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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