Zach and Abby George, owners of Barrels & Bottles Brewery in Golden, Colorado, have made Festivus all about food, beer and shenanigans.
For the past four years this pub has taken on the role of providing a fun Festivus party for their clientele… and this year is no different. They plan to invite their patrons to gather around the Festivus pole for a special beer pairing with dinner on Sunday the 10th of December.
“We typically feature a brewery that shares our love of good beer and shenanigans,” Abby added.
Abby, a dedicated fan of the Seinfeld series growing up, became a fan of Festivus in 2004 while deployed as a civilian employee in the amphibious assault ship, USS Bonhomme Richard.
“I was a civilian assigned to the ship to run their MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) program. My unofficial title was ‘Fun Boss’,” Abby explained. “On December 23rd 2004, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean off Guam, we erected a metal pole, printed out some information about Festivus, and aired some grievances.”
Apparently, the grievances were quite extensive.
Now, she finds herself in the 4th year of hosting the Barrels & Bottles “Festivus For the Rest Of Us Beer Dinner”.
“All the elements of Festivus are included in our evening… plus a few more,” Abby explained.
The evening begins with “Social Hour”, where libations from a featured brewery are served and guests are treated to a presentation titled “What is Festivus”, consisting of a few clips from Seinfeld and a talk about the history of Festivus.
“We include clips of the “Strike” episode, talk about the origin of Festivus, and have a short trivia section,” Abby explained. “We also provide each guest with a party gift that is somehow related to Festivus,”
As for the other elements of Festivus, the Barrels & Bottles Festivus Feats of Strength are meant to be low impact, fitting in well with both their clientele and insurance requirements. “We can’t wrestle,” Abby clarified. “So, we have men’s and women’s ‘Stein Hoisting’ and ‘Wall Squats’. It gets quite competitive!”
The competitive facet of Festivus is challenged further through a round of “Feats of the Mind Trivia”, added to the evening so people could use their “brain strength”.
It isn’t all Festivus fun and frivolity, as a well-planned menu of what Abby described as “blue-collar food” is also on hand.
“The first year we had individual smoked meatloaf….it was delicious!” Abby added. “Other years we did bacon wrapped chicken breast stuffed with cheddar and broccoli and paired it with a lager and scotch ale. We typically serve and pair seven different beers during the festivities.”
Does this sound like a healthy mix of food and libation? It is! This year they plan to pair an IPA and a lager with a mac’n’cheese buffet. As an appetizer, they’ll serve baked camembert paired with a tart blonde ale. The main course will be two different beers: a Baltic porter and a special DIPA named “Feats of Strength”, paired with roast beef au jus. Finally, for dessert they plan to serve two beers: a fruity and a stout, along with chocolate lava cake.
“By this point in the evening people will be full, and have had quite a few beers, so grievances may flow,” Abby pointed out.
Of course, no Festivus celebration would be complete without an aluminum pole, and Barrels & Bottles have one of the best available. “We needed it to have a stand so we went with the 100% aluminum pole from the Wagner Company,” Abby declared. “We post what you should and should not do with the pole and MOST people abide by the rules.”
In fact, Barrels and Bottles proudly displays their unadorned aluminum pole all through December. “But with no tinsel, as we find it distracting,” Abby added.
Festivus For the Rest of Us Beer Dinner
Barrels & Bottles Brewery
600 12th Street
Golden, Colorado 80401