Greetings again readers and a seasons greetings to all with only 12 days to go till the big day. Tragically it is sad to say that my 'operation winter beaver' mentioned in a previous post has had to be restricted due to financial problems. Although some good winter warmers were found most have now been consumed, and as a backup plan I have asked for a range of exciting seasonal beers from my good lady for Christmas. This should ensure that Christmas day should bring a mighty all day session of ale similar to last years December 25th session which started at 11:15am with the Christmas dinner appetiser beer.
From memory Christmas dinner was matched with Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome Ale, a classic winter beer. Following this I would have normally matched Christmas pudding to the obvious Youngs Christmas Pudding ale but due to its unavailability went for a more chocolate based dissert matched with Meantime Coffee porter (this was a very memorable experience) . Feeling rather full a very large bottle of Chimay Grand reserve saw me through most of the afternoon before a range of medium to heavyweight beers filled the evening.
This year this list is probably alittle different but should still be good. But dispite this quite a few things have changed since last year. For example the recent news that Carlsberg-Tetley is closing its Leeds site (also its original site I belive), more evidence of the bigger brewers struggling. Sources say craft brewers are surviving well, and this is reflected at my work where demand is heavy at the Daleside brewery over the winter season. Another positve factor is that the the world hop shortage situation seems to have eased off. Interestingly from what I've heard the world hop shortage was not just due to crop shortages, but was worsened by a loss of interest by hop growers (since prior to the shortage the price of hops was very low).