About the Beer: Next Door Brewery is located in Madison, WI on Atwood Ave. For those of you familiar with Madison you’ll recognize that street name as the hub to one of the most popular areas of the city. Next Door opened in 2013, but has quickly expanded as demand for their beer has grown. In addition to being a brewery, they have a restaurant imbedded in their facility, and pride themselves on serving great food as well. Stop in to their taproom and try their famous fermented flights, featuring a sample of all 12 beers they have on tap! Darth Porter is one of several Star Wars themed beers on Next Door’s beer list. This robust porter is brewed with two types of chocolate malts to give rise to a roast malt flavor reminiscent of dark(side) chocolate. It’s a medium bodied beer that drinks smooth and finishes with caramel and coffee aromas.
Advent Reflection: I grew up attending church just about every Sunday that I could remember. Even when we went on vacation, we would still find a church to go to. One of the things that I greatly appreciate about my Dad (who is a pastor and probably the most influential person that I look up to, albeit our differences and dysfunction) is that he spoke very openly about the ‘darkness’ that surrounded the birth of Jesus. I remember vividly one of his sermons/teachings about the genocide of King Herod and how the time that Christ was born, was a time of deep, deep pain and suffering and death. It was darkness for sure. If you don’t know the story of the deep pain, suffering, and death that revolved around the birth of Jesus…read Matthew 2:1-23. I bring that up probably because I am sitting in my own darkness and working through stuff, but also because I really do appreciate my Dad teaching me that Christmas is not just a story of goodness, joy, and yuletide gay. Tonight, take a listen to this song and realize that when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, it was most definitely NOT a silent night…but rather, a night of pain, grief, but also…joy! Which truly does highlight the fact that our faith is indeed… a paradox.