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Articles by Adrienne LaFrance

Adrienne LaFrance is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers technology.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by The Atlantic and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

It was scorching in Oregon this summer. So hot the autumn pumpkins ripened early.

Which meant the brewers at Rogue, best known for Dead Guy Ale, found themselves picking pumpkins five weeks ahead of schedule and concocting their annual pumpkin-flavored beer long before the dog days slipped away. (Last year, Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch Ale wasn’t released until Oct. 7.)

“Oregon’s heatwave sped up the growing process this year, giving us ripe pumpkins in the middle of August,” Rogue said in an announcement on its website in early September. Pumpkins weren’t the only crop affected. Malting barley ran late, while hops and corn grew early.

The release of pumpkin beers, like the appearance of candy corn and Christmas lights, has become yet another disorienting marker of the passage of time, often arriving before people are emotionally ready for it. Given the blazing temperatures in Oregon, Rogue was lucky its pumpkins fared so well. Excessive heat, like excessive rain, can decimate a pumpkin crop, according to the United States Department of Agric... Read more