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Holiday

‘Twas the 12 Beers of Christmas: Santa Weighs In

December 24, 2016 |

Sitting around a campfire earlier this week, some friends and I came up with the ultimate New Jersey beer to drink on Christmas Eve. Truth be told, I was going to write about Carton’s Pumpkin Cream Ale. It’s a true pumpkin beer with pumpkin meat in the mash, orange oil, pink peppercorns and candied ginger that has enough spice in it smack the pie out of your grandma’s hands.

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The Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time | Round 4

December 23, 2016 |

Round 3 of the battle for Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time saw the closest margin of victory yet – Home Alone took down Elf with less than a 1% margin. This brings us to the final 2 movies competing for the prize. They’re Christmas classics. They’re dearly beloved. And as I mentioned in the last round, they are back-to-back John Hughes masterpieces. Christmas Vacation, released in 1989, was written by John Hughes. Home Alone, released in 1990, was also written by John Hughes. His legacy is safe in the world of PorchDrinking; we’ve all decided that he wrote the two best Christmas movies ever.

But only one can win.

(More: Catch up on all the action from Round 1, Round 2 & Round 3)

So now it’s down to TWO movies. Which will win in this battle for the title of the Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time?

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12 Beers of Christmas | Cellarmaker Wreather Madness

December 23, 2016 |

Cover photo by Simon Offord

ABV: 7.6% | IBU: 35

Dankota Fanning, Barbarian Steissand and Wicked Juicy are a few of the names of beers made by one of the best breweries in the Bay Area: Cellarmaker Brewing Company. Conveniently located in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood of San Francisco, anytime you find yourself nearby is a great time to enjoy some of the finest brews around. Their motto is “Beer Without Limits” and they live by the creed that they are a “neighborhood brewery making fresh beer for the Bay Area. Hoppy, dark, Belgian, barrel aged, etc. We enjoy making a wide variety of brews.” Their attention to detail and expertise at their craft really shows through their beer.

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Holiday Beer Cocktails

December 22, 2016 |

It’s about that time everyone. You know what I’m talking about. It’s about that time where you’re going to be snuggled up close and personal with your family for an extended amount of time. And whether you love em’ or could live without em’, a tall, stiff drink does a body (and peace of mind) good! When a cold glass of beer won’t scratch that ugly sweater party itch, enter the beer cocktail as a very important part of your Holiday survival guide!

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12 Beers of Christmas | Fremont Brewing Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb

December 22, 2016 |

ABV: 14.0% | IBU: 65

Fremont Brewing delivers another liquid giant to liven up another holiday season. Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb is the awesomely adjunct-ed, cooler and even more popular older cousin of Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Ale, Fremont’s flagship bourbon barrel aged beer. It can be found lounging around the MoonTower, slicking back it’s long golden waxy locks, and murmuring phrases like: “Alright, alright, alright.”
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Ultimate 6er | Holiday Cheer-ity

December 21, 2016 |

The Craft Beer industry is emblematic of the Holiday Season maxim — community, caring and sharing. The examples of this community-focused philosophy that bind craft brewers together can be witness almost any day throughout the year. Here are six recent examples of craft breweries bringing good tidings of joy to thy neighbor by donating time, money, and resources during this Holiday Season.

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12 Beers of Christmas | Great Lakes Brewing Company | Christmas Ale

December 21, 2016 |

ABV: 7.5% | IBU: 30

My friends who know me well know that I love food and I love to cook. From trying different restaurants or expanding my tastes with different cuisines to just staying in and making something for dinner, I’ve always had a knack for knowing my way in the kitchen. Cooking has been something I’ve loved to do for a long time, to the point where I considered going to culinary school after undergrad. I owe a lot of what I know and what I love about cooking to one person: my mom.

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The Best Gifts for Beer Lovers This Holiday

December 20, 2016 |

The last-minute gifting countdown has begun! Forget someone on your list? Still looking for that epic, thoughtful item? We’ve got a short-list of the best gift ideas for your craft beer loving recipients this year, from small and subtle to pin-pointed perfection!

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The Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time | Round 3

December 20, 2016 |

PorchDrinking’s tournament to determine the greatest Christmas movie of all time has gotten brutal. In Round 2, we saw four more beloved movies fall out of contention for the title. A moment of silence for the Grinch, Rudolph, Scrooged, and It’s a Wonderful Life. The poor Grinch lost by only two votes. So get involved in Round 3 below – your vote could make the difference!

(More: Catch up on all the action from Round 1 and Round 2)

Round 3 begins now. Which two movies will move on to compete in the finals to become the greatest Christmas movie ever?

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12 Beers of Christmas | Live Oak Brewing Co. | Primus

December 20, 2016 |

ABV: 8.0% | IBU: 10

You have probably heard the old adage, “if you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait thirty minutes”. Quite true, it’s more than typical for temperatures to rise and fall over thirty degrees in a matter of hours; therefore, Christmas in Texas can mean flip flops or fur lined boots. However, one thing that is consistent year to year is the release of one of my all time favorite seasonal releases Primus by Live Oak Brewing Company.

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12 Beers of Christmas | Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper

December 19, 2016 |

ABV: 10.5%

When the weather outside gets frightful, a nice big imperial stout can be very delightful, but you should be sure that you’ve got no place to go. For me, one of my favorite big imperial stouts during the holiday season is Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper. Like sweet baby Jesus, Santa’s Little Helper is pure and good in every way. The beer doesn’t have any “holiday seasoning” in it, which is a nice break after pumpkin beer season to avoid nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc.

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12 Beers of Christmas | Baderbräu Christmas Bliss Baltic Porter

December 16, 2016 |

French hens, ladies dancing, swans swimming and, of course, a porter in a beer tree. These are necessary components for a successful 12 days of Christmas. For this writer, the beer found under the tree is Baderbräu Christmas Bliss Baltic Porter with vanilla and orange peel. Because, in Chicago, Jack Frost does more than nip our noses, it darn near renders them red enough to qualify us to guide Santa’s sleigh. Hence, any porter good enough for those traversing the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea is good enough for us living on the ice-covered shores of Lake Michigan.

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12 Beers of Christmas | Vision Quest Brewery | The Magical Liopleurodon

December 15, 2016 |

7.0% ABV

Who doesn’t love a good holiday beer?! For myself specifically, I look for something either reminiscent of hot cocoa or coffee this time of the year. I want a drink that makes me feel like I could hold it close, like a recently opened present, while sitting in front of the fire surrounded by loved ones, (who are obviously all in matching pajamas) on Christmas morning. Yes, my holiday beer must be a brew with cozy flavors I can sip slowly, while watching my younger sister Jamie unwrap the EXACT Furby that I wanted (no, wait, sorry that was in 1998).

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Ultimate 6er | Christmas Cookie & Beer Pairings

December 14, 2016 |

It’s that time of year again for Christmas Cookie and Beer Pairings! Our first edition of this pairing theme kicked off last year as you may remember, and I was very excited to bring it back for a second time this year. I was torn between sticking to all American brews for this year’s edition or if I should add some of those fantastic Belgian Christmas Ales in the mix, but then decided that this year’s version should be strictly All-American. There were definitely some great options for pairing. Also, just like last year, I did some homemade cookies and some store-bought for those of you that like to bake and for those of you that would prefer not to. Now let’s get on to the goods!

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12 Days of Christmas | Anchor Brewing | Christmas Ale

December 14, 2016 |

ABV 6.5%

Welcome to the time of year when families gather to spend quality time in the same room staring at their phones. With all kidding aside, sometimes it is nice to take a step back to reflect on the good old holiday traditions of the past, with a good old Christmas Ale.

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The Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time | Round 2

December 13, 2016 |

Round 1 of our Christmas movie tournament had some surprises. We saw some real blow-outs – Home Alone crushed its sequel, and Christmas Vacation trounced The Santa Clause. There were also some real nail-biters: Scrooged narrowly got past the Muppets, and Elf beat A Christmas Story by a single vote. (Jill Stein is raising funds to order a recount of that one).

(More: See How Close Round 1 Actually Was!)

Round 2 begins now, with four match-ups between some of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. But there can only be one winner in this battle. Review the battles below – every vote counts!

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BrewLights 2016 | 12 Samples of Christmas Beer

December 7, 2016 |

What better way to get acquainted with Holiday beer than a December beer festival offering local, national and imported selections? For instance, BrewLights 2016 — a craft beer festival held amidst Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal family, adorned by a plethora of holiday lights and accompanied by plenty of holiday tunes. The scene at BrewLights made it tough not to get into the holiday spirit. Throw in a little nip in the air and the smell of Christmas beer, and it’s as if Santa himself has arranged the party. As you shop this year, it may be difficult to know what holiday-seasonal beers to purchase, so let’s go through the 12 beer samples of Christmas provided at BrewLights 2016.

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The Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time | Round 1

December 5, 2016 |

Are you counting down the days until Christmas? Are you decking the halls with boughs of holly and fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-ing? If your holiday traditions include watching Christmas movies… you may find yourself questioning where to start. There are dozens of great Christmas movies (and thousands of mediocre ones). And it’s hard to say which is the best.

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Moody Tongue Brewing Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner Returns December 2

December 1, 2016 |

Moody Tongue Brewing in Chicago, the brainchild of Jared Rouben, a graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America and Seibel, recently opened its new, cozy taproom on the city’s west side. With that opening, Moody can now provide its coveted Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner on draft – a sinful holiday beer treat for either the naughty or nice this year.
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PorchDrinking Playlist | Christmas Mix-teen for Twenty Sixteen

November 29, 2016 |

Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Every year my wife spends days combing through new Christmas music, and revisiting classic versions and compiles a new seasonal mix of music. Every year she spends even more time trying to come up … Read More