Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have Yourself A Beery Beery Christmas...

Hello readers of the random rambling regurgitations of this here beer blogger!  A toast to you this fine Christmas Morning (OK afternoon, but go with it...) as we spend time with loved ones and family (hopefully not mutually exclusive) and most importantly open many carefully wrapped presents!

I have found that over the last several years I have been getting more and more beer related Christmas gifts.  This is not a bad thing at all!  Some I have asked for, like the new IPA book by Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing, and the digital temperature controller for improving my homebrew fermentation.  Others are truly surprises and ones that I know I'll love.  Don't get me wrong, I love getting other books and Blue Rays, chocolates and video games.  But this is a beer blog, so I'm focusing on liquid presents here.  My wife has learned to trick me by having me unwrap large clothing boxes, usually with real and necessary clothing inside, but I often I find a beer or some other prize nestled within.

This year I must have been a very good boy.  First off, several friends of mine dropped off beer gifts for me at the JAB holiday party.  These were unexpected but greatly appreciated and it makes me feel great that my friends care enough to do this.  And a bit guilty for not furnishing gifts for them!  I'll make it up to you by cracking some awesome beers next meeting guys!  I really love my Ommegang tap handle, and am looking forward to tasting the beers from the Tim Roets Holiday Homebrew Sampler.  I even received several beers and a Four Firkins gift card at work this year.

My wife really outdid herself this year on the present front.  We always spoil each other greatly at Christmas and end up in some sort of Holiday Gift Cold War, each of us wanting to make sure we bought the other an equal or greater amount of cool presents.  We might have a problem.  In my stocking this morning I found a small box with a folded piece of paper within it.  Best stocking stuffer ever!  This was a printed out add for a gift that was too big to wrap and fit under the tree.  This was a vertical tasting sampler for Rogue Brewery's Old Crustacean Barleywine (Old Crusty for short.)  Ranging from small 7 oz bottles to 12 oz to one ceramic 750 ML bottle, this included beers from 1998, 2002, 2004, 2010, and 2011.  I am greatly looking forward to doing this tasting and sharing with friends.  With the multiple bottles I can do one this year and maybe save some for another tasting in a year or two.  Based on tasting some of the old versions at Dave's barleywine tasting party a few years ago, I think this is going to be fun!  Apparently you can order this and other vintage beers directly from Rogue, but make sure you have someone over 21 to receive shipment.

I also found bottles of Rogue Voodoo Donut Banana, Peanut Butter and Chocolate beer. Yes I will crack one next JAB meeting so show up if you want to try it!  A sour sampler from Belgium including Monk's Red, Petrus Bruin and Petrus Pale ale looks fun, with packaging aimed at retro-loving hipsters.  And I'll probably try the Boom Island Yule beer tonight.  Yay beers!

Not to be only on the recieving side of things I made sure to get Sj some cool and unusual drinkable items as well:  A brett infused hard cider from Canada, some Honeycrisp cider from Wisconsin, and the Iceman eised cider from Angry Orchard.  I also managed to find a vintage 2008 bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout for Sj's stocking.

I've got some serious drinking to do, or maybe I have to build an annex to the house for beer cellaring....Hmmmm....

To all of you this Christmas, I hope you have had a great year and are ready for another. Raise a glass of something tasty tonight and enjoy all that you have in life.  I know that's what I'll be doing this evening!

Freya loves Christmas!  

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