Inky Beer Factoid: September 22

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On this day, since the dawn of the modern calendar (and possibly much earlier), we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, or the “First Day of Fall.” What is an equinox, you ask? An equinox (spring/vernal or fall/autumnal) occurs twice every year, around March 21 and Sept. 21.

Twice a year, the sun crosses the celestial equator, moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, or vice versa. These two crossings are very important for the inhabitants of Earth, because they mark the change in the direction the sun’s rays fall on Earth.

Specifically, on Sunday, the sun will move from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. It will pass overhead everywhere along the Earth’s equator on that date, and the sun will rise exactly in the east and set exactly in the west. Day and night will also be of roughly equal length. (“Equinox” is derived from the Latin for “equal night.”)

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What does the Autumnal Equinox mean for beer culture? It means the official welcoming of “fall beers” into seasonal beer sales. In the fall, there are two categories of fall beers that one can indulge, (1) Spiced ales and lagers, (2) Pumpkin/squash ales and lagers, and (3) Cranberry Ales/Lagers. Here are a few of the special fall beers available for beer lovers around the USA. Which one is your favorite?

Spiced Ales & Lagers

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Epic Brewing‘s Fest Devious (Utah/Colorado)

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Sierra Nevada‘s Tumbler (California)

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Surly Brewing‘s Surlyfest (Minnesota)

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Sixpoint Brewery‘s Autumnation (New York)

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Abita‘s Pecan Harvest Ale (Louisiana)

Pumpkin Ales & Lagers

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New Belgium Brewing‘s Pumpkick (Colorado)

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Tommyknocker Brewery‘s Small Batch Pumpkin Harvest  Ale (Colorado)

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Dogfish Head‘s Punkin’ Ale (Delaware)

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The Bruery‘s Autumn Maple (California)

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Shipyard Brewing‘s Smashed Pumpkin (Oregon)

Cranberry Ales & Lagers

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Harpoon Brewery‘s Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale (Vermont)

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Sand Creek Brewing‘s Cranberry (Wisconsin)

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New Glarus Brewing‘s Serendipity (Wisconsin)

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Blue Moon Brewing‘s Cranberry Tart Ale (Colorado)

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Cascade Brewing‘s Sour Cranberry (Oregon)

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