Friday, November 21, 2014

This Is Why I Love Beer

Courtesy of Carlsberg Group
No, not because of girls in sexy blue Santa outfits.
Okay, not only because of girls in sexy blue Santa outfits. 

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm coming at this late (by two weeks), but when I read about the (relatively new) Danish tradition of J-Day (or J-Dag in Danish), my love for all things fermentable was reaffirmed.

What exactly is J-Day—or more precisely—Julebryg Day? I'll let Helen Russell of the Guardian explain.
This is J-day, the first Friday in November, when the Christmas beer, or Julebryg, is delivered to every town in Denmark and the first snow of the season traditionally falls. Temperatures often sink to below zero at this time of year, but in case Mother Nature doesn’t oblige, lorries [that's trucks to you an me Americanos] pump out gallons of fake snow to get everyone in the mood.
At precisely 9pm, Carlsberg’s Tuborg Julebryg – a 5.6%-proof liquorice-infused pilsner that is Denmark’s fourth bestselling beer, despite only being on sale for 10 weeks a year – will go on sale across the country. The beer gives its name to J-day (J-dag in Danish), which was accepted into the Danish dictionary in 2008 as “the day a brewery’s Christmas beer comes on the market”.
According to the article, the idea of J-Day was spurred on by an animated advertisement for Tuborg Julebryg back in 1980. The cartoon features Santa and reindeer chasing a truck full of Tuborg—en lieu of their regular Christmas Eve duties—and has run unchanged for the past 34 years. Since 1990 Carlsberg employees have been giving out free samples of the anise flavor brew—at what now totals 400 locations across Denmark.

I know some of you are going to say "Carlsberg?! Carlsberg is macro crap!" But who cares? It's fun, and it's tradition. So much so that according to the article, school teachers and employers complained that absenteeism was so high on the Thursdays after J-Day, that Carlsberg switched the unofficial holiday from Wednesday to Friday in 1999.

Oh, and there's always a theme. This year it was a Michael Jackson theme—the King of Pop, not the beer writer.

I have no explanation for that, all I know is I want an American version J-Day.

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