Beer Advent Day 24: Even More Jesus

 

evil twin

Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing

Location:  NY

Style:  Imperial Stout  ABV:  12%

Info on beer/brewery: Evil Twin Brewing is a gypsy brewing company.  It is called that because the owner and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso (originally from Denmark) does not own his own brewery.  He rents out breweries from friends, brings his recipes, brews the beer in their facility, they bottle it, and he labels it and sells it.  All of Evil Twin Brewing’s beers are exclusively hand picked to please you with beer that is, funky, extreme and rare. Maybe not the easiest way, but certainly the most fun!!

Our last beer this Beer Advent is aptly called “Even More Jesus”.  It is an imperial stout that is brewed in Westbrook Brewing Co. in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.  Overwhelming aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and muscovado sugar are featured in this stout.  With the high ABV make sure you sit down next to your Christmas tree and sip.

Cheers!

Advent Reflection:  I’ve been waiting 24 days to write these lyrics to a wonderful Advent Hymn.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

 

Beer Advent Day 23: Hennepin

ommegang

Brewery:  Ommegang

Location:  Cooperstown, NY

Style:  Saison  ABV: 7.7%

Info on beer/brewery:  Nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Brewery Ommegang brews ales in the Belgian tradition.  It is an absolute picturesque brewery and definitely worth a visit…especially if you ever visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Brewery Ommegang has the slogan “Everything we do has a reason”.  And I think this is a great reminder to us this Advent season.

Tonight’s beer is a Belgian Saison that features a little bit more spice than last night’s Tank 7.  Extremely delicious with hints of ginger and coriander; make sure you pour this golden ale into a stemmed narrow goblet to allow all of the ingredients to work together.  Hennepin is named for “Great discoveries that await in the lands less known” as Father Hennepin set off for the new world and was known for being the first European to lay eyes on Niagara Falls.

Cheers to tonight’s beer and to discovery!

Advent Reflection: Tonight’s Advent song is called “Carol for the Weary”.  It reminds me of the story that we have been journeying through this Advent.  The story of waiting and hoping for something to come that will bring hope and peace!

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/368051270&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true“>Carol for the Weary

Beer Advent Day 22: Tank 7

 

Boulevard-Tank-7-Farmhouse-Ale-750ml

Brewery:  Boulevard Brewing Co.

Location:  Kansas City, MO

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale  ABV: 8.5%

Info on beer/brewery: I had the privilege of spending some time at Boulevard this summer as we were travelling through KC after a family reunion.  It is a great place to enjoy really good beer!  If you ever find yourself in Kansas City, definitely make a stop at BLVD.  You won’t be disappointed.  This video gives you a pretty cool visual of the history of Boulevard Brewing Co.

Tonight’s beer was in the line-up of the first Beer Advent that I participated in.  It may have even been the first farmhouse ale I ever tried.  After you pour it into your glass tonight, take a drink to get the initial flavor, and then let it sit before you take the next one.  There is a noticeable difference and I tend to enjoy this beer the longer I take to finish it. Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale gets its name when BLVD’s brewers were experimenting with variations on a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale and the perfect combination of elements came together in fermenter number seven. Tank 7 is a complex ale with fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes and tapers off to a peppery, dry finish.  Remember….take your time with this one and notice the difference.

Cheers to Tank #7 and to the first night of Christmas Break for us teachers!!!!!

Advent Reflection:  We are going to finish our Advent reflection with lyrics to Advent hymns.  The first one on tap is “O Come O Come Emmanuel”.       Listen to it here:

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/372709058&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true“>O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

Beer Advent Day 21: Yum Yum

three floyds yum yum

Brewery:  3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Location: Munster, IN

Style:  American Session Ale  ABV: 5.5%

Info on Beer/Brewery: Cannot go wrong with a beer called “Yum Yum”!  And in my opinion it lives up to its name.  It is refreshing to the point of deliciousness.  Yum Yum carries a malt backbone that accompanies an explosive hop profile.  Three Floyds Brewing started in 1996 when two brothers and their father—armed with only a few hundred dollars, a five-barrel Frankenstein wok-burner-fired brew kettle, repurposed open Swiss cheese fermenters and an old Canfield’s Cola tank, began brewing ”It’s Not Normal”ales and lagers.  Three Floyds uses sound techniques, the finest ingredients, and innovation to craft ‘not normal’ and memorable beers.  Tonight’s offering is one of those ‘Not Normal’ ales.  They also have incredible artwork on their bottles.

Cheers to YUM YUM!

 

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:10-11

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

The gifts and worship of the wise men from the east point forward to the inclusion of Gentiles among God’s people.  The Jews at that time were primarily the ones expecting the Messiah to deliver and restore the Jewish nation while judging, and subduing all others by force.  The worship of the wise men pictures the submission of foreign nations without military action.  It portrays the nations inclusion within the scope of God’s kingdom and within God’s grand STORY.  The birth of Jesus and the kingdom of this King is NOT limited to Israel.  It is for everybody!  And that is worth drinking something called “Yum Yum”.

Cheers and AMEN!

 

Beer Advent Day 20: Peace Train

hophaus

Brewery:  Hop Haus Brewing

Location: Verona, WI

Style:  Pale Ale  ABV: 5.4%

Info on beer/brewery:  I’m not gonna lie…what drew me to choose tonight’s beer was the logo of the Brewery.  I love the door that leads into the hop!  Hop Haus is a young craft brewery in a community southwest of Madison.  Like many small breweries, Hop Haus has the following statement about their mission:  Hop Haus Brewing Company handcrafts exceptional, inspired and unique beers by combining equal parts science and artistry. We believe that every community deserves a place to gather and come together as neighbors to enjoy a pint of beer and worthwhile conversation.

Peace Train Pale Ale is not very different than other pale ales that we have tried.  You will get your fix of citrus notes with a mild malty backbone like other pale ales, but what you specifically get with Peace Train is good vibes that come from embracing peace.  Tonight’s pale ale is named after lyrics from “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens….“Now I’ve been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come. And I believe it could be, something good has begun”

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:9-11

9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

After interacting with Herod, the wise men continued on their journey and were filled with joy as they saw the star’s movement confirm their trip.  (And just to clear things up, the wise men were most likely NOT involved in the nativity scene…sorry if I just burst your bubble).  The fact that Matthew says ‘house’ indicates that this meeting took place not on the night of Jesus’ birth but rather at some later time, perhaps after Joseph secured more suitable lodging.  The gifts that the wise men bring to give to the baby is a prophecy told of a time when the nations of the world would respond to God’s light and glory by giving their wealth:

Isaiah 60:1-3, 5-6

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
3 And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.

Tonight, we can give praise… for God has brought light to the nations!

Beer Advent Day 19: Unshadowed

Unshadowed_black

Brewery:  Ale Asylum

Location:  Madison, WI

Style: Hefeweizen  ABV: 6.0%

Info on beer/brewery:  Our second offering from Ale Asylum is brewed in the tradition of a German wheat ale.  Though it is December 19 the mild temps outside certainly give us the feel of the warmer days in which people normally drink wheat beers. Dominant hints of fruit and spice permeate tonight’s beer.

Cheers!

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:1-12  (reflection on verses 2-6)

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Tonight’s reading shows us that a little, insignificant town would play a major role in God’s story of redemption and salvation.  The long awaited Messiah would NOT come in extravagance and pomp.  He would come humbly.  To a little known town that is often overlooked.  I, along with the wise men, desire to worship THIS kind of King!  One who sees and values the small and seemingly insignificant.

Beer Advent Day 18: Snowshoe

Snowshoe

Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co.

Location: New Glarus, WI

Style:  Irish Amber Ale  ABV: 5.7%

Info on Beer/Brewery: Snowshoe is one of New Glarus Brewing Co. winter seasonals.  Snowshoe features a rich malty flavor from the blend of American and German malts that are used and ends  with a hop kick.  Snowshoe will pour a beautiful copper-red.  Kick off your show shoes (because all the snow melted) and enjoy tonight’s ale.

Cheers to Snowshoes (even though I’ve never worn any)!

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:1-12 (reflection on vv.1-4)

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The wise men are prominent figures in the birth of Jesus narrative.  They are ‘traditionally’ referred to as the three wise men (even though we don’t know how many they are).  What we do know is that they came from the east because of a star and they came to worship this baby boy who was born ‘king of the Jews’.  What is so interesting about this statement is who they were saying it to.  King Herod was the ‘king of the Jews’ during this time period.  He was one of the most ruthless figures in history.  In fact, the following is an excerpt from historian Josephus…..

Herod had ten wives and many children, and palace intrigue was thick throughout Herod’s reign.  This included plots, assassination attempts, deception, and treachery by almost everyone around him.  Over the years this led Herod to execute his wife Mariamne and his sons Alexander, Aristobulus, and Antipater, among many other relatives and conspirators.  Herod lived among people he could not trust, and he regularly feared for his life and throne.  This uncertainty and upheaval led Herod to make six different wills; he changed the wills based upon whom he thought he could trust.  -‘Herodian Dynasty’ in Dictionary of New Testament Background 

You can imagine how Herod responded when wise men from the East travelled all the way into his kingdom to ask the question: “Where is the King of Jews?” In Herod’s mind, he was it.  “Who is this king?”  He inquires in great disturbance.

Herod’s kingdom was threatened by the birth of this baby.  My question to you tonight as you reflect is this:……..Is your kingdom threatened by this baby?  Or will you, like the wise men, marvel and wonder and come to worship this baby boy?

Beer Advent Day 17: Foggy Geezer

warpigs

Brewery: Warpigs Brewing (collaboration with 3 Floyds Brewing and Mikkeller)

Location: Denmark

Style: Double IPA  ABV: 8.0%

Info on beer/brewery: Tonight’s beer is from WarPigs Brewing is a collaboration between 3 Floyds Brewing (Munster, Indiana) and Danish brewer, Mikkeller.  Foggy Geezer is considered a New England IPA or Hazy IPA because it is lightly filtered, which is why you see the residue floating around your pint glass.  Go easy with the Foggy Geezer tonight because the high ABV (8.0%) is hidden.

Cheers to collaboration beers!  And cheers to navigating through a hazy season of life!

Beer Advent: As we finish the third Sunday of Advent, we anxiously await the drawing near of our King and Savior.  Just like our beer tonight was a foggy, cloudy haze in your pint glass, so the people of Israel were in a period of fog and haze.  Their hopes were being dashed by a tyrannical rule of King Herod and company.  They were groaning in anguish and hopelessness as the prophets that once prophesied about a coming time of hope and glory have all but been silenced.  It was a dark and silent time.  Maybe you are currently in a period of foggy haze.  I pray that tonight’s Old Testament reading from the prophet Zephaniah will give you hope. 

Zephaniah 3:16-18 

On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “cheer up, don’t be afraid.  For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you.  He is a mighty Savior.  He will give you victory.  He will rejoice over you with great gladness; He will love you and not accuse you.”  Is that a joyous choir I hear?  No, it is the Lord Himself exulting over you in happy song.” 

 

Beer Advent Day 16: Warmfront

warm front. lakefront

Brewery:  Lakefront Brewery

Location:  Milwaukee, WI

Style: Extra Pale Ale (EPA)  ABV: 5.4%

Info on beer/brewery: Lakefront Brewery’s winter seasonal is an Extra Pale Ale (EPA) with a citrus twist.  During the dog days of winter, sometimes we just need a reminder of the tropical, warm front that seems to warm our spirits.  That’s just what Warm Front EPA is all about.  Aromas of pineapple, tangerine, and lemon will tickle your nose as you pour it into your pint glass.  And the orange zest that hits your palate will remind you that winter is just a  state of mind.  It could be miserable for many of us, but for those who don’t allow the harsh elements of winter weather deter us from getting out and enjoying life, Warm Front is just the beer for you.  I am reminded of the idea of winter weather just being a state of mind every time I head out on my bike during the winter months.  The picture below is a sticker that I have on my bike to remind me that it simply is: “a state of mind”. !

20171216_180349[1]

Cheers to tonight’s beer, and cheers to a state of mind that cannot be derailed, no matter the situation!

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:1-12

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 

Beer Advent Day 15: Satisfaction Jacksin

satisfaction-jacksin

Brewery:  Ale Asylum

Location:  Madison, WI

Style:  Double IPA  ABV: 8.8%

Info on beer/brewery: The first time that I tried Satisfaction Jacksin was during an annual tradition where male teachers at HOPE Christian High School head to a local bar called ‘Riverwest Filling Station’ after parent-teacher conferences.  I remember thoroughly enjoying this double IPA then and I fully anticipate enjoying it tonight.  It just seems like the perfect beer on a Friday night to end a long week of work in December!

If you’re not much of a hop person, you may struggle with this one.  Satisfaction Jacksin boasts a hop explosion that is in your face like a full frontal assault.  Ale Asylum uses over 3 pounds of Centennial Hops per barrel when they brew this double IPA.

Cheers to Friday, and to tonight’s HOP slap in the face!

 

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 2:1-2

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is a prophecy from Micah 5:2.  It is pretty phenomenal that the coming Messiah, ‘Emmanuel’ (God with us) was foretold to the exact place in which he was to be born.

Tonight’s reflection comes from a post on Shane Claiborne’s (Christian and social activist) website.  Just as our beer tonight was a ‘hop slap in the face’, this reflection was a ‘slap in the face’ to me personally.  I pray that you are challenged by the following reading:

ornament from Bethlehem

This handcrafted Christmas ornament was made in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.

It’s made out of the metal from a tear gas canister… a somber reminder that the holy land is a troubled land.

Originally the canister was produced in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. Then it traveled to Israel, where the Israeli Defense Forces fired it into the Palestinian territory in the West Bank, where Bethlehem is.

It happens all the time — tear gas fired on crowds of Palestinians… sometimes hostile crowds of protestors… sometimes peaceful crowds of pedestrians.

Eventually, some of our Palestinian friends said “Enough”. They began to gather the tear gas canisters from the streets and turn them into Christmas ornaments. They are creating jobs for Palestinians, residents of Bethlehem.

They are making something beautiful out of something ugly.

And they’re reminding all of us of the true meaning of Christmas.

This Christmas, let us remember that God came into the world as a refugee, a displaced Galilean… a Palestinian, Jewish baby born in the troubled, occupied territory of King Herod. He was born homeless, in a manger because there was no room in the inn. He survived a genocide, as Herod killed little babies throughout the region.

In Jesus, we see the most beautiful act of divine solidarity. God leaves all the comfort of heaven to join the struggle here on earth. Jesus is born as one of the most vulnerable and marginalized people on earth. He is Emmanuel – “God with us.”

Jesus came to heal the world of violence and hatred, and to show us a way that we can interact with evil without becoming evil.

Let us honor Jesus this Christmas by making a commitment to work for peace and justice for the Palestinians who made this “Peace Parcel.” Let us insist on being pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-Peace.

Let us make “Peace On Earth” more than a Christmas cliché.
Let’s make it a reality.

In the name of the Prince of Peace… Jesus.
Amen.

Look further into these ornaments here