I know the holidays can be a hectic, for some downright stressful, time of the year. There are parties to attend, gifts to buy, carols to sing, and stockings to stuff. While acknowledging those demands on your time, you need to do whatever it takes to clear your calendar for this coming Saturday (Dec. 17), because there are not one, not two, but three highly anticipated beer releases going down in Central Ohio.
Actual Funkypuss Release Party
Actual Brewing kicks things off at 10 am with their 2nd annual Funkypuss release party (an event formerly known as Sourpuss). If you love tart, funky brett beers you’ll be thrilled to hear that there are bottles of two oak-aged brett beers on offer, Tenacity Brett Beer returns and is joined this year by Vivacity Peach Brett Saison. If tart funky beers are not your thing there will also be bottles of Bourbon Barrel Aged Fat Julian Imperial Stout for sale. Throw in some unusual stuff on tap and Buckeye Donuts Food Truck from 8 am to 2 pm and James Road is the place to be on Saturday morning. Some of the taproom-exclusive beers not to be missed include Diffraction Oak-Aged Bourbon Radler, Thermal Conductor Habanero IPA, and two firkins: a 100% Brett-fermented golden sour with blackberries and blueberries (tapping at 10 am), and a mango kolsch with habaneros (tapping at 6 pm). For those not feeling up to morning drinking, the party runs until 11 pm and a variety of food trucks will be on site throughout the day.
Zaftig Ugly Sweater Party
If you gravitate toward high gravity beers you won’t want to miss the 3rd Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at Zaftig, where the festivities start at noon and run until 10 pm. The high gravity gurus will be selling bottles of three beers: BamBaLam Breakfast Stout, Hoot-spa Wheat aged in OYO Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka Barrels, and One Night Stand, an East Coast IPA heavily hopped with Amarillo and Mosaic hops. They will be pouring some special stuff in the taproom as well. If you missed a chance to their 16% abv Ol’ Harvey Russian Imperial Stout earlier this year, you have one more chance to celebrate the lifting of Ohio’s abv cap, one of the few good things that went down in 2016. There will also be pouring barrel aged versions of Too Cans Imperial IPA and A-crop Blacklight Stout. If that’s not enough they will also be pouring their holiday themed I Believe in Santa and BamBaLam Breakfast Stout on Nitro. Owner Jim Gokenbach promised me there would be a few surprises cropping up during the day as well. Food trucks will be on on-site from 12-9 pm.
Homestead Bison Release Party
If you follow the script and start imbibing in the morning hours at Actual, then follow that up with a few glasses of big hitting, barrel aged beers at Zaftig, you’re likely to be feeling pretty good by mid-afternoon. At that point it’s sure to seem like a good idea to head on out to the Homestead taproom in Heath, where they will be releasing bottles of their Bison Imperial Stout aged in Elijah Craig Bourbon Barrels. The party kicks off at noon. I sampled a tiny but delicious pour of this beer straight out of the barrel a couple of months back, and I’ve been patiently waiting for a chance to try the finished product. That day is nearly upon us.
So get your shopping done now, line up your designated driver, don’t overindulge on Friday night, and you’ll be in prepared for an epic day on Saturday. I might also add it’s an excellent opportunity to pick up some exclusive beers as gifts for that special beer lover on your Christmas list, while at the same time stocking up your beer fridge to make it through the dark days of winter.
You can find more details on each event by following these links to Drink Up Columbus articles.