The Great Lakes Brewing Company celebrates Christmas in July by tapping several kegs of its popular Christmas Ale tonight. A decorated tree, strings of lights, and other seasonal ornaments welcome visitors to the party, which includes hors doeuvres, sugar cookies, and a raffle to win mugs and T-shirts. But the pint-size glasses of ale -- which is typically sold between mid-October through the holidays -- will undoubtedly hog most of the attention.
The brews spicy mix of ginger, cinnamon, and honey always puts patrons like Don Semus in a yuletide mood. This is definitely a winter warmer, he says. I can see myself drinking it by the fire on a cold December night. The spices immediately bring the holidays to mind.
Or at least thats what he can remember. Because unlike the brewerys top-selling Burning River Pale Ale (which boasts a six-percent alcohol content), the holiday offering checks in with a mind-numbing 7.5 percent. The honey is what really boosts its alcohol content, because of the sugar, says Great Lakes spokeswoman Kami Dolney. Its really a spicy, holiday-festive kind of ale.
Tue., July 24, 7-9 p.m.