Holiday Ale Fest Eve 2013

3 Dec

HAFhighlightsIf you are new around here then you may not know that -to me- today is as big of a deal as Christmas Eve is to most of the world. You see, tomorrow begins the famed Holiday Ale Fest, when we here at taphandle take time off of work for a mini-staycation that involves sitting under the heated, clear-ceilinged tents in Pioneer Square, among other beer lovers from around the world, to drink unique beers brewed specially for this event. That’s right, not one of Holiday Ale Fest “standards” is a regularly brewed beer. Special is an understatement for this event.

As is typical for big holidays, we begin celebrating early. Our tradition is to head over to Lompoc’s Holiday Beer Release party, which occurs on Holiday Ale Fest Eve (coincidence? nah. genius!). This year they’ve got NINE different holiday beers for you that we already reviewed! They tapped today and will remain on tap as long as they last, so head over to a Lompoc near you. While I am there, I peruse the list of Holiday Ale Fest offerings and make a plan of action, split into three phases (wednesday, thursday, and friday) and provide you, our readers, with a few tips and highlights to help you with your own plan of attack.

But alas! Holiday Ale Fest Eve 2013 will go down in history with Christmas 1991 (plagued by the Chicken Pox), Thanksgiving 2005 (working at a mall), and California Vacation 1988 (food poisoning). No celebrating tonight (insert sad face). I am doing my best right now just to feel like a human by tomorrow in hopes of making it down to the fest. I did not take a precious vacation day from work to stay in bed sick, dammit! Needless to say, all the sleeping as of late has got in the way of me finishing my ale fest homework, and I don’t really have a plan of action yet. Luckily, I caught Beervana’s User’s Guide to the Holiday Ale Fest today. It’s a great summary and highlights some of the main offerings and types of beers on tap this year. It should point you in the direction of beers you typically like or are hoping to try.

Once we get to the fest we will have our own reviews and recommendations to share, so stay tuned. You’ll probably want some direction to steer you through the 50+ beers at the fest. For now, I used Beervana’s Guide to develop the poll / choices for the next Reader’s Choice post. I picked one beer from each category he listed. And as soon as I make it to the Fest, my first taste will be the beer with the most votes, and I’ll provide a real time post so you know whether it’s worth trying or not once you make it to the fest.

Now, go celebrate Holiday Ale Fest Eve properly! Crack open a beer and let us know what you are drinking on this special day.

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