Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Plans for the big day, what will you be drinking?

It's almost here folk's, the big Christmas day bottled beer session. But here's the question. Is it just me or does anyone else ever plan the exact beers to be opened Christmas day? A few years back I used to plan almost the entire day's drinking plan starting with the Christmas dinner appetiser at 11am then what beers I would drink at approximately what time with what dish. I had the sequence of bottles lined up in the garage in the exact order to drink them weeks before. Has anyone else ever done this?

Mind you I learned quickly that if I wanted to survive past eight thirty at night without falling asleep in front of the TV I needed to apply some restraint to the lineup. You see the thing about Christmas day, after your breakfast beer, appetiser before dinner beer, beer for the main, beer for dessert, beer for after dinner, 3-4 afternoon session beers, late afternoon beer, evening meal appetiser beer, evening meal pairing beer, evening meal dessert beer, after dinner beer, winding down for the night beer, winding down for the night beer 2... After that it all gets a bit blurred.

So having so many special beers within the time frame of one day, the 'special' factor of each beer gets a bit degraded and you end up a bit wankered. For this reason this year, like last year I'm keeping the range minimalistic but ultra prestige (tho I will probably still end up asleep by 9 or 10pm) and sticking by a few rules.

The three rules of a Christmas bottles beer session.

Rule 1: Cut down on random session beers, entered just to keep the session going. They just get in the way, add to the total alcohol consumed and are just not worth it.

Rule 2: Pair each dish of the big day carefully with specific beers. This year I'm omitting the Christmas dessert pairing. Even tho 2008 I remember a chocolate pudding pairing beautifully with a Meantime Coffee Porter, I think you can get overly full very easily at this stage.

Rule 3: Don't plan too much. keep things more open and be a bit more spontaneous. Things can be more fun if you change the order a bit last minute or open beer number five an hour late or half an hour earlier than planned.

With rule three I've found that most folk I ask about this stuff have no plans whatsoever for the entire days drinking. And I agree that an element of spontaneity makes things more interesting, like having a section of the afternoon that's completely open or having a series of three beers to be opened in no particular order. Sharing the stuff round is also fun, it is Christmas after all. This year I have an awesome lineup, possibly my best ever. So how are you ordering your day of awesome festive beer drinking?


Ghost Drinker said...

Just 1, - a magnum of Mikkeller imperial porter! should be able to nurse that for a few hours ;)

arn said...

whilst the missus and her mother have champagne with the brunch i'm getting a M&S Belgium cherry beer to start the day with. Otherwise a Taddy porter, possibly an orval, definatly the rochefort 8.

Rob said...

Smoked salmon and scrambled egg with Goose Island Matilda is probobly how it's starting for me.