Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
There is a subset of beer fans out there who really, really like Christmas Ales. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound in holiday-themed beers packaged with festive labels that often go out of their way to twist the season. The problem is that far too many Christmas Ales are too heavy with the yuletide spicy cheer. So which holiday beer do you pick for your celebration? Here are some of my favorites:
Schlafly Christmas Ale: The alternative to the more popular spicy Christmas Ales out there. Much the same way as Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale avoids the trap of going too spicy (which makes it the best out there in my opinion), their Christmas Ale gives you all the holiday spice you need as a secondary player to the excellent beer that those spices happen to appear in. This one never lasts very long, so if you see it jump on it quick.
Sierra Nevada Celebration: A favorite of mine, Celebration bucks the trend by simply being a delightful Fresh Hop Ale rather than a spicy mess. Easy going with punchy, earthy hop aromas and flavors, Celebration is good, popular, and readily available.
St. Bernardus Christmas Ale: This Belgian treat eschews the medicinal, herby flavors of other Biere de Noel by simply being a delicious, slightly malty Belgian Ale with a strong, clean banana yeasty note from its bottle conditioning.
Troeg’s Mad Elf: A big Barleywine brewed with honey and cherries, Mad Elf is 11% of insanity. Not only delicious, but improves with age.
Blue Mountain Brewery Long Winter’s Nap: This Virginia brewery’s seasonal release is a rich Blonde Tripelbock whose smoothness belies its 10% ABV. With enough malt, but not so much that it’s too cloying or rich. A real treat.
Port City Tidings: Starting to run low already, so jump on it quick. This holiday offering from Alexandria’s Port City Brewery is a Belgian-style Blonde Ale that uses local Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat. The spices in Tidings aren’t exactly what you’d expect either; there’s cardamom, coriander, grains of paradise, and fresh ginger. This year’s Tidings strikes an even better balance between the richness from the honey and its spices.
There is no shortage of Christmas offerings out there — which ones do you look forward to the most?
Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Community discussion guidelines: Our sponsored columns are written by members of the local business community. While we encourage a robust and open discussion, we ask that all reviews of the businesses — good or bad — be directed to another venue, like Yelp. The comments section is intended for a conversation about the topic of the article.
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
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Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
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Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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