Top 10 Holidays to Have a Beer (Part 1 of 2)
With the recent inauguration of Barrack Obama, my co-workers and I began discussing whether there should be work on Inauguration Day. There were some good comments: “we’ll spend Tuesday watching it at work anyway”, “this event is historic”, and “this event will give a glimpse into the next four years of our lives”. With all the talk about holidays I began to ponder which holidays weren’t receiving their full due. And so, without further ado, I present the top 10 holidays to have a beer.
Here are my top 10, with some you may have heard of and hopefully a few surprises. A side-note, I will not be including “major” holidays.
#10 – Inauguration Day (Jan. 20, 2008)
Granted it only occurs once every four years (sometimes eight), this is a time for celebration for people living across the country. I have never seen more people involved in politics than the fever pitch that surrounded Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. The real question with this “holiday” is whether it will continue to be the event which it was in 2009. Here’s to hoping it remains an important day in the minds of all Americans.
#9 – Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving)
A day some people look forward to…and others dread. I myself am not a shopper and have a tough time convincing myself to help the economy by getting lost in a seemingly endless crowd of fussy shoppers. What better time to skip the long lines at the malls and relax at your favorite brewpub? Watch everyone else fight over who gets the last Turbo-Man doll while enjoying a nice craft brew. Not only do you save yourself some stress, but you are also doing your job as an American: helping the economy! Win-Win situation!
#8 – Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
When I originally presented this list to my brother, he was a bit taken back that I had Cinco de Mayo at #8. My theory with holidays’ based on certain cultures is the closer or more exposure you have to that culture, the more important their holidays seem. Living in Kansas, we are slowly beginning to experience the fun of Cinco de Mayo. Another issue with Cinco de Mayo is the beverage I first think of when celebrating is tequila….not beer.
Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16th). The holiday celebrates a victory of Mexican forces over French forces in the 1860s. The Battle of Puebla, near east-central Mexico, took place May 5, 1862. Over the last decade or so, the holiday has come to represent pride in Mexican culture and history. Chances are the weather will be beautiful; grab a case of cerveza and enjoy your back patio with some friends.
#7 – Groundhog Day (Feb. 2nd)
This holiday might seem a bit strange for drinking a beer, but it is one of my personal favorites. Most people don’t celebrate Groundhog’s Day…with the exception of the people living in Punxsutawney, PA and or working in elementary schools. Groundhog’s Day originates in the Eastern part of the United States, in areas with deep German ancestry. If the groundhog “sees” his shadow, winter lasts an additional six weeks.
To celebrate Groundhog’s Day, grab a case of brew and watch the classic Groundhog’s Day film starring Bill Murray. Then plan your next six weeks of brewing enjoyment. Six more weeks of winter? Brew an additional stout or porter. Summer right around the corner? Time to brew that pale ale! Who knew marmots could have such an impact on our brew choice.
#6 – National Homebrew Day (May 7th)
While I was doing some research for this article, I could NOT come up with a National Beer Day in the United States. The closest I could seem to get was National Homebrew Day, a holiday created by Charlie Papazian…the George Washington of homebrewers in the United States. Charlie’s books are must haves for any homebrewer and under his leadership the American Homebrewer’s Association and the Association of Brewers has become the premier brewing organization in America. Plan ahead and brew your own batch to celebrate National Homebrew Day, and as Charlie says “Relax. Have a homebrew.”