Being a grinch has lost a little bit of its punch over the last couple of years. There’s so much to hate year-round that a good old-fashioned holiday hate-fest doesn’t seem super relevant. When you’ve got people screaming at flight attendants and beer workers, a representative government that doesn’t give a sh*t about the people it represents and the hottest new viral mutation running rampant, it seems trite to write a holiday hate piece.
And yet, here we are.
Here are six more reasons to absolutely hate the holidays this season, and six perfect beers to take the edge off while you find another stupid hiding spot for your Elf on a Shelf.
After what seemed to be maybe three months since the last holiday season, it is already December! This means my favorite sport is upon us; gift giving. Finding the perfect gift for those that you love is truly an aphrodisiac, but it can be hard to figure out the right one. As it is one of my main talents, I thought I’d share my advice. Check out my list of gift ideas that the craft beer enthusiast in your life will love!
This isn’t your typical Ultimate 6er – we’re getting theological here. Most people think of Advent calendars when they think about pairing beers with Advent. We’re taking a different bent on the term and pairing six beers with the four weeks of Advent in a different way.
Advent begins on November 28 this year, and starts with the “First Sunday of Advent,” continuing with the season of Advent until Christmas Day on December 25. There are always four Sundays in Advent and each week has a different theme according to the Lectionary (readings for a worship service) that is followed most commonly by Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran denominations of Christianity (though some Presbyterian and Methodist churches do, too). We’ll focus on the Episcopal collects (pronounced COL-lects instead of the typical way), or prayers, of the weeks of Advent because you’ve got an Episcopalian here and as the saying goes, “where three or four Episcopalians are gathered, there’s bound to be a fifth!”
If you’re interested, you can find the collects in all their glory by visiting BCPonline.org.
Cinco de Mayo has come to mean less about its history and more about parties filled with fishbowl margaritas, music and taco platters, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The Mexican-American relationship has undoubtedly been a strained one over the centuries. Indeed, such events as endless immigration issues, the Bracero Program and the U.S.-Mexican War (and subsequent Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo where Mexico ceded 55 percent of its territory to the U.S. — present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah) mark the struggles between two countries. So, sure, there are plenty of real-life, geopolitical issues that can be discussed. And, yes, some confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence day, instead of its true meaning: the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (also known as Battle of Puebla Day). But, why not let it be a celebration of Mexican food and culture, even if it’s a bit cheesy (pun intended)? Maybe it’s good to forget the meaning and just have fun. At PorchDrinking.com, that means enjoying Mexican Lagers, demonstrated by the nine writers who recently showcased the style — enjoy!
I’m not sure it’s appropriate to say “Happy Earth Day” anymore. In the face of our rapidly warming planet, the destruction of our natural resources, and the extinction of countless species, it seems more fitting to simply say, “Remember How Much We Blew It?” and reflect fondly on how the Indian cheetah used to exist. In fact, because of this grim state of the world, Earth Day is best celebrated in two ways – taking action, and drinking a beer.
Celebrating friendships has always been extremely important, even more so after experiencing the trash fire of 2020. Galentine’s Day is a favorite holiday of mine, as it is a day where I can bake and craft and celebrate the incredible women in my life. I spend more time preparing for Galentine’s Day than I do most things, so knowing that this year will need to be postponed just equals more time to make celebrating female friendships extra special.
The North Pole goes dark for months at a time during the winter months, which also happens to be the time when the indigenous elves work their hardest. The elves, of course, serve the world’s most famous philanthropist, Santa Claus. But, with a harsh and brutal winter comes the need to kick back with friends and enjoy a good beer or two and that’s where North Pole Brewing comes into play. The brewery, and its head brewer Abigail Cornelious, have so far enjoyed resounding success.
Shmaltz & Moustache Light Up the Holidays with ‘Golden Jelly Doughnut Pastry Ale’ & ‘She’brew #RBG IPA’December 18, 2020 | Karl Kalinkewicz 1
Shmaltz Brewing Company’s favorite beer-drinking season of the year is here: Hanukkah! Shmaltz Brewing officially turns 24 this Hanukkah and celebrates with the national release of a brand new Golden Jelly Doughnut Pastry Ale brewed with 600 pounds per batch of real purees of raspberry and cherry with a generous slathering of pure vanilla. This Hanukkah Beer, a glorious homage to the beloved Sufganiyot dessert, is all new for 2020 and is now available in 12-ounce can 4-Packs, limited draft through their East Coast wholesalers, and through Brew Pipeline nationally.
The holidays are a season for revelry and joy. Few things do more to bring those qualities out than good beer, and few things express them more beautifully than song. So this year, plan your good tidings and cheer by taking inspiration from the classic carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” We may not have much need for seven actual swans a-swimming, but here are some great beers that call to mind the song’s lyrics and will have you as jolly as ol’ Saint Nick himself.
For many, the holidays are about giving back. It’s a time to support those less fortunate or to further a charitable cause. The holidays are also about connecting with your family and sharing your favorite beer. So, what if you could do both? What if you could drink an amazing craft beer and give back? Rescue + Recharge American Lager, a limited release for the holiday season, is this perfect kind of synergy — a partnership between FINNEGANS Brew Co. and Firefighters for Healing to create a great beer and support a wonderful cause.
Hard to believe it’s already the holiday season. Whatever fucked up wormhole we got sucked into at the beginning of 2020 has wiped the concept of night and day from the malfunctioning hard drive that is our collective minds. But who doesn’t love the holidays?
Forget golden rings. On the fifth year of holiday collaboration, The Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing gave to us, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout. And, it’s adorned in gold labeling, with a special glass to match. The stout is decadent, creamy, full-bodied and somehow still crushable; a real holiday treat. Yet, the real gift goes to Tinley Wish because a portion of sales aids the south-suburban Chicago organization that gives aid to needy families.
With a deep love for family and friends and food, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday (until someone brings up politics). It also means that afterwards, I can blast All I Want for Christmas Is You as much as I want and no one can say anything.
Sycamore Brewing releases their highly anticipated Christmas Cookie Winter Ale today, Friday November 20. Last year their cans sparked controversy and even prompted a visit from North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
If this year’s Halloween has you bummed, Phase Three Brewery in Lake Zurich, IL is here to cheer you up! This year to spread Halloween cheer, Phase Three is making local deliveries to limited Chicagoland zip codes in the form of Trick or Treat beer bags. This might be beer fans’ last chance to get Phase Three’s popular Bushel of Apples. Order yours before it’s gone!
The famous Chicago Fire began on October 8, 1871, in a barn owned by Catherine and Patrick O’Leary. The city went ablaze for 36 hours, destroying 18,000 buildings and leaving 100,000 Chicagoans homeless. A frightful October story, to say the least! But, Spiteful Brewing has taken that story, mixed it with some cow-blaming folklore and turned into a sweet Halloween treat: Mrs. O’Leary’s Chocolate Stout.
The tradition of Hofbräu Munchen began on September 27, 1580, when Duke Wilhelm V founded the brewhouse in Munich. A little less three hundred years later on October 12, 1810, at the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the “first” Oktoberfest was celebrated. Two years later the Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier was brewed.
In 2003, the Hofbräu concept crossed the Atlantic Ocean opening a mini-brewery and restaurant in the style of the original Hofbräuhaus in Newport, KY, bringing the German beer to America.
The global pandemic has put a damper on our oom-pah-pahs and Zicke, zacke, hoi, hois. Indeed, Oktoberfest 2020 — whether it be in Munich or anywhere else — is not quite the same. Nevertheless, the six official Oktoberfest breweries in Munich have not ceased in creating their beers. The youngest of the six, Paulaner, offers not one, but two versions: the historic Märzen that’s available year-round and the Oktoberfest Lager served in Munich during the festivities. For extra fun, search for the special one-liter can and glass mug set.
Autumn weather is approaching — even here in Georgia — but before the bottle shop shelves are covered in pumpkin Ales, there are a plethora of Oktoberfest Lagers to try! One of the best statewide options each year is brewed by Dry County Brewing Company in Kennesaw, Georgia.
German Beer Day, April 23, celebrates the enacting of the Bavarian Beer Purity Order, or Reinheitsgebot, which officially restricted beer ingredients to water, hops, and malt (the existence of yeast was not understood in 1516 but was later added). While it is impossible to say where German beer would be today without the Reinheitsgebot, it has helped make German beer synonymous with high quality and consistency across the five centuries since it was signed.
In honor of German Beer Day, we’ve put together a roundup of some of America’s best German-style breweries, who focus primarily on producing and preserving these historic German-styles.