Well feck it anyway. Bah humbug. Down with that sort of thing - careful now. Phil Hardy has picked a rather simple theme, yet one that is very difficult to write about. This months session topic is A Christmas Carol.
Hmmmm what the hell do I write about?
Beer of Christmas past.
Beer has never truly been a part of Christmas in my family.
The only part beer played was when my mother made the Christmas pudding, she used bottled Guinness. I of course was allowed to taste it. I hated it of course, I was only a young boy and it was far too bitter. So I suppose that Guinness is the closest thing to a beer of Christmas past I have. In my house, Sherry, Port, wine and lambrusco made up the Christmas alcoholic drinks list. We were always allowed some lambrusco, though I was never denied some sherry. It was the only time of the year I had alcohol, even after I was old enough to legally drink.
Beer of Christmas Present.
I will take any decent beer as a Christmas present thank you very much.... However in terms of what beer I drink (if any) at Christmas these days? I don't recall to be honest. I think in recent years I have either gone to my own family for Christmas, in which case I was likely driving and therefore not drinking, or else I was in the US with my wife's family and drinking mostly wine. There was a good reason for the wine instead of beer. The beer my father in law bought was utter crap. Miller High Life light or pretty much whatever was cheapest. He did love his Whiskey though so we drank a fair bit of that as well. Also my mother in law is a big wine drinker. We have gone on many winery tours together. It also helps that Michigan has some fantastic wineries.
Beer of Christmas future.
This year, we are going to my family for Christmas and since my wife is working the next day, we will spend the night. That means I can drink so I will probably be bringing some beer along and let the rest of the family suffer the lambrusco. Actually I vaguely remember that the last time I was served a load of lambrusco I felt very ill within minutes with stomach cramps. I think it's a combination of the cold temperature and the sugar. The same thing happens if I drink too may margaritas or frozen cocktails. Beer is just safer for me as it requires a hell of a lot to have any ill effects and those are managed by keeping hydrated with water.
I'm not sure what I will drink this Christmas, but it will probably be of the winter warmer variety. Perhaps a few Fuller's vintage ale or maybe a Samichlaus, now there is an idea. There is no better beer for Christmas day.
For now, why not enjoy one of the better Christmas ads on TV, topped only by the Barry's tea Christmas ad on radio and the Coca Cola "Holidays are coming" ad.
Merry Christmas and here is hoping for an unseasonably warm and if needs be, rainy Christmas. We had our white Christmas last year and I would rather not repeat the experience in Ireland, though every Christmas in Michigan was of course white, but they can handle the snow over there. Ireland can't.
I will leave you with this. Phil asked the question: Was Scrooge perhaps a beer geek? I have no reason to believe that's so. However Charles Dickens, in one of his books called The Old Curiosity Shop does write:
"Did you ever taste beer?" "I had a sip of it once," said the small servant. "Here's a state of things!" cried Mr Swiveller, raising his eyes to the ceiling. "She never tasted it — it can't be tasted in a sip!"