The rubber mallet felt heavy and the tap was awkward as I tried to position it for a clean hit. Thanks to judicious venting and some luck the tap went right in without spraying me or any of the rest of crowd gathered around the bar. After blessing the keg, I poured the first glass of Even More Ginger Gingerbread Jesus. The fresh ginger permeated the aroma as I passed a glass to Erin Wallace and together we officially toasted the launch of Gingerbread Jesus at Barren Hill Tavern.
From there about 20 of us, including members of St Tim’s, fellow clergy and even Dave Wilby from Dawson Street Pub, adjourned to the side room to sing carols. Accompanied on accordion by Brian Biggs we sang our way through a number of carols while sipping GBJ and a number of other excellent beers. While the carols were not always on key we were helped along by members of the St Tim’s choir and by the big voice of Lew Bryson. This drew in the occasional patron who stuck their head in the door to see what in the heck was going on.
In terms of the beer itself the consensus was that the fresh ginger in the Even More Ginger version was a little overpowering. Our solution was to mix the firkin and the draft versions. The result was a balance of the fresh ginger, spices and the base beer which was quite pleasing and very festive. While the firkin is now gone you can still get your own taste of GBJ through the holidays at Barren Hill. We are already planning on how to make it even better next year so stay tuned.
Thanks again to Erin, Scott, Rick, Andrew, Dave, Brian and everyone else who has helped to make this crazy idea a reality!