Beer Me: December 15, 2015 – December 21, 2015
At the fourth annual Denver Beer Festivus this past Sunday, the breadth of ugly holiday sweaters was quite impressive. They ranged from sports team fan gear to zip-up vest-like abominations. Over the course of the next two weeks, there is no shortage of occasions to don your holiday worst with several breweries throwing “ugly sweater” events.
But what about the history of this knitted accoutrement? While you can now purchase ugly sweaters at several hip retailers, they were in fact worn in earnest in the mid-1980s and were quite popular according to Stephanie Solomon, fashion director at Bloomingdale’s. Those once en vogue adornments are now the ones feverishly hunted at thrift stores across the country.
According to three guys who decided there needed to be an entire book devoted to the subject, we can “thank” Canada for the trend of ugly sweaters as a party theme, tracing the tradition all the way back to 2001. They cite the creation of UglyChristmasSweaterParty.com as really jumpstarting the phenomenon. In 2008, it was included in the oeuvre of Stuff White People Like, taking its rightful place between political prisoners and sea salt.
Now you know the rich history of the ugly Christmas sweater or “jumper” as it’s known across the pond. If the holiday sweater is too gauche for your tastes, then I suggest going with the slim-fit snowman suit and tie available at Macy’s for $99.99.
Prepare the sleigh! Time for events…
One of my favorite beers at this year’s GABF was the 5-Year Anniversary Persimmon Sour from Bayou Teche Brewery out of Louisiana. It smelled like stinky cheese inside a heavily used sweat sock…it was delicious. That led me down a persimmon wormhole. Thankfully, Sprouts’ persimmon game was on point this fall. Anyway, swing by Black Shirt for a much less barnyardy persimmon brew: a winter IPA with persimmons, galangal root, and Szechuan peppercorns #exotic
Need some warm fuzzies for the holidays? Ratio Beerworks has teamed up with ManCraft Market to help out a vendor who is helping others. They’ll be selling Orville “Mark” Skattum’s, an 86-year-old vet’s, knitted hats for a great cause this coming Thursday (while supplies last). Not only do all the proceeds go to LightBridge International, but guests will also get $2 off their beer with any hat purchase. Read more about Orville’s Bucket here.
Former Future is pairing their beer with Christmas-themed offerings from Carbon Beverage Cafe & Habit Doughnuts and awarding a gift basket worth over $100 to the best ugliest sweater. The brewery is also collecting coats for Lutheran Family Services. One donated coat gets you a free pint of beer. $22 for four beers + paired doughnuts.
Don’t burn that ugly Christmas sweater quite yet. Instead, grab your sticks or board and head to Platt Park Brewing. $15 gets you a pint, an edge, and a wax.
For the second year, Trve will auction off ugly holiday sweaters, featuring various local businesses. This year’s lineup includes IndyInk, Hi-Dive, Laws Whiskey House, Think Tank Tattoo, Illegal Pete’s, and Sweet Action Ice Cream. Proceeds benefit Urban Peak, a non-profit that serves youth experiencing homelessness. Be sure to sample the newly released Cursed, a mixed culture sour pale ale.
Bring five cans of soup (or donate $10) to 12Degree in Louisville and get a free pint of Far-Outliner, a special small-batch dry-hopped version of their Belgian IPA, only available via donation. The brewery will also be serving their housemade beer cheese soup and there will be live music.
Six holiday beers will be tapped by Saint Patrick, including an Irish Winter Lager, Cranberry Snowflake, Malibu Dragon, Bayou Sunset, and Citruscello. Full descriptions of the beer are available here.
Still thirsty? Use this handy map of Colorado breweries and other drinking establishments to plan your next adventure. Cheers.
Matt Sandy, a self-proclaimed “Beer Gadabout,” has been enjoying beer since he was of legal drinking age. Having been born across the pond where “legal drinking age” is a relative term, let’s just say he washed down a shandy or two while still in short pants. He moved to Denver in 2007 and immediately took up residency at the Great Divide taproom. Since then, he’s enjoyed exploring all of the craft corners of this great town and in this column will highlight weekly beer-related events that you should consider drinking in.