Session #58: A Christmas Carol

Detail from John Leech's 1843 illustration for a Christmas Carol.
A detail from one of John Leech's 1843 illustrations for a Christmas Carol.

This month’s session is hosted by Phil Hardy of Twitter fame (@Filrd) who blogs at Beersay.

“There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavor, size, and cheapness were the themes of universal admiration.”

People often misunderstand these lines from A Christmas Carol, and they’ve been misused a million times to accompany images of plump roasted birds.

In fact, at this point in the book, Cratchit’s impoverished family are sitting down to a miserable Christmas meal, the centrepiece of which is a scrawny goose that they’re making the most of. The point is that Cratchit is a good man who tries to find the best in things, including Ebenezer Scrooge, and so has the true Christmas spirit in his heart, regardless of his poverty.

With that in mind, we were thinking about how important it can be to put beer snobbery to one side at Christmas.

If your eight year-old niece buys you a ‘Beers of the World’ selection pack from BHS, chill down those 330ml bottles of Fosters and San Miguel and bloody enjoy them. It’s a thoughtful gift.

If your Uncle Bert offers you a bottle of Greene King IPA in a clear bottle, take it with gratitude and show how much you appreciate it, because that’s someone reaching out, asking you to share a moment of good cheer, in the bleak midwinter.

If your Dad takes you to a pub for a swift one on Christmas Day and all they have is keg John Smith’s, savour every drop: you’re with your Dad in a pub on Christmas Day, you lucky devil.

Just enjoy the Christmas present and maybe next year you’ll get a bigger goose.

14 thoughts on “Session #58: A Christmas Carol”

  1. Its a great sentiment but I don’t believe in drinking for the sake of it, if there’s not something I want I’ll go without

  2. And there’s your Uncle Bert, tear in his eye, holding out that bottle to you, his hand shaking with emotion… you’re cold, Steve. Cold.

  3. unlce bert died when he tasted something hoppy…

    I’ve got a selection of beer in the garage I plan to share around so all is well :)

  4. Excellent point. I think it’s important to put one’s snobbery aside throughout the year and not just at Christmas. Accept that offer of pedestrian or even wretched beer any time of year. Then, you offer the next round. We shouldn’t allow our pretensions to get in the way of relationships.

    Happy holidays!

  5. absolutely. Despite my tales from the past on my post, I can’t think of anything I’d want to do less than drink a caseload of 11% aged imperial cranberry porter IPA’s or some such creations on xmas day. It’s about beer – any beer – food, family or friends and cartoons on the tv.

  6. Spot on there, most people I know have when I describe as mainstream beers in the house, but when in rome, do as they do, its a beer in good company, appreciate the offer and consume with manners and politeness. If someone buys you a beer in the pub and its not what you would regularly drink, then take it and thank them.

  7. Well put, I’ll drink anything offered on Christmas day, I rarely get out for a Christmas lunch pint these days and I miss it terribly. The pint with my brothers and Grandad, the cigar offered by the pub landlord (even though I don’t smoke) the bottles of Stella my brother insists he’s “got in for me”, it’s all in the spirit.

    Good times

    Thanks for the post guys

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