If you’re lucky enough to be local to Copenhagen, you may already be aware that today we’re releasing our Christmas beers at our beloved mad laboratory, BRUS. This includes four of our very first barrel aged beers coming out of To Øl City (!) If you’d like to have a closer look at these four, here are the links below:
Christmas is a great time to honour tradition: though we’ve heard the Christmas songs time and time again, we can’t help but sing along on the radio as if we never get tired of hearing it. But just as much as tradition should be about respecting all that’s come before, it should also be about trying something new.
Though we at To Øl love all traditions of Christmas, from the heavy, roasted foods to the thick, dark stouts and ales, we also wanted to challenge the idea of what Christmas beers, and even Christmas itself, can be and should be. Tore himself said:
”…How far can we play with these Christmas flavours? Can we take the traditional beer styles we love and use it as a blueprint to create something even better? This is especially true for the 15% milk stout, Jule Mælk: a heavy, rich, sweet stout thats amped up to the max, redefining what a strong milk stout can be, and what it should taste like.
On the other hand, we also want to challenge the idea that a beer has to be dark, strong and sweet to be a Christmas beer: ‘Santa Gose F&%# It All’ is a bright, tropical Gose style ale with Guava, Passionfruit and Mango. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to pair all the heavy food we’re eating at Christmas with something light and fruity alongside it, instead of piling on yet more heaviness on top of it.”
If you’re curious about all the styles released today, see them just here.
The question is though, where does tradition end and our comfort zones begin? Part of Christmas time is that there’s comfort in knowing what to expect, but we know this is a double edged sword: one one hand we’re content with what we know, but on the other hand we become fixed in an idea, and often in a repetitive mindset. We become attached to traditions that sometimes weren’t even ours to begin with.
We could look at our approach to beer here as the focal point, since of course it is challenging traditional Christmas styles, but this is also about challenging tradition itself: If one person’s Christmas is on a beach with a bbq, and another’s is in 10 feet of snow in a cabin somewhere, how is tradition even defined when we can’t point to only a single, tangible ritual or approach?
Surely many versions of the same tradition isn’t a tradition at all, but the opposite? One could argue that in fact, the only factor that influences something being tradition is not the ritual or the aesthetics, but us. And if it’s only us that are claiming some things to be tradition, and others not, then we are at liberty to create and destroy other traditions as we see fit, since there really is no rhyme or reason. So this Christmas, drink a bright, hoppy IPA followed by a tropical fruit Gose, knowing that in that very second it is just as traditional as everything that came before it, simply because you said so.