Living A Helpful Life And Craft Beer Tasting During the Holidays

By Julia Herz

It’s obviously not all just about the beer tasting during the holidays. Most craft brewers prioritize their community citizenship and make charitable contributions a big part of their efforts during the holidays and throughout the year. This is inspiring. Consider taking two minutes with me to ponder charity, living a helpful life and craft beer.

The Helpful Life (MP3 file)

Living the Good Life and Ideas For Holiday Tasting

There is no time like the present to share that ‘special’ bottle that you’ve been saving (hopefully at cooler temperatures) when inviting people into your home or when having others over. If you’re looking for the perfect moment just know that you can create that moment at any time. I plan to finally crack open a bottle of 2002 Utopias (it was a gift from a friend four years ago). She is coming through town during the holidays and I don’t know the next time we’ll see each other. I see no better time than her visit to go for it.

Want to purchase a special bottle to really make a tasteful memory? Going to your specialty beer store or local brewery with flavorful beers in mind is a great mission. The good news is you’ll likely spend less than you would if you were purchasing wine, and most craft beer is usually half the alcohol. If you motivate to your local brewery then a growler of beer is a great to-go option. Growlers are a 64-ounce container that holds fresh draft beer and preserves it for several days. There is usually a small deposit required from the brewery, but then you can come back in the future to refill it which is a very green way of buying beer.

On types of beers for the holidays, I like the blog post from The Full Pint entitled Craft Beer Holiday Guide. It has some basic suggestions, which profile some craft beers, that are more widely available and thus these beers are easier to find. Also, Charlie Papazian posted a great How To Host a Holidays Beer Tasting Party. Right on CraftBeer.com we have a craft beer tasting mat you can print for your tasting, plus a how to host a tasting kit complete with a check list covering everything you need to do for set up of a tasting (see Host a Craft Beer Tasting at Home).

Cheers to a great holiday season, a giving one, a healthy one and living both the good life and a helpful life, too!

Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, is a homebrewer, BJCP beer judge and Certified Cicerone®. Despite her extensive experience, she will always consider herself a beer beginner on an unending journey to learn more about craft beer.

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