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I was quite restrained on both the drink and the food front yesterday, surprising even myself. I cracked open my first bottle of beer shortly before one o'clock; my choice being Festivity from Bath Ales, as recommended by Mark Dredge. The brewery describe it thus: “Hints of rum mingle with coffee and vanilla flavours to make a truly wonderful old-style porter.”, but I thought it more of a cross between old ale and porter. Whatever it's supposed to be, it was an excellent winter ale, and a good beer to start the day's drinking with.

Christmas dinner was on the table by two o'clock, and as usual my wife Eileen had done us proud. We had a roast turkey crown, with pigs in blankets, stuffing, bread sauce, roast potatoes, broccoli, chestnuts plus, of course, the obligatory brussel sprouts! It was truly excellent, so thanks once again, Eileen. To help wash this feast down I had selected a couple of bottles of Fuller's 1845, with a bottle of Brakspears Triple in reserve.

As things turned out the two bottles of 1845 were more than enough, and I had a good half a glass left to drink after the meal. I had a bottle of Robinsons Old Tom put by to go with the Christmas pudding, but it seemed a shame to open this, especially as I had quite a bit of 1845 left, and anyway I thought keeping it back for the cheese course later on, might be a more sensible option.

In the end, we left our cheese and biscuits until the evening, so after finishing the 1845 and settling down to watch a bit of TV, I moved onto coffee to go with the mince pies and brandy sauce. Later in the evening I fancied another beer, but wanted something a bit lighter. Oxford Gold from Brakspears fitted the bill and was followed by my final beer of the day Beau Porter from Royal Tunbridge Wells Brewery.

Whilst this was the final, it was also the best beer of the day, and a stunning example of a traditional porter. There were chocolate and coffee notes combined with a rich roast bitterness. As the brewery themselves say, the beer has "A nice balance of malty sweetness and hop bitterness." RTWB have been brewing for less than a year, but in this short time have managed to come up with some excellent beers. For me, their porter is surely the jewel in the crown, and I look forward being able to sample it on draught.

So ended Christmas day; as I said at the beginning of this post, it wasn't as beery as I'd perhaps first planned, but even so I still enjoyed some excellent beers, some fine food and above all the company of my family!

I probably won't be posting for a few days, as weather and transportation permitting, I'm off to Bamberg in the morning. Hope everyone else enjoyed their Christmas drinks as much as I did!