Beer Advent Day 14: Night Call

 

night call

Brewery: Karben4

Location: Madison, WI

Style: Smoked Porter  ABV: 6.5%

Info on Beer/Brewery: Tonight’s beer definitely wouldn’t be the first 6-pack that I would grab off of the shelves, but that’s what Beer Advent is all about….trying things that you normally wouldn’t.  Night Call comes from Madison’s East side brewery called Karben4.  Karben4 began in 2012 as a brewery and taproom only.  It has since grown into a full fledged brewery which bottles and distributes across Wisconsin.  The following paragraph enlightens us into the deep meaning of their name: 

We wanted to create a made-up name that did not already exist in any other capacity. This was an effort to rid consumers of k4 brand logoany potential preconceived opinions or bias – so that our name would simply act as an extension of whatever we exuded as a company. This allows us to further define what ‘Karben4’ means every single day as we continue to operate and market the business.  Conceptually the name is rooted in the foundational element of all organic life: carbon. This is married with beer’s history as being the foundational essence of civilizations. We chose the phonetic spelling and added a numerical character for differentiation purposes.

Night Call features the malty sweetness and hints of dark chocolate that make it a porter and also provides a subtle smoke flavor to set it apart.  (Set apart it does because all I taste IS the smoky flavor)

Cheers to branching out and trying something new!

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 1:22-25

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

The narrative takes a quick turn from the meaning of the name of Jesus (Yahweh Saves)  to the unusual, supernatural conception of the virgin birth.  V. 23 serves as a fulfillment of Scripture from Isaiah 7:14.  The virgin birth is certainly something that is rather difficult to comprehend and figure out.  It is one of the many mysteries that we relish and stand amazed at this Advent season.  A good read and simple explanation of the virgin birth is a book by Andrea Kostenberger called “The First Days of Jesus”.

Tonight, we marvel at the baby born of a virgin, fulfulling the promise in Isaiah. The baby is named Immanuel which means “God with us”.  Meditate and reflect on that simple truth tonight.  Jesus is our Immanuel.  God dwelling among man!

 

 

Beer Advent Day 13: Dirty Bastard

Founders Brewing Company Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale

Brewery: Founder’s Brewing

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Style: Scotch Ale  ABV: 8.5%

Info on beer/brewery: Dirty Bastard was a last minute addition to our list this year as the Scottish Ale that I requested was only a seasonal and therefore, not available yet.  I was pleased though when Chris from Otto’s on Oakland substituted Founders Dirty Bastard.  Tonight’s beer has managed to appear in 3 of the Beer Advents that I’ve participated in.  You could say that it has found its place.  This beer does NOT disappoint, especially if you are looking for something a bit heavier.  Coming in at 8.5% ABV, this Scotch Ale is not for the wee lads.  Dirty Bastard is brewed with seven varieties of imported malts.  The malty richness is accompanied with the hop power that gives it the bite that makes the beer live up to its name.

Founders Brewing Co. is celebrating 20 years this year and they have some pretty cool stuff on their website.  One of them is an artistic expression of their story and core values.  You can check it out here:  20 Years, Zero Regrets

Cheers to tonight’s beer and to Zero Regrets.

Advent Reflection:  Matthew 1:18-25 (Reflection on v. 21)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

 

As we read last night, Joseph was commanded by the angel to name this son that was to be born of Mary, Jesus.  The meaning of Jesus is immediately explained in that “he will save his people from their sins”.  Jesus comes from the Hebrew name ‘Joshua’ or ‘Yeshua’ which literally means, “Yahweh Saves”.  Jesus was a common name in first-century Palestine, and parents often named their sons Jesus as an expression of their hope that God would one day act to save and deliver his people as he had done in the past (book of Joshua, God saving the Israelites and bringing them into the Promised Land).

The angel commanded Joseph to name the boy ‘Jesus’, because this baby boy, this Jesus,  would not just be an expression of hope, but would realize these hopes of so many……”Saving His people from their sins”.

 

Beer Advent Day 12: 8-Bit

8bitbeer

Brewery:  Tallgrass Brewing

Location:  Manhattan, KS

Style: Pale Ale  ABV: 5.2%

Info on Beer/Brewery: Tonight’s beer is our second from Tallgrass Brewing and is dedicated to all of you Beer Advent participants who are video game heads.  I am certainly not a gamer but I enjoyed Super Mario Bros and RBI baseball when I was kid.

8-Bit Pale Ale boasts an aroma of fruit and pine as you pour into your pint glass. The vibrant taste of hops and tropical fruit flavors will hit home with each swig.  Hopheads should enjoy this one!

If I were to ask you the question: Which beer tastes better, from a bottle or a can?  What would you say?  Tallgrass Brewing is passionate about bringing awareness to the greatness and deliciousness of canned beer.  You can read about this very passion on this link called “Canifesto”.

Cheers to Cans and to 8-bit classic video game systems!

Advent Reflection: Matthew 1:18-25 (Reflection on v. 20-21)

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

As Joseph weighs his options and tries to come to a just, yet merciful decision based on his human understanding of the situation at hand; God intervenes.  An angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream and sets him on a course that alters his decision.  In the dream, the angel informs Joseph that the child was a divine instance, not an act of shameful immorality. The angel also tells Joseph that his son should be named ‘Jesus’ because ‘he will save his people from their sins’.

As we consider tonight’s reflection, think about times in your life where God intervened.  Maybe you were faced with a decision that just didn’t seem to make sense.  Maybe you were at a crossroads just like Joseph was.  I’m sure that Joseph still didn’t fully understand what in the world was going on, even after the angel visited him……but in faith, he trusted the message!

Beer Advent Day 11: Belleaire Brown

Shorts-Brewing-Company-Ann-Arbor

Brewery: Short’s Brewing Co.

Location: Belleaire, MI

Style:  Brown Ale  ABV: 7.0%

Info on Beer/Brewery: Short’s Brewing story began in 2002.  Short’s Brewing in Belleaire embraces the concept of the public house or “pub.” Compared to other alcohol establishments, pubs hold a unique place in the American experience. The colonial pub was the pillar of the community. Pubs were places to catch up on local business, gather around a good meal and take in a libation brewed on site by the local publican. Early taverns were full of life and comfort. This is what Short’s culture is all about.  If you are interested in hearing the full story, check out this video:  Short’s Brewing Co.

Tonight’s beer is Short’s Brewing flagship brown ale!  Delicious all around in my book! Bellaire Brown is full-flavored with notes of sweet caramel, chocolate, and toasted malt with an earthy hop quality.

Cheers to gathering in community around a good meal and libation.  Hope that you are able to that this season!

Advent Reflection: As we continue through Matthew’s gospel this week, our reading tonight comes from Matthew 1:18-25 (tonight’s reflection comes from v. 18-19)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,
25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ birth is told from the perspective of Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus.  This vantage point gives us insight into Joseph’s character and actions.  As we read that Joseph’s fiance was with child, you can almost enter into his immediate emotions of shock, awe, and distrust even though the text doesn’t go into it at all.  Joseph was certainly not a stupid man.  He knew full well that there is only one way to get pregnant.  The only detail that the text gives us is that Joseph was a ‘just and righteous man’.  Being pregnant before marriage put Mary in a difficult, shameful, and dangerous situation….culturally coming from the potential of what her future husband could do.  This is where the detail that Joseph ‘resulted to divorce her quietly’ stands out.  It was his righteousness that led him to act in a way that would reduce her shame and shield her from potentially dangerous consequences of adultery/infidelity.  Because of his actions, he also opened himself up to public ridicule and shame.

The character of Joseph in the birth narrative always astounds me.

Beer Advent Day 10: Third Wheel

Button_OSo_3rdWheel

Brewery:  O’So Brewing

Location: Plover, WI

Style: Belgian Style Pale Ale  ABV: 5.5%

Info on Beer/Brewery:  Another late post (sorry guys, the weekend schedule is a bit funky).  And funky is a good way to describe tonight’s beer.  It is labelled a Belgian Blonde but it comes across more as a sour in my book.  The funky sour taste that hits your palate is because of the Brettanomyces yeast (commonly referred to as BRETT). BRETT is a wild yeast, which is a reference to its natural habitat (fruit skins) and to its volatile temperament. The use of BRETT can lead to unpredictable fermentations with aromas politely described as funky. You are, in many ways, taking a risk by adding BRETT because you never now how the wildness of it will affect your brew. Most brewers work hard to keep it out of their tanks by sterilizing every piece of equipment, but many others are nowadays adding it so that the wild, unpredictable flare comes out.  Tonight’s beer features this wild yeast.

Cheers to the funky!

Advent Reflection: The ‘Funkiness’ of tonight’s beer reminds me of this week’s (Second Sunday of Advent) Gospel reading from the Daily Office Lectionary (Year B): Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8 speaks of one who is coming to prepare the way for the LORD.  As you continue reading you find out that this guy wore camel skins and ate locusts and wild honey.  Talk about funky!  But this messenger prepared the way for the One that people have been waiting for.  The One who would make known to everybody the glory of the Lord. The prophesy is found in Isaiah 40:1-11…“A voice cries out, ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.  Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. ‘”

This funky messenger was used by God at the exact fullness of time to make ready the path of the ONE who would make every valley raised up, every mountain brought low, and every rough place made flat.

Take a moment tonight to read Isaiah 40:1-11.  After you read, take a listen to this song: Every Ditch, Every Valley

 

 

 

Beer Advent Day 9: Satin Solitude

Central_Waters_Satin-Solitude

Brewery:  Central Waters

Location: Amherst, WI

Style:  Imperial Stout  ABV: 7.5%

Info about beer/brewery: Central Waters prides itself on being one of the most environmentally stable breweries in the nation.  Each of their labels reveals this environmental commitment in their slogan “Ale, Sun, Earth, and Sky”

Tonight’s beer is our first imperial stout which should be a nice feature for the bitter cold tonight and the first snowfall of the season.  The specialty malts and deep dark chocolatey appearance + the higher ABV should be accompanied by a fire and a good conversation on this cold wintry night.  Cheers!

Advent Reflection:  I apologize for the delay in the blog tonight.  My family and I just got back from a day away with family.  We will resume tomorrow with the Advent reflection.

IF YOU ARE ABLE, JOIN OTHER BEER ADVENT PARTICIPANTS AT GATHERING PLACE BREWING TOMORROW AT 2:00 P.M.

 

Beer Advent Day 8: Unite the Clans

unite the clans

Brewery:  Third Space

Location:  Milwaukee, WI

Style:  Rye Scottish Ale  ABV: 5.8%

Info about beer/brewery: Tonight’s beer was a Gold Medal Winner at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival for Rye beer.  Unite the Clans uses rye malt and a classic hop from the British Isles called Fuggles, which gives this beer a spicy and bready complexity.  As you pour this Scottish Rye into your pint glass tonight think about William Wallace yelling “Freedom!!!” (The picture is for dramatic affect!)

Mel Gibson as William Wallace in the film Braveheart

Advent Reflection: We started the week’s reflection with the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1 and now that we have some background information we can read it again with new eyes.  “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)

The genealogy establishes Jesus’s identity, tracing him back to David, the descendant of Judah, the descendant of Abraham, the descendant of Eve.  The entire Old Testament (which we have journeyed through, albeit very briefly) narrows down the identity of God’s Messiah until the day he finally arrives — the day God comes to his creation to undo the work of the fall, destroy the works of the Devil, and begin to set things right.  In other words, Jesus is the promised seed who will set everything right!

The one who will ‘Unite the Clans’, or as the line in Joy to the World says, “God and sinners reconciled”.

Cheers! and AMEN!

Beer Advent Day 7: Eugene Porter

eugene porter

Brewery: Revolution Brewery

Location: Chicago, IL

Style: Porter  ABV: 6.8%

Info about beer/brewery: Tonight’s beer is our second from Revolution Brewing down in the Windy City.  I’m definitely going to visit the taproom sometime this holiday season because I really like their beer.  Anywho…the Eugene Porter is brewed from a mix of Belgian specialty malts which gives it the dark chocolate intensity.  It is robust and should be a nice comfort to the frigid cold that has finally hit the Milwaukee, NW Illinois area.  

The Eugene Porter is named after Eugene V. Debs, who was an American union leader and activist who led the Pullman Railroad strike in Chicago in 1894.  You can read up a little more on this guy who is pictured on your can tonight here:  Eugene V. Debs

Cheers to tonight’s robust porter! Put those fists in the air and bring a revolution in your sphere of influence!

Advent Reflection: As we journey through the Old Testament to enter into God’s Story we learn that the Old Testament ends with the promise being unfulfilled.  The promised offspring of the woman has not yet come.  Key word being ‘yet’.  The world has not yet been set right.  Blessing has not yet come to the world through Abraham’s descendant.  It looks as though the scepter has departed from the line of Judah.  It looks as though David’s kingdom has been defeated and no ruler reigns to bring God’s blessing to the nations.  The Old testament ends with a looking ahead to the future for this promise to be fulfilled.

The prophets have been silent.  Their voice has ceased.

The waiting continues.

We now enter a period of silence as the Old Testament draws to an end. 

Beer Advent Day 6: Glutiny Pale Ale

glutiny pale ale

Brewery: New Belgium

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Style: Pale Ale  ABV: 6%

Info about Beer/Brewery: The Glutiny Pale Ale is crafted to remove gluten.  I chose this beer during Beer Advent because I probably would never pull it off the shelf to buy a 6 pack of it.  The one Gluten-reduced beer that I’ve tried previously was not to my liking one bit.  So I was a little hesitant to try this one.  But in light of people who cannot enjoy the beauties of craft beer because they have a sensitivity to gluten, either because celiac disease or a desire to be in with the ‘Whole Foods’ crowd (oops I said it).  An enzyme built for breaking down the gluten was added in the brewing process to make the beer ‘gluten-reduced’.  If you are a hop head, this beer will have the usual dryness and bitterness that makes some cringe, but hop heads rejoice!

Cheers to tonight’s beer and to remembering those who have gluten sensitivity!

Advent Reflection: The descendant of David who will rule as king doesn’t seem to go as hoped.  The kingly descendants through the book of Kings/Chronicles regularly stray from God’s laws and ways and often lead the nation of Israel into idolatry and rejection of God’s Word.  During this time prophets are sent to Israel to declare God’s words, warnings, and promises.  Each in a different way, the prophets envision a time when God will set all things right in all the earth through a descendant of David.  A Davidic ruler will usher in a world peace and blessings for the nations.  

As you read through Kings/Chronicles, we soon learn that because God’s people fail to repent and turn back he eventually sends them into exile through the conquest of the Assyrians in 722 B.C. and the Babylonians in 586 B.C.  The Israelites eventually return from exile and resettle in the land of Jerusalem but experience nothing like the promise of a kingly ruler bringing blessing to all peoples.  The people are still waiting.

And as we enter into God’s story this Beer Advent………………………..WE are still waiting.

Psalm 89 expresses the pain of waiting for this promise fairly well:

“You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,
 ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’ ” 
 I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.
“If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness– and I will not lie to David–
that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun;
it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one.
 You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
 All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. 
How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?
O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?”  -Psalm 89: 3-4, 28-46, 49

Day 5: Buffalo Sweat

buffalo sweat

Brewery:  Tallgrass Brewing Co.

Location:  Manhattan, KS

Style:  Oatmeal Cream Stout  ABV: 5.0%

Info about beer/brewery: Last night we enjoyed Moose Drool, tonight we will enjoy some Buffalo Sweat! (and yes I put them back to back intentionally) Our first stout of this year’s Beer Advent comes from Tallgrass Brewing Co.  Tallgrass became established in 2006-2007 and gets its name from the location in the wonderful state of Kansas.  Manhattan is a college town (Kansas State University) nestled in the Flint Hills of Kansas and surrounded by Tallgrass Prairie.

If you’re not normally one who enjoys stouts, Buffalo Sweat is a good place to start! It pours creamy with a beautiful caramel colored head and will give your taste buds the lingering pleasure of chocolate chip cookies and espresso.  If you are feeling really bold and adventurous, try a Buffalo Sweat Ice Cream Float!

Cheers to our first stout this Beer Advent!  Cheers to the Prairie!

Advent Reflection: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:” -Matthew 1:1

Last night’s reflection ended with the promise that a kingly ruler will come from the line of Judah (Genesis 49), who came from Abraham (Genesis 12), who was a seed of the woman (Genesis 3).  The kingly ruler from the line of Judah finds its fulfillment hundreds of year later when we meet a shepherd boy named David (1 Samuel 16) who becomes anointed as the king of Israel.  Could this be the promised seed that will bring blessing to all peoples of earth and will crush the head of the serpent?  We learn fairly quickly in the Davidic narrative of 1-2 Samuel that David will NOT fulfill the promise.  Like Adam, Abraham, and Judah before him, David’s life is marked by sin and failure even though he is known for his faith and called “a man after God’s heart”.  At one point during David’s imperfect kingly reign over Israel, God sends a prophet named Nathan to give David the following promise in 2 Samuel 7 “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.  Your throne shall be established forever.”  We are now told that a descendant of David will rule on his throne and over his kingdom forever.  This descendant will crush the head of the serpent, bring blessing to all peoples of the earth, rule as king, and will be a descendant of David?

The waiting continues…….