Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sierra Nevada Celebration: A Winter Treat

I often lament the onset of cold weather in these Musings. Despite my aversion to cold and dreary, there are still things I look forward to this time of year. One of those bright spots is the release of Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA. The beer has been on the shelves for a few weeks, and we finally got some in the house this week. I was happy to also find our logo Celebration glasses for this year's first taste.

The deep amber ale is tipped with a long-lasting beige foam and releases aromas of citrus and pine. Rich flavors of citrus, pine and grassy hops over a biscuity malt backbone treat the tastebuds. The lingering bitterness coats the palate to complete the flavor delights.

One of my all time favorites, Sierra Nevada Celebration is a welcome pleasure in the cold season. I look forward to brightening the days with many more pints of this tasty brew.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Feast of St. Nicholas

Time to dig out a bottle, or two, of Samiclaus.

Reposted from December 6, 2016.

Today, December 6 is the Feast day of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas, was a wealthy and generous man. His generosity towards others led to him being the inspiration for the tradition of Santa Claus and gift giving. He is also one of several Patron Saints of brewing. It's not entirely clear why Nicholas was chosen as a Patron Saint of brewing. Tradition states that Nicholas was having a beer at an inn where the inn keeper had murdered three boys and packed their bodies in a barrel of brine. Nicholas was offered some salted meat with his beer. Due to a local shortage of food, Nicholas became suspicious, found the bodies, and brought the boys back to life. He died on December 6, 345 A.D. or 352 A.D.

Inspired by this feast day, is Samichlaus Bier. Samichlaus is a 14% ABV doppelbock that at one time was billed as the world's strongest beer. The name means "Santa Claus" in the Swiss-German dialect of Zürich. Brewed only on December 6 of each year, the beer is aged for almost a year and released in time for the following year's feast day. Samichlaus was originally brewed by Brauerei Hürlimann, and later by Feldschlösschen Brewery. It is currently produced by Schloss Eggenberg of Switzerland.

We have a tradition of opening an aged bottle of Samichlaus Bier on the evening of December 6. Tonight I'll dig through the boxes in the cellar and find something old to enjoy. Even if you can't get your hands on Samichlaus Bier, raise a pint to St. Nicholas today for his generosity and the traditions of giving he inspired.

Another tradition surrounding this Feast involves children leaving their shoes out the evening before, and St. Nicholas would fill them treats such as candies or fruits so the children know he had visited. It is from this tradition that we get the Christmas stocking.

Big kids sometimes get treats too.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Double Duty Range Snacks

When it comes to range snacks, I'm a fan of beef jerky. It helps keep the hunger away and gives me an energy boost. I always make sure there's some in my bag when I'm heading to a match. Lately I've started carrying a dried fruit mix with me as well.

I've realized a two-fold benefit to this snack. After consuming a handful of the snack, I noticed my hands were slightly tacky. So, not only does it provide a tasty energy boost, the fruit provides a bit of extra grip on the gun in cool weather.

And no messy white powder!