HOLIDAY PARTY SEASON
November is prime Holiday party season. Between work functions, family get-togethers and celebrations with friends there is no shortage of beer drinking occasions each year. You need to be prepared for each occasion and a little planning will go a long way here.
Work Christmas Party — We’ve all seen “that guy” who has a few too many at the work Christmas party and they are the talk of the water cooler until after the new year. Don’t be that guy. There are a few simple rules that will keep you on the right side of the gossip:
> EAT: whether your party is just cocktails or a proper sit down meal make sure you eat. Your career may depend on this one thing.
> VITAMIN B: I take a multivitamin before any night that I know I’m going to be drinking. Though all of the vitamins are great, it’s the B vitamins that your body
is really going to need after a night of celebration.
> WATER: if you have trouble pacing yourself you need to slide a glass of water between each drink. That will help slow you down and also hydrate you. Both are good things.
> QUALITY VS. QUANTITY: if the boss is buying, explore some of the beers (or whiskies) that you don’t usually get to try. Don’t abuse them though — savour and sip the beverages. Ask the server what is fresh and special on tap that night.
Your House — Whether it’s the spontaneous drop-in by a friend or the party with the neighbours that slipped your mind you must be prepared for every occasion. You and I both may have a refined beer palate but your friends may still have their training wheels on. You are going to want to keep something cheap and cheerful in the fridge that can cross all beer drinking borders with no complaints. I keep some
of my favourite light beers for just such an occasion, like Amsterdam’s 3 Speed or Stonehammer’s Light Lager.
Another handy thing to keep around is some nice cheese. Not only does it make you look like you are sophisticated when you bring out a cheese tray but it will also pair nicely with your beer (big bold cheddar with an IPA is amazing) it also will add some protein to your stomach which will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
Family Christmas — This can be a trying time for some. I’m very lucky in that not only is my family great to hang with (including the in-laws side) but they also love beer. I find these functions are great for trying out some new beers and sharing some special favourites. Sharing beers with your siblings/parents/in-laws means you will have something to do that is a great conversation starter, it will help you pace yourself throughout the night and give you the opportunity to buy some special beers that you want to try (and if they suck you don’t have to drink the whole thing on your own). You can’t go wrong with classics like La Trappe Tripel but why not grab Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar to help round things out?