I meant to get to this a LOT earlier...but things got busy. In a nutshell: if you need to get a GREAT Christmas present for a beerdrinker on your list -- beer drinker, beer fan, beer lover, beer geek, whatever -- buy them Don Russell's Wishing You a Merry Christmas Beer.
I read Don's book over Thanksgiving, when I was so sick I could barely breathe, thought I had pneumonia. Don almost killed me with some of the funny shit in this book; I got to laughing so hard I almost horcked up a lobe at one point. It's got fun writing (of course), it's got solid content (not just beer reviews, real holiday beer research), and the book is a gorgeous piece of production: beautiful semi-gloss cover, solid hard-bound book, sumptious color beer pix inside.
In short, this is a book I truly wish I'd written. If I were someone else I won't name -- older, maybe, and kind of...curmudgeonly -- I'd say that's why it took me so long to get to reviewing it. Truth is, I've been busy and very much involved in some other issues, and I regret the lateness of the hour. But look, there are signings tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 17 - 5 PM at Home Sweet Homebrew (2008 Sansom St., Center City); and 7 PM at Devil’s Den (1148 S 11th St., South Philly, and if you haven't been here yet, you oughta). Thursday, Dec. 18 - The Irish Pol (45 S. 3rd St., Old City). 7 p.m.), you can still buy the book through Amazon in time for Christmas, or buy it directly from Don (which I'm sure makes him more money!)
If the book's not enough... Don's put together a Christmas beer festival on Saturday, Dec. 27 at the Penn Museum (33rd & Spruce streets, University City) from 1-3 PM. Now THAT'S a great idea! You can, of course, get the book (and get it signed) there, too!