Each year we hold an open house to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. As is her style, Colleen prepared a groaning board worthy of the day; Cookies & Cream Trifle, Lemon Cookies, Sausage and Cheese Balls, Gingerbread Bars, Olivata, Mhammara, Italian Appetizer Bites, Sesame Noodles, Hot Artichoke Dip... All home made of course.
This was a feast day after all!
Compared to all her work, I had the easier task as the beverage side of the menu fell to me. This year I selected Avery Elle's Brown Ale, Starr Hill Pale Ale, Starr Hill Northern Lights and Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Of course, anyone brave enough to venture into the basement where the kids were playing video games was free to raid the beer fridge as well. One friend opted to choose from a selection of various Hefeweizens I had put out with his preferences in mind.
The Great Lakes Christmas Ale proved quite popular. Most folks had not heard of the beer, but everyone who tried it liked it, and many went back for seconds, and thirds. The Starr Hill Pale Ale was the next most popular beer it would appear from eye-balling the empties. The guests in general were not craft beer fans per se, but folks absolutely willing to taste new things.
The only sad note of the event was the opened but not consumed Starr Hill Northern Lights I found at the end of the evening. I'm going to go with the assumption that it was simply forgotten. The well-known, and oft-stated, rule of beer at our house is no one is forced to drink a beer they don't like. If you were willing to try something new, and you don't like it, get something else. I know that attitude is anathema to some craft beer fans who think you drink a beer no matter what, else you foist a global insult to some unnamed beer entity. But beer is meant to be enjoyed. Not worshipped.
For a few hours on Sunday our home was alive with good friends, good food, and good beer. It was a super fun way to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, and it kicked the new year off in style.