This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

State #24: Ohio

Beer: Christmas Ale

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio

ABV: 7.5%

Merry Christmas to me!
When you’re thirty, you’re finally old enough to ask for beer for Christmas without worrying that your family will think you have a problem. I wouldn’t have been comfortable doing it in my early twenties, especially since I was mostly drinking Keystone Light at the time. Thirty ‘Stones would have made for a rather unceremonious gift, and the sheer volume of beer involved would have been a bit too crass for Christmas.

Thanks to the dozens of places I saw this on the internet in the past month (and credit to these folks).
This year, however, I asked for beer, and beer I got. My wife got me a growler of the month club membership from ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, the brilliant new venture of my good friends Grant and Marta. I get a t-shirt, two growlers every month for a year, and a growler koozie, in addition to the prestige of being the very first member (Hey you! You should be the second!).

From Ramona, California, but by way of Ohio (and Poland). Try it!
Also, my sister and brother-in-law picked me up a six pack—a much less obscene volume!—of Christmas Ale from Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewing Company. For some reason I can’t find beer from Ohio in San Diego or in Connecticut, but they acquired some in New Jersey, and I’m grateful for their efforts. (Grant is also from Ohio, incidentally, but he makes his beer in California, so ChuckAlek’s stuff would not have counted).

When I think of the Great Lakes, I think of Michigan. And then Wisconsin. And then probably Ontario. And then New York. And I guess Ohio, too. (To be fair, the brewery IS only about a mile from Lake Erie).
Christmas Day in my family's house has turned into a lazy man’s dream (translation: my dream). We sit around petting the dogs, looking at the fireplace, watching my niece play with her toys, drinking dark beer, playing Scrabble, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and eating Chinese food (I am a quarter Jewish after all, not too shabby). The Christmas Ale made a nice contribution to the afternoon. It was a bit spicy, with the usual winter ale spices, but also sweet, due to the inclusion of honey in the brew tank. I normally don’t enjoy sweet beers, but honey sweetness somehow is much more enjoyable to me than the malty sweetness of certain beers, like brown ales. Regardless, the high flavor content made for a nice early afternoon sipping beer, and made my Christmas (and my cheeks) merry and bright.

Now somebody just needs to buy me this for Hanukkah next year! (From here).

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