Thursday, November 10, 2005

Brewing Christmas

I've never really been much of a beer person. In fact, I distinctly recall my reaction to the first sip of beer I ever had - something along the lines of "this is what I've been missing out on?" or that scene from Can't Hardly Wait ("Don't drink the beer! The beer is bad!"). Of course, partially because I'm not very discerning in my drink selections and partially because I tend to prefer to be accomodating even if it means sacrificing my preferences, I've consumed a fair amount of beer in my life. I guess I always thought that secretly all men sort of cringe at those girls who claim that they "don't drink beer." (Of course, my brother married one of those girls, so maybe I need to revise that idea. Come to think of it, that was probably a Dartmouth frat boy thing.) At any rate, it always just seemed a lot easier to go with the flow and drink whatever everyone else was drinking. I mean, it's one thing to not choose beer if you have a choice, but blanket statements excluding potential sources of fun? How silly. This doesn't mean that I've never enjoyed beer, just that if it weren't for the alcohol or the social situations in which it is served I probably wouldn't choose it.

Denmark, however, was a place that could really make you like beer. For one thing, everyone drank beer (even the beautiful blonds!) and then there were the Christmas beers. Julebryg!!! Imagine a beer with a slightly higher alcohol % and a hint of cinnamon and spice that warms you up like Christmas. Now imagine sipping that beer in a magical European city decorated to look like the North Pole, bustling with crowds of Christmas tourists and beautiful people. Annually, on one of the first Fridays in November, the Danish brewing companies release their seasonal Christmas beers. The bars around Copenhagen break out the fake-snow machines and boughs of evergreen for the release parties and teenagers and cosmopolitan Danes alike roam the streets of Copenhagen having a free glass of julebryg at the various bars and clubs. My friends and I quickly established our favorites from the available variety... Tuborg's Julebryg had my vote. It's been about a year and half since I last drank a julebryg so I can't really remember what exactly I liked about it. Maybe it was the fact that they sell it in oh-so-portable-perfect-for-overnight-European-train-ride-sized 3 liter plastic bottles. Or maybe it was that just when the darkness of winter was settling in, the release of these beers in early November marked the beginning of the Christmas wonderland aura. I used to cringe when people broke out the Christmas music right after Thanksgiving, but now around this time in November I start thinking it might at least be time for some Christmas beer.

Glædelig jul og godt Tub'år!


At 12:34 PM, February 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I wait for the results of an experiment I decided to read all your blog entries that I have missed lately. This one made me warm inside and oh so nostalgic for Denmark. The beer release party was so much fun and the 'train party' with the 3L was ooc.
Miss you (and our crazy times in Denmark and Dartmouth!).


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