I am a huge fan of Sierra Nevada. Their beers are consistently good to great, with one notable exception, giving them a Hall of Fame batting average. The Celebration Ale is one of their better beers. There is nothing especially Christmassy about this beer as there are no spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamon; it is not particularly heavy; nor is the 6.5 % ABV is all that high. In fact, the only signifiers that this is a Christmas beer is the end of the year release date, and the poinsettias, pine trees and snowbound cabin on the label. I am not complaining as this malty and hoppy IPA is one of my favorite harbingers of the Holiday Season, along with Advent Calendars, the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol, and Christmas cookies, loads and loads of Christmas cookies. My only gripe with this beer is the limited availability as I would drink this all year long. It is that good, 8.5/10.
It is the week before Thanksgiving, and there is a house in the neighborhood already festooned with Christmas lights, and they already have their tree up and decorated, which means it is fake. Fake trees are like fake boobs, wholly unnecessary, not fooling anybody, and quite frankly, an affront to Nature and Nature’s God.
Away from the implants and back to the Christmas decorations: When my master plan is finally implemented, and I am the Somewhat Benevolent Dictator of North America (with a Mild Nasty Streak)*, it shall be decreed that Christmas Decorations may not be displayed until the day after Thanksgiving, and must be taken down and packed away by Twelfth Night AKA the Feast of the Epiphany. Waivers may be applied for, but will be rarely granted barring unusual and/or exigent circumstances.
The same restrictions will apply to the playing of Christmas Music.
On the other hand, Christmas Beers may be released as early as All Soul’s Day.
Glenda the Good Witch
I recently took my nieces to see a middle school production of The Wizard of Oz. It was great, especially considering the actors were no more than twelve years old. The actors portraying the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow were especially good.
I have not seen the movie version in a good thirty years, so I was seeing this with fresh eyes. Glenda the Good Witch is not good at all. She is a Machiavellian beast who manipulates Dorothy to get total control of Oz. Let’s review the facts. Dorothy accidentally kills the Wicked Witch of the East when her house falls on the Witch. The Wicked Witch of the West wants the ruby slippers, but they end up on Dorothy’s feet. All Dorothy wants is to get home to Kansas, and with the slippers, she can do so immediately. Glenda does not tell her this. Rather, Glenda sends Dorothy on a fool’s errand to see the Wizard. The end result is that Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Wizard returns to Missouri in his hot air balloon. With her competition out of the way, Glenda tells Dorothy that all she has to do his click her heels together a few times, and the magic ruby slippers will bring her back home. Glenda is now the undisputed ruler of Oz, and holds absolute power. The Flying Monkeys are fucked, and God help those poor Munchkins.
New Belgium’s Hoptober Golden Ale is the best beer New Belgium makes. Light golden in color with a thin white head, this beer is nicely balanced with some orange peel hops and bready malts. They may use hefeweizen yeast in this, because I picked up some banana and clove as well. It is light enough in both flavor and alcohol (6% ABV) so that you can knock back a few without being knocked out yourself. I’d buy this year round, but it is only a seasonal brew. Well worth grabbing if you see any on the shelves, 7/10.
*I am a few simple steps away from Phase One of this plan. Believe me when I say that lists are being kept, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of the ledger when the Final Phase begins. Those of you who are in danger know who you are. Forewarned is forearmed.