With Christmas just around the corner, here’s a tip if you want to combine an inspiring event that embraces the holiday spirit and a laser-focused beer run that could open up all kinds of wow-factor options.
I’m referring to Victorian Christmas and Long’s Bottle Shop. The former is in Nevada City, and the last night to see it in all its glory is tonight. This great tradition includes Victorian singers out on the street, bag pipers, roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn carriage rides, a living nativity scene and, yes, the walking Christmas tree will be there, too. The festivities start at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21.
If you’re headed that way and you’re looking for some of the best in Christmas beer, be sure to check out Long’s Bottle Shop, 420 Colfax Ave., in neighboring Grass Valley. Yes, Christmas beer is an enduring sub-category of brewing that is embraced by many of the top breweries.
Dara Hang of Long’s gave me a rundown of what he has in stock (see accompanying photo) and it’s impressive: Prairie Christmas Bomb (2016) Imperial Stout, Prairie Christmas Bomb (2015) Imperial Stout, Stone Xocoveza Imperial Stout, Port Santa's Little Helper Imperial Stout, The Bruery 9 Ladies Dancing Belgian Dark Ale, The Bruery 8 Maids-A-Milking Imperial Milk Stout, and, one of my favorites from the recent tasting I did at Pangaea Bier Cafe, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale Belgian Quadrupel.
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Whether you want to make a splash at a Christmas party or settle in over the holidays to sip and savor some great beers, these are all a good bet, and just might make a Victorian Christmas road trip/beer run the start of an annual tradition.