As I cruise on into this holiday season I feel confident with my full kegs. No nagging worry of what to serve in the back of my head as I hear that knock on my door. Except the one about my holiday shopping, but, that's another story. No, this year I am prepared. Not without some level of compromise, however.
So, if you visit my house over the next month or so you're in luck. Three taps will be running and perhaps a fourth hidden away. Something dark and sessionable, a cider dry light and crisp with a bit of a wild tang and a barleywine malty and warming. This year stands out among others. No foreseeable need to BUY beer this year.
Sharing with friends and family away from home can be another story. All this beer lies in kegs. Can't just grab a bottle on the way out the door. Never did go back to bottling, perhaps it's time. As you can imagine carrying a keg, or three, to the neighbor's house turns out to be quite challenging. Not that I haven't done it. Where there's a will there's a way. Even filling a growler isn't as convenient as those nifty little bottles. There's no fancy labels, bags or ribbons. I really need to suck it up and bottle again.
So here I am stuck with five gallon kegs, bulky and cumbersome. While not always an option for those quick trips. A few kegs always get loaded into the minivan for the holiday trip home. Picture it now. Three five gallon stainless corney kegs standing all alone next to a neatly secured cannister of CO2 with its bright red regulator. Now, imagine fitting several days of clothes for a five person family along with gifts, snow pants and boots tucked in around and on top. All the while, trying to leave room for any large objects received as gifts from the grandparents. A slight sense of dread sets in even now just thinking about it. Hauling kegs of homebrew across the state is not my idea of efficient. I never said this would be all about holiday cheer.
Clark: We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.Another thought tips the scales in the other direction, lifting my spirit for a moment as I remember last year. Standing there, picnic tap in hand, pouring pints for the family, filling a growler, catching up and reminiscing. Despite the packing, traveling and frantic rushing around, I do look forward to that moment.
Audrey: We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we?
Clark: No, I have one of those at home.
Excerpt from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Until I have to pack it all back up again :-|