Beer and Pavement

Session #58 – A Christmas Carol

Posted in Beer, The Session by SM on December 2, 2011

This month’s session idea comes to us from Ed Hardy at Beersay and here’s what he had to…er…say:

The idea for me was based loosely around the visits of three ghosts to Ebenezer Scrooge, but relayed in a post about the beers of Christmas past, present and future.

What did you drink during Christmas holidays of old, have you plans for anything exciting this year and is there something you’d really like to do one day, perhaps when the kids have flown the nest?

So, we’re going all holiday up in this joint. I do love a good holiday ale loaded with frankincense and myrrh. Or something like that.

Xmas Past
For a beery memory to share, I’m going to go all the way back to last year. It’s not as much about what beer I drank, but rather about the silliness that resulted in my consumption. After a beer or two and a glass of homemade egg nog, we sat down for Xmas Eve dinner with friends and family. My wife makes the greatest Polish feast imaginable every Xmas Eve. It is easily my favorite meal of the year. I prefer to celebrate said meal with a nice beer. For last year’s feast, I chose Mikkeller’s Santa’s Little Helper.

Then, things got a bit weird…

For whatever reason, our guests that evening were not into drinking beer with this particular dinner. So, I had the entire 750 mL bottle to myself. You can probably imagine what happened after that. And if you imagined that I would go outside intent on knocking the snow off our satellite dish with snow balls only to eventually turn to climbing onto the roof in order to clear the snow by hand, then you would be correct.

Xmas Present
I’m not exactly sure how to handle this one as it is only December 2nd, meaning that this Xmas actually qualifies as Xmas Future, but whatever. I’ll at least tell you my plan. The start of our season usually happens on St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6). Friends throw a big party with a giant, flaming bowl of mulled wine. It’s good stuff, but I always show up with some seasonal beers. Other than the Mikkeller (again), I currently have a Jolly Pumpkin Noel Calabaza, but I think I’ll take a sixer of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, assuming there’s more in the stores.

After that, my beer club has a Holiday Party/Yankee Swap/Ugly Sweater Contest planned. I’ll bring something nice to drink (possibly the Allagash Odyssey I scored at last year’s party), possibly a Boulevard gift set for the swap, and I don’t know about the sweater.

As far as our own Xmas festivities, I’ll take it easy this year on Xmas Eve. There will be no drunken roof climbing this year. I always enjoy a bomber all to myself on Xmas Day. Other than that, it will be typical beer consumption for me.

Xmas Future
I have lots of ideas for future Xmas. Let’s list them, since that’s kinda my thing this month:

  • Xmas Homebrew – I want to brew a special Xmas brew on Xmas Day one of these years. Of course, it will probably have to be something that isn’t necessarily Xmas-y as it will take time for fermentation and such to occur. Ideally, I’d like to brew something big that can be enjoyed during the following Xmas as a way to start a tradition.
  • Travel – One of the best Xmas celebrations I ever had was the year we visited family in California. I’d love to do a beer-themed Xmas trip one of these years. Maybe Colorado, San Diego, Asheville, Portland, Chicago, or even Belgium would all be great trips. Someday, someday…
  • Neighborhood Tasting – I’ve always wanted to do a tasting with my neighbors. They all like to imbibe and have a good time. I’m the resident beer nerd. They’re always asking me about craft and homebrewed beer. I always thought it would be cool to have them all chip in and I’ll buy a load of beer for a tasting. There’s a neighborhood party and progressive dinner, a beer at each stop would be ideal.
  • Beer Gifts – My wife always gets me cool and unique gifts for Xmas, but one of these years I’m going to get her to give the gift of beer. I’m thinking glassware, all-grain equipment, a beer trip, or some membership to a special mail-order club or something. Even a stockpile of beer books would be cool.
  • Sharing Craft Beer with My Daughter –My three-year-old is obviously not ready for beer, but I’ve given her tiny tastes here and there. I look forward to the day I can sit down and share a beer with her on special occasions. The day we crack open a special beer I’ve been cellaring could be a lot of fun. Here in Missouri, it’s legal to serve your kid alcohol within your home. I’m not talking about getting plastered. I’m talking about sipping on a great beer and enjoying the aromas and flavors within. It will be a valuable experience where  I can teach her about good craft beer. By the time her peers are all doing keg stands, she won’t want to take part unless it’s good beer.

Well, those are my Xmas beer thoughts for the past, present, and future. Be sure to check out the other posts in the Session over at Beersay. Also, have yourself a happy holidays and all that. Cheers!

14 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on December 2, 2011 at 7:42 am

    All of those christmas future plans sound great! The final point I think is important, if people don’t let their kids drink at all then they’re more likely to binge illicitly or in bars as soon as they’re old enough.

    • Zac said, on December 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Agreed. All the kids who drank in high school and binged in high school and college were the ones whose parents were vehemently against drinking. I didn’t drink in high school because I didn’t want to and it took me a while to figure out moderation (still struggling with that), but I can go without or cut back when I want. I’d rather my kid learn that lesson much earlier in life. Xmas seems like a good time to do that.

  2. Stan Hieronymus said, on December 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Have you thought about Samichlaus for the Dec. 6 party?

    • Zac said, on December 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Excellent suggestion, Stan. I’ll have to grab some this weekend.

  3. beerbecue said, on December 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    My three-year old seems to think she is ready for beer. You definitely have to keep an eye on your glass. Several times I have turned around to see her titled back, glass vertical, waiting for the last couple drops of beer to come out. I can’t wait to share some beer with her at home, as my parents did with me.

  4. leighgoodstuff said, on December 3, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Cool recollections, dude! I too have planned to do a special homebrew for xmas – and never quite plan it in time. Always creeps up on me. Always.

    • Zac said, on December 3, 2011 at 7:03 am

      Yeah, I too forget that homebrewing actually requires some planning ahead. I once tried to brew a barley wine for my daughter’s birthday but didn’t get around to actually brewing it until like a month later. It took until late into the winter before it was even ready to drink.

  5. Phil said, on December 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Great post Zac, hope someone hides the ladders this Christmas to keep your feet on terra firma 😉

    Love the idea of the “Ugly Sweater” competition, we need photographs of that if you please? Cheers for joining in this month & helping to make my month as host a successful one.


    • Zac said, on December 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks! I’ve posted for several months and it’s been a lot of fun. Plus, the jolt my traffic numbers receive doesn’t hurt either.

  6. […] Zac from Building International Coalitions Through Beer and Pavement who went along a similar line as I in terms of a beery confession about Christmas past, which involved a trip to the roof to emulate Santa’s little helper, with almost as scary consequences as the “Ugly Sweater” his post here. […]

  7. […] Zac from Building International Coalitions Through Beer and Pavement who went along a similar line as I in terms of a beery confession about Christmas past, which involved a trip to the roof to emulate Santa’s little helper, with almost as scary consequences as the “Ugly Sweater” his post here. […]

  8. Phil said, on December 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Here’s a link to last months round up of Decembers which I hosted over in my blog Beersay. Thanks again for posting.

    Session #58 A Christmas Carol – Final round up

    It would be great if you could add me to your blogroll and twitter followers


  9. […] Little Helper has given me an excellent Christmas story to tell about a Christmas Eve celebration that resulted in my climbing onto a snowy […]

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