Beginning to Taste A lot Like Christmas | Pub Date

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Oh hey. I might have been a slacker in the last round of PUB DATE (Andi Maggie & Brittany got wedding themed) but I’m ready to celebrate the holidays with you and some wonderful brews. If you know me in real life (and perhaps follow me on Twitter), you know I relate more to Buddy the Elf than the Grinch. Despite my grand affection for the holidays, sometimes they do make me a little sad. Changing traditions, busy friends and family, lack of means to be as generous as you want to be (this year especially), and maybe even seeing everyone getting together with their huge families and knowing what you had when you are younger is not exactly what you have now.

That sounds depressing, doesn’t it?

I mean, it is. But it also is what it is and there are a billion things I love about these holidays too: picking out a tree with James and naming it (we get to climb up six flights with ours this year because our elevator is still being replaced), making new cookie recipes, stopping to see the tree on Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve, spending a quiet Christmas Day with my family (with my extremely hardworking mom who gets a day off for once).

And how about trying some new winter and holiday themed beers? Another highlight, for sure.

Today I’m sharing Anchor Winter Wheat — a craft beer from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. Known for their summer wheats, this is their first winter warmer ever, in addition to the first year its been bottled. Exciting, right? It definitely has a heavier feel than most wheats but isn’t too overwhelming. Unlike a lot of beers released during this time of year, it’s not intensely spicy and doesn’t taste like a Christmas tree. (I don’t mind this but I know some of us do – ahem, B. ha!)

As for a book… Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler — an oldie but a goodie filled with cupcakes, cute boys, family drama, and ice skating.

Pub Date Rather Be Reading Blog Joint Feature Holiday Themed

It’s a great book to put you in the holiday spirit: love, baking, and the best kind of book surprise. I guarantee you will love this one.

In addition to this brew, I’ve recently enjoyed:

  • 21st Amendment Fireside Chat: this brewer has the best art and this beer was pretty damn good. The opposite of Winter Wheat but really nice.
  • Harpoon UFO Gingerland: If you fear a beer that is TOO gingery, you won’t have that problem here. It was like a nice little bonus, and didn’t monopolize the taste of the beer at all. Just the right amount.
  • Peak Organic Holiday Saison: Peak Organic is one of my favorite brewers. I love their flavors, and their Holiday beer is so my style. It’s organic! It’s from Maine! And this one is definitely spicy but in a fresh way.

 So whether you are sipping eggnog or trying a beer like one of the above, I wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Be safe, be good, and be merry. xoxo

This one is especially for my friend, Keith, my pal in San Francisco, who I wish I could be
having a beer with during our favorite time of the year. ♥

Pub Date: A Summer of Reds

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Hello, friends! We have made it to Friday + it’s a special occasion because it’s my first contribution to PUB DATE — the brain child of Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide — where I will be sharing book + beer pairings along with the lovely Andi of Andi’s ABCs and Maggie of Just a Couple More Pages. And thanks to the talents of my sister (she painted this actually) we have a fancy dancy new header to debut today as well. Hooray!

We’re working with a summer theme this first go-round and last week, Brittany paired a pale ale with a really fun contemporary YA romance. (I’m not revealing any of the details because I want you to go visit B if you haven’t already!)

Before I share with my picks with you, a little bit about me and beer:

  • I was not a beer fan until 2009 or so when I discovered beer could actually taste good.
  • I love sour ales, anything with a hint of fruit, and a good stout. (Coffee or chocolate, count me in!)
  • This summer my husband and I once again bought a beer passport — it’s this event a few of the local bars in NYC put together where you buy the pass and get a free beer at 40-something bars, and you check them off as you go along. It’s been a great way for us to find new places to drink and have dinner, and also try a bunch of breweries.
  • I try to drink local whenever I can. So when I’m on a trip, the first thing I’m looking for is a beer I never tried before.
  • I get very judgmental when I see someone drinking a Miller Lite or Coors Light at a craft beer bar. I can’t help it. In New York City, that crappy beer could cost $8. At least for the same amount of money you could be supporting a local brewery and trying something that has a taste.
  • My advice for non-beer lovers: I honestly believe there is a beer for everyone. My first beer was a combination of a beer and champagne. I loved it and it made me braver about trying OTHER beers. You just have to be patient. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample. (Beer flights are the best way to get a feel for what you like.)

Bravery is actually a great way to lead into my summer pick:

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland | James Page Brewing Ould Sod Irish Red IPA

Nantucket Red and James Page Ould Sod

Brave because I think Cricket is one of the strongest female contemporary leading ladies we have out there. In Nantucket Blue, she fought with her friendship when it totally changed, and in Nantucket Red, she’s fighting for her independence and also the chance to find out who she really is. (Confession: Nantucket Red actually spans more time than just the summer but the bigger chunk of the book is dedicated to time out in Nantucket.)

Like Cricket, JP’s Ould Sod beer is familiar with the perfect amount of spice. I’m not normally a fan of IPAs (india pale ales = too hoppy) but my husband and I spotted this beer because of it’s cool art and because we had never heard of an IRISH RED IPA before. (According to the website, it’s a brand new thing the brewery tried with hints of caramel and a throwback to Irish Reds from Ireland back in the day.)

It’s light enough to enjoy on a sweltering summer day (I don’t suggest having many stouts or porters in the heat) and the IPA adds the perfect bit of kick. Plus it comes in adorable 12 oz cans. Cans + summer time drinking just go together, don’t you think?

Two things:

  • Ould sod is an Irish expression for “home” + I think that has a lot to do with what Cricket is searching for in both Nantucket books.
  • JP’s Brewery calls their beers “adventurous brews with a twist.” Such a fitting modus operandi for a creative brewery (we tried the Chai Tea Porter + it was fantastic too) and a beer I’m working to desperately pair with one of my favorite young adult lit series.

Want to see if this beer is available near you? Check out their product locator!


Thanks for joining me for this week’s PUB DATE! I’d love to hear what you’ve been sipping lately.
Definitely let me know below + don’t forget to sit back and relax this weekend.