At this time of year, you hear a lot of folks talking about their holiday traditions. My “it’s not the holidays until…” doesn’t involve a play, dancing Santas, reindeer, a TV special, or snow; I look forward to the 12 Beers of Christmas and other special releases around town.

All I Want for Christmas is a Tasty Beer

The first of the 12 Beers of Christmas will be tapped today at Flat12 during their Friends-Giving Celebration, which includes a showing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles in the taproom. You’ll want to stop by the brewery each day it’s open through December 12 to taste what’s new. There are actually 13 coming out and you won’t be sorry you tried any of them. And don’t miss the Black Friday party when rare barrel-aged stouts take center stage.

Grab a seasonal Java Mac or Diddy Muckle, and hit the kitchen to create an original dish to enter the Cooking with Sun King contest through November 30. You can use any of their beers and if your recipe wins, you’ll be rewarded with swag and gift cards.

Indiana City is releasing limited, wax-dipped bombers of Murder by Pumpkin for Black Friday. That would be bourbon barrel-aged pumpkin ale, folks. They’re also celebrating the repeal of Prohibition (aren’t we all?) on December 5 with a little party. Come dressed like a bootlegger or flapper, listen to DJ Ryan Stroble, and cheer for the Rocket Doll Revue. 

Speaking of the 21st amendment, the City Market also hosts a Repeal Day party December 5 featuring 10 bars with signature cocktails at each. The historic catacombs beneath the market will be the perfect setting for this event.

Chilly Water is open late tonight to give you some relief from holiday stress. Chatham Heart will be playing, pints are on sale, and Skip’s balls are always delicious.

If you’re looking for a place for dinner Thursday, check out Planetary Brewing’s pitch in. They’ll have turkey and sides, but you’re welcome to bring something to share. Of course they’ll have plenty of great beer to drink with your meal.

New Day Craft releases my personal favorite, Imperial Breakfast Magpie, on Black Friday. The black raspberry mead is infused with espresso beans then aged for 14 months in bourbon barrels. I just drooled on my keyboard thinking about it. My only criticism is that they should sell it year round! Come to Fountain Square to drink a glass or take home some bottles.

Scarlet Lane’s holiday brew, Marley’s Ghost, just happens to honor the IRT’s wonderful Christmas Carol production. Come to the release event at the Indianapolis Colts Grille on December 11 to try this limited edition stout. God bless us, everyone!

Come to TwoDEEP’s Christmas party on December 5 for live music from Second Story Trio, a showing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and the tapping of Jelly of the Month Club Spiced Lager.

Books & Brews has live music and movies every Friday night. This week see Scrooged,  next week is Elf, then catch Christmas Vacation December 11, and A Christmas Story December 18. You’ll put an eye out!

Remember the 12 Beers of Christmas? You may also be interested in the 12 Chefs of Christmas which pairs a great, local chef with each of the beers. The chef creates something spectacular (vegetarian, fish, meat, or cheese dish) then you go to the City Market to try them all December 12.

Even if your favorite brewery isn’t up to any holiday hijinks, maybe you’ll still catch them at Taps & Touchdowns (December 4, the night before the Big Ten football game at Pan Am Plaza), Good Beers and Ugly Sweaters (a well-dressed happy hour December 16 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center), Holiday Cheers (a candlelit, adults-only night at Conner Prairie December 17),  or the most wonderful beer event of the year, Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest (January 30 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds).

Whatever you choose, you won’t go wrong because all our Indy brews are awesome!