We went to evening mass (St. Andrew's doesn't do midnight mass, for unknown reasons), and Nora and I sang with the choir. My parents are staying overnight for tomorrow's celebration. The children are settled in. Gifts have been wrapped and arranged under the tree. Santa's been left a Hop Wallop (the label looks a lot like him) and an opener. I've got a mug of egg nog blended with a mix of one part Bacardi golden rum, one part cognac, and 4 parts Jim Beam 7 Year Old, and it's tasting pretty damned good. Penderyn's curled up on Cathy's lap.
It's been a good year. We've had some fun here, and some great conversations. I've met even more of you, and New Jersey Breweries is off to a sweet start, out-pacing Pennsylvania Breweries. My thanks to all the brewers, distillers, bar and restaurant people, wholesalers, and public relations types who've been so generous with their time so I can write the stories my editors want (or the blog postings...which I assume someone wants). Most of all, thanks to the readers who keep things interesting, who ask the good questions.
Best wishes to all of you at Christmastide, best of luck in the challenging new year ahead. Remember: drink it because you think it's good, drink it because you support the cause -- and you think it's good -- drink it because it's interesting and innovating...and you think it's good. Fight any forces that try to take away your rights, your choices. Be fair, don't be a snob, be open-minded. Try new things. Discuss them. Spread the word.
Merry Christmas, Lew! Hope you and the family have a great Christmas Day! Spent today at my mom's and then went to 8pm Mass at St Francis of Assisi, Rose and I ushered and Elizabeth served. Hope to sleep in a bit tomorrow and then see if Santa stopped by, then off to the in-laws! See ya Friday at NBI?
Bob R in OKC
Hope your mom is good, Bob, and Rose and Elizabeth too. Oh, and yourself! Probably no NBI, but you never know...
Big Christmas joy, Lew, and really the best for you in the New year. You've been a real inspiration to me---keep it up!
To all the beer folks, a merry Christmas. Lew, I enjoyed meeting you at the Iron Hill Black and Tan event and I'm still trying to figure out how you can make a living by drinking beer and whiskey. Enjoy the feast.
You were a natural for this, Rich. Stan Hieronymus talked me into it, I felt I had to keep the chain going.
Bilking, good to meet you, too (gotta write something about that one of these days), and believe me: I'm still trying to figure it out too.
I can't tell you what a pleasure it's been being a part of this blog. I appreciate the creativity, diversity of topics, and the open forum you provide to the beer community.
I also continue to be amazed and astounded that I have become, by happenstance, a part of the passionate knot of people that make up the Malt Advocate staff. It is truly a privilege.
Your closing comments on this posting also define what I'm certain the Alstrom brothers mean by "Respect beer." "Remember: drink it because you think it's good, drink it because you support the cause...and you think it's good -- drink it because it's interesting and innovating...and you think it's good. Fight any forces that try to take away your rights, your choices. Be fair, don't be a snob, be open-minded. Try new things. Discuss them. Spread the word."
You fight a good, clean, even-handed fight, and all of us out here appreciate that! Now go beat up on the PLCB some more!
Merry Christmas Lew! My parents bought New Jersey Breweries for my husband. He loves it. I'll be reading it shortly.
Thanks, everyone, and merry Christmas. I've been spending time with family, and took a moment to check in. Glad you're enjoying things so much; I'll try to keep it up.
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