I purposely avoided putting Christmas in the subject line as I didn’t want to discourage any of you already suffering from Christmas fatigue from opening this email. So lets just say that this email is all about December.
As always there are a few changes to our opening hours for the month of December, instead of overloading you with information at this stage here are the important bits you need to know now:
We are open the next two Sundays 11am-4pm and Sunday the 23rd 10am-5pm. Don’t think it is just for gift shopping, we will have a range of draught beers as normal so you can pick up a cheeky couple of pints for Sunday evening.
From Monday the 17th we will be opening at 10am each day right up until Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve we will be open 10am-4pm.
Next week I will detail our hours from Christmas through to the New Year.
Christmas Draught Beer Pre-Order
Get the most important part of Christmas day sorted (well one of the important parts) and order your Christmas draught beer now. We have four beers available for you to choose from, a couple of perennial favourites and two new ones.
Dark Star Hophead 3.8% Sessionable Pale Ale
Arbor Mosaic Pale 4% Floral & Tropical Pale Ale
Surrey Hills Shere Drop 4.2% Classic Best Bitter
Saltaire White Christmas 4.8% Festive Citrus Pale Ale
Sizes available on pre-order are 9 pint, 18 pint and 36 pint. Forms are available in the shop or if you can’t make it in send us an email and we will send you a copy of the form to complete.
To make gift buying easier we have put together the following ready to go gift packs:
Local Ale 3 Pack
Local Ale 6 Pack
Christmas Beer 3 Pack
Cider 3 Pack
Can 6 Pack
Alternatively feel free to select beers yourself and we will happily box them up in a gift pack.
If I could offer one piece of advice this week it is that if you think you would like a Christmas themed beer or two for the big day then buy them now. Sadly every year we have disappointed customers who visit us in the days just before Christmas and the beer they saw earlier in the month has sold out. It is a fine line for Ruth and I ordering the Christmas beers, sure we don’t want to run out too early but we also don’t want to be left with a lot of Christmas stock which no-one wants to know about come January. As always we are happy to reserve beer for you, just let us know.
December is big bottle time and we love them, whether we are sharing at the dinner table or giving as a gift. There is something about a big bottle that just feels more special then having two 330ml bottles of the same beer. Currently in stock we have Saisons from Kernel, Six Degrees North and Cloudwater. With their tart edge and slight funk these are great cleansers if Christmas eating has weighed you down a bit, or try them with the cheeseboard. At the other end of the spectrum is the big, heavy stouts from Burning Sky, Evil Twin and Hitachino Nest that are perfect as a sipper after a long day.
Beer from my old hometown, the return of a shop favourite brewery and a Christmas favourite.
ParrotDog Bitterbitch IPA 5.8%
All the way from Wellington, New Zealand, this beer sure did cause some controversy when first released, no prizes for guessing why. What isn’t controversial though is how good this beer is, better actually than I remember it. Top tropical notes from lovely Kiwi hops coupled with a strident bitterness courtesy of an unnamed English hop. All that bitterness is balanced out by a sweet edge from the malt, this is a seriously good beer.
Deya Beer+Art Series 2018 05 IPA 6%
It has been a long time since we have stocked any Deya, problems with their canning line means it has been hard recently to get in any. They are back with a bang though with a beer from the tasting event I wrote about last week. It is hazy, juicy and dank and absolutely loaded with Simcoe so you get a bit of pine along with big mango and citrus fruit notes.
St Bernardus Christmas Ale 10%
St Bernardus has long been one of my favourite breweries and their Christmas Ale continues the good form. Pouring a deep brown with a fluffy head you are greeted with a spicy, rich aroma with a sip delivering warmth, a little sweetness and a touch of fruity esters from the yeast. Whatever you do don’t chill it too much, 10-12 degrees is the perfect temperature, serve it colder and you won’t get the full experience. By the way apparently 1 in every 1000 labels of St Bernardus beer the Monk is winking, sadly I am yet to find one.
Ruth and Mike