view – are beginning to think of winter warmers and winter ales, or how a good dark beer can get them through a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The depth and body of winter brews and the year-round heartiness found in the darker beers, the stouter stuff, just stands up to rich meats, creamy sauces and thick stews, as well as fruit, nut and spice combinations in ways no pale ales or pilsners can. I am thinking of you, MIA Beer Company Retro Porter, with your roast coffee, chocolate barley malt self! I can’t wait to see what you do when paired with some French custard-based Frice Cream!

Of course, if you live in Florida, the onset of fall is as subtle as the winter tangerine seasonal Florida Weisse release by the Tomoka Brewing Company. It wafts in on a sunny afternoon and next thing you know, you have to close the damn window, because there is a 75-degree chill in the air! That hint of citrus on your tongue is Florida’s way of saying “winter.”

But I digress and summer is not over yet.  (And here in Florida, it never really ends.) So as you plow through these final weeks of summer, fortify yourselves with thoughts of what’s to come. And the best thing on the fall calendar is the North Miami Brewfest 2019!  Make plans now to get your fall on with beer and food pairings that will make your belly happy while you bask in the South Florida sunshine! Life does not get much better than a cool winter warmer and the Asian Sweet Potato Noodles from Bolay!  There will be hundreds of craft beers and dozens of food bites to make you forget all about the winter to come.