Christmas Bevs: The Beer Edition | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Monday, 7 December 2020

Christmas Bevs: The Beer Edition

So advent is now upon us and we thought we'd share a few of the liquid refreshments we're planning to imbibe over the festive period.

In previous years we've stocked up with extra special "Christmas Day beers", imagining a December 25th evening where we'll carefully select a big and boozy imperial stout and maybe a decadent barley wine, gaze at them with reverence and sup delicately, savouring the complex flavours found within and appreciating every sip. Then the big day arrives and we spend the day quaffing a Bucks Fizz with breakfast, a pint in the pub at lunch time (already had a cry that this isn't an option this year), couple of lagers whilst cooking, wines chosen to pair with our meal (more on that to come) and maybe a G&T before bed, far too full of meat and cheese to even consider cracking out the impy stout. Those beers sat forlornly in our cellar for many a moon, until lockdown hit and we employed a "Christmas Day Thursday" mentality, where more time at home meant the moments of enjoyment and quiet contemplation the beers deserved could be found. 

Anyway, what we've learnt is that if we want a nice beer, it doesn't necessarily need a special occasion to be saved for. But also that something a little more restrained is more often than not what we want to drink while we're feeling festive. And with the pubs still closed here in South Yorkshire, popping out for a refreshing pint or two is very sadly not an option. So here are a few of our beery choices that we're looking forward to enjoying at home over the next few weeks...

Burning Sky - probably our brewery of the year, Burning Sky seem to absolutely nail every beery style they turn their hands to, with relentless consistency of excellence. We've recently bought ourselves a box direct from the brewery, covering imperial stouts to IPAs and fruit beers. But at the heart of it, what we feel they truly excel at is mixed fermentation and saison brewing. We're really looking forward to trying the two shown below in particular - a 3.5% dry-hopped table saison, and the Biere Cerise, which is an 18 month aged brown ale base beer aged on whole sour cherries, at a nice and accessible 6.7% perfect for sharing.

Gluhkriek - mulled things aren't for everyone but we bloody love them, and they're something we only ever drink around Christmas so they're guaranteed to fill us with fuzzy festive feels. Last year we discovered Liefman's Gluhkriek (6.0% ABV), a classic Belgian cherry beer which is recommended served warm, and without meaning to be over-dramatic it may just have changed our lives. So for the second year in a row this is our "putting up the Christmas tree" beer, sourced from York's Trembling Madness (one of our favourite places to visit, although due to current restrictions we stayed at home and purchased online this year). We even have a choice of his 'n' hers Santa mugs or those naff boots you get at Christmas markets to drink it out of. Lovely.

Christmas Crispies - we're big fans of a classic continental lager here, especially of the German variety. So imagine our delight when popping into one of our favourite local beer shops, Archer Road Beer Stop, to discover three different Christmas themed Festbiers, from Huppendorfer, Grief-Brau and Tucher - a different selection to the Oktoberfest beers we worked our way through a couple of months ago which were all from the more oft-seen brands such as Hacker Pschorr and Augustiner. Often remarkable in their sheer un-remarkableness, we have never had a bad word to say about these absolutely solid and spot on beers - crisp and refreshing, with just enough sweetness - our favourite all-rounders when you just want something to satisfy and quench the thirst. Oh, plus bonus cat for you to enjoy.

Barley Wine - well you didn't expect us to pick everything of a restrained nature, surely?! We got hold of a bottle of Lost In Leith from Edinburgh's Campervan Brewery in the autumn and have been keeping it safe ready for the festive period. Lost In Leith is also the name of Campervan's bar, which has a barrel store including three foeders (it's very firmly on our to-visit list when we're allowed to get up to such shenanigans again). This particular beer was aged in a combination of two different bourbon barrels, which we expect to have boosted all those delicious rich caramel and fruity notes we look for in a barley wine. We've been really impressed by the beers we've tried from Campervan before so we're really excited to get stuck into this one. 

 

What beers will you be drinking in the run up to Christmas this year? Let us know any gems you've found - and please as far as you are able, support our independent breweries, pubs and bottle shops!

Cheers,

Laura & Jim

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