Yes, folks it almost upon us whether we want to start thinking about it or not. For those not watching Netflix (although look at the number of seasonal movies being added), we can’t escape the Christmas ads on TV nor the Christmas songs being blended into an in-store playlist. The Christmas lights are not only up but they’re on in the city centre. Selection boxes were being sold as far back as the start of September. Yet, we’re still only two-thirds the way though of November. There’s 10 days to go of seeing people with questionable facial hair. However, a big shoutout to Bo Bristle & it’s #GetYourBristlesOut team, donate to them here: http://ie.movember.com/team/1541521 (soon the facial hair will be back to being owned by the hipsters)
What makes the fast approaching silly season palatable is the arrival of Christmas beers on the shelves. However those produced by Irish breweries are only starting to arrive with one of my perennial favourites being Dungarvan’s Coffee & Oatmeal Stout. I’ve kept a bottle from each year it has been released. More seasonal offerings from the likes of Eight Degrees, White Gypsy and Bru Brewery.
Christmas craft imports starting hitting these shores at the beginning of November. This is natural because of shipping issues and making sure it arrives on the shelves in plenty of time to sell it. Early offerings include the return of Hoppy Christmas & Santa Paws from BrewDog, Shepherd Neame’s Christmas Ale and three from Mikkeller.
The range of 75cl bottles available in off-licences should be available in greater numbers than during the rest of the year. Apart from a few usual “Belgian” suspects, they can be hard to come by at other times. However, it’s also a time to acquire some barrel-aged stouts from the likes of O’Hara’s & the Franciscan Well. Hopefully the White Gypsy range will be available too. Also, putting in an appearance are the gift boxes that usually contain a few bottles and a glass or two.
Needless to say the range of the seasonal offerings will grow over the next week or two. On the Continent the 6 of December marks the beginning of the festive period but here the season kicks into overdrive once this month’s pay checks arrive in people’s bank accounts. Regardless there’ll be plenty of good drinking between no and new year.