This year, Thanksgiving happened to be more low-key than most Turkey Days. My parents spent the holiday in San Diego, visiting my aunt, and while I missed the big feast over at my mom’s house, I have to say it was the most relaxing Thanksgiving we’ve had in almost a decade. Our list of family gatherings to make an appearance at went from three to two, and it surprisingly made a difference in how much down time we had that day.
The following day was Mikey’s 30th birthday, and since we both had the day off, we had the pleasure of sleeping in till 9:00. And the rest of the day was spent stuffing ourselves with all his favorite foods. Homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast/lunch. Chicken Piccata and Mushroom Orzo for dinner. And his preferred alternative to a birthday cake — a seven-layer taco dip, complete with beer candles.
I surprised him with a new beer kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop and a set of beer towels from Nesta Home on Etsy. (Cute stuff, you should check out her shop.) So it looks like we’ll be brewing a batch of “Smoked Wheat” in the near future.
And if that wasn’t enough beer for the birthday boy, we celebrated with a large group of friends, family and coworkers the following night at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC). It’s Mikey’s favorite St. Louis microbrewery, and the fact the place was packed from wall to wall from the time we got there at 6pm to the time we left at 11:30pm shows that plenty of other people feel the same way about this place.
Between the two of us, I’m pretty sure we tried every brew on the menu. But I would have to say my favorite of the night was a Spruce Ale, called Old Tjikko. It’s not for everybody. In fact, Mikey, the die-hard UCBC fan, didn’t care for it so much. But I like that it tastes like you’re drinking a Christmas tree. And who doesn’t want a hint of Christmas in your beer during the holidays? Here’s the blurb on Old Tjikko from UCBC’s website if you want to learn more.
Twas the season to ‘spruce’ up a beer…literally. So we did. OT is an aggressively ‘pined’, higher ABV, palate smacker that gets its name from the nearly 10,000 year old Norway Spruce living in the climes of Sweden. Like its namesake, this beer is dark, complex and fantastically fragrant. ABV- 6.3%, IBU’s – 37, OG – 15.0 Plato.
Naturally, Mikey spent the next day in recovery mode. The Bear made sure to keep him as comfortable as possible.
I’ve always known my husband to shy away from the mention of his birthday. He’s never been the type for birthday parties either. But I think this year, he really enjoyed himself. Not that it was any huge surprise to me. Throw his favorite microbrewery into any situation, and you’re as golden as a UCBC pilsner.
Nine days later, here’s to one last “Happy Birthday!” for the hubs!