My Seasonal Beer OCD Is Spinning Out of Control

See that picture above?  That’s how my garage looks – overrun with elves (Mad Elf’s, to be exact).  I have just about 100 of those little suckers in there, but I don’t feel it’s enough.  I need more!

I’ve shared how Mad Elf is far and away my favorite of all the seasonal beers.  It’s considered the Taste of Christmas in my house and has become the centerpiece beer for the holiday.  I like to have one while trimming the tree, or watching A Christmas Story, or swearing at unbuilt bikes in the basement. These little fellas are my fruitcake, my figgy pudding.

Now the truth is, I don’t guzzle a bunch of them down in a sitting – that’d be nuts at 11% ABV – I like to slowly enjoy one as it warms in a goblet, feeling like the king of Christmas. As these are sippers, I tend to go through them more slowly than other beers, but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking I need lots and lots and lots of them.

I’ve scored four cases of 12oz bottles so far, enough to get me through the holiday and well into January.  But for some reason, my anxiety to procure more of them hasn’t eased. I’m stuck in Elf Hunting mode!

Maybe it’s because I’m excited about Christmas, and the act of buying Mad Elf is a harbinger of the fun to come. Or maybe it’s because this is one of my favorite beers of the year, and I know there’s a limited window in which I can stock up.  Or maybe I’m a little OCD about running out before Christmas and missing out on that “magical” moment I have in my head, sitting in the living room in the evening after all the gifts have been ravaged open, gazing at the twinkling lights and enjoying the fact that my kids are young and sweet, I have a family that loves me, and I have many blessings which to count.  Yeah, I think that’s the one.

At any rate, with that big ABV, this baby ages well, so I guess I can’t have too much of this very good thing.  I’ll probably try to score a case or two more and be satisfied that I have enough.  There should be plenty for the run up to Christmas, for the holiday week, for the month of January and to tuck a sixer away for my birthday in July.  Heck, it might even last me until Christmas 2012!

But until then, there’s a little more hunting to be done.  Guess I’m OCD about elves!

Have you ever gotten so hung up about a seasonal beer?




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47 Comments on “My Seasonal Beer OCD Is Spinning Out of Control”

  1. johnking82
    November 3, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I’l’ admit. I have the same problem. Last night my buddy (Stephen the Hipster) texted me he got Great Leakes Christmas Ale and a Bitches Brew (guess the new batch is out). It was 9:45 and I was ready for bed. The wife was in the shower, I thought, I bet I can run (literally) to the liquor store, check there stock and get home before she is even done. Stupid beer.

    • tronto
      November 3, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      ^ and Blackout stout and Burton Baton. It’s definetely out of control.

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Yeah, but my OCD is focused on a single beer, which is kinda different…

  2. November 3, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    I have one little 12oz bottle of this in my fridge right now because I’ve never had it before, but after reading that, I’m thinking I better try it soon and see if I can get more. I have a feeling I’ll be checking that one out soon.

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      I love boozy beers, and this one just tastes right for the holidays to me. YMMV.

  3. Don
    November 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    No, but admitting you have a problem is the first step in beating it! If I had 4 cases of this beer, it would last me for 5 years! You’ve gone a bit wonky here Jim.

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:26 am #

      For once, Don and I completely agree. Look out, Hell. There’s a cold front on the horizon.

      • November 3, 2011 at 10:46 am #

        It already happened Zac (see the snowstorm that hit NJ last Saturday).

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:45 am #

      You’re just jealous. Do they make a Santa Potato Brew out by you or something?

    • November 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm #


  4. November 3, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Really? I don’t get the hoarding cases of one beer. Don’t you get bored?

    I used to buy a case-worth of Hopslam every year. Then, I realized that it eventually became a chore to get through it before the hops faded. So, now, I buy a sixer and enjoy it until the next Hopslam arrives a year later. (Although, my mom did get me a minikeg of the stuff for my birthday and I drank it whenever/wherever it was on tap.) Variety is the spice of life. Mix it up a little.

    Of course, if we lived closer, I’d know exactly where to go to get a bottle of Mad Elf.

    • johnking82
      November 3, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      I agree. I bought a case of Schlafly Pumpkin and after awhile, I got tired of drinking it. It gets to a point your drinking it out of guilt since you bought it. Although, I think he’ll probably pawn it off on dawn as a holiday gift.

      • November 3, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        Already worked out a trade for a sweet Dragon’s Milk hoodie, so you might be right!

        • November 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm #


        • November 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

          Nerd with a sweet hoodie…

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:47 am #

      Well, it ages well, so there’s no timeframe to drink it like I’d have with a hop bomb. Also, I’m like a dog, in that I can eat (and by extension, drink) the same thing every day and still look forward to it.

      • November 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

        Fair enough. Still.

  5. November 3, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    You will get sick of Mad Elf, Jim. Then you’ll have to get rid of your hoard somehow. Perhaps you’ll send some out to one of your readers in Colorado not named Will?

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      I wonder if you can cook with Mad Elf.

      • November 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

        I wouldn’t try (it’d be a waste!) but it has a sweet honeyed/cherry flavor that’d be great with pork…

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:49 am #

      Didn’t happen last year (getting sick of it / sending some to CO), so don’t hold your breath! 🙂

  6. November 3, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Whoa! I only grabbed one bomber. I am torn between thinking that (1) you might have lost it, or (2) I might need to go grab more. Although a place within walking distance had it on tap last year, so maybe that will be my backup plan.

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Why can’t it be both? 🙂

  7. Brendan
    November 3, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Back when I was smoking pipes, the pipe geex talked about Pipe Acquisition Disorder (PAD). They probably still do but I developed asthma and, sadly, racked my pipes. This post suggests a mutation of the PAD virus, Beer Acquisition Disorder, or BAD.

    I don’t like Mad Elf, but I haven’t let the 5 full bottles of Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence in my living room keep me from buying more.

    I’ve also engaged in Serendipitous Aging (not Accidental Aging, which comes with an unfortunate acronym) by acquiring bottles and then forgetting them, much like a squirrel supports a forest by forgetting where it buried acorns.

    Of course, Jim, you could draw more female readers with a title like, “Your man has the BAD virus – how to help”

    • November 3, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Trust me, they’re usually aware that their man has BAD, and they seem to think the cure is complaining about it!

  8. November 3, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    You’ve flipped your beer cap, Jim. 48 of them to be specific. With that many, I might get permanently bored of the beer. Next year would roll around and I’d be so sick of it that my once cherished beverage would likely loose its charm.

    • November 3, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      I know it’s weird, but I usually don’t get sick of stuff. I’m sure I’ll be “done” with it come January, but I’ll start looking forward to it again in September.

      Also, my wife loves the stuff as well and I share and trade it, too, so it’s not all for me…

      • Don
        November 3, 2011 at 11:03 am #

        Um…yeah…um…I’m just holding it…um…for a friend.

  9. November 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I smell a great reader giveaway… 😉 I’ve never seen anything by Troegs in Wisco, but I’ll have to look for it next time I’m in Minneapolis or Chicago.

    • November 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      What’s this “giveaway” concept you speak of? 😉

  10. November 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    A wise man once said “Moderation in all things” If you don’t overdo it this year you’ll appr4eciate it even more next year.

    • November 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      That man was not me.

  11. November 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I’m all about some seasonal obsession. In fact I’m about to go buy the first of several cases of Sierra Nevada Celebration. And I will likely compile at least three four-packs each of Blackout Stout and Black Chocolate Stout as well as as many four-packs of Bourbon County Stout I can find (when it finally hits shelves).

    • November 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      I did the same thing as you do with SN Celebration, just all at once, as Mad Elf usually gets snapped up pretty quickly in these parts.

      And I wish I could overdo it with BCS, but we don’t get that flavor of Bud in these parts. 😦

  12. Don
    November 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    What ever happened to your “beer Budget” that you were going to develop to get your beer spending under control? Remember that? I think it was when you were cleaning out your garage and cam across cases of beer you didn’t even remember buying, or something like that. So much for moderation. Its the holidays after all!

    • November 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      I’ve actually cut waaay back since that post. I still don’t have a budget per se, but my spending is well under control. Even now, buying up all of this Mad Elf won’t break the bank, as it’ll make it so I don’t have to do any major beer buying until next year. It’s an investment of sorts…

      • November 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

        Or you could bottle up that beer that’s sitting in your bathtub (wink, wink!) That’d hold you for awhile.

        • November 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

          Oh, that. I was going to do that this past weekend, before Mother Nature decided to knock out the power and ruin Halloween and my back decided that I didn’t show enough appreciation for my ability to stand upright. It was a one-two blow that meant no bottling occurred. Hopefully I’ll get to it this weekend, but I want to be careful about the back thing – it’s a nasty bit of business!

    • Greg
      November 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

      Beer budget? What’s that? I just spent $300 on a case of wine, that’s a LOT of beer.

      • November 4, 2011 at 10:25 am #

        Yes, four cases of Mad Elf…

  13. November 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Sounds as though you could use some slave labor Jim–how old are your kids?

    • November 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      9 and 5 – too little to help without me helping them help.

      • Greg
        November 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

        They can hand you bottles as you fill or cap them. That’s what my 9yo, now 10 today, has done.

        • November 4, 2011 at 10:25 am #

          Maybe, but my 5 year old is my doer, my 9 year old would rather be playing X-BOX…

  14. Matthew
    November 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Driftwood Brewing in Victoria, BC release a wet hop beer called Sartori in October every year. It’s widely regarded as the best beer in BC and, as such, the best beer in Canada. My local store only got 20 cases and were only allowing people to buy 6. I took that on the chin and went home happy with my 6 bombers, but I heard tales of people driving all over town to get as many as they could.

    The most I heard one person obtain was 20 bombers. To me, the craziest part about this is that it’s a wet hop beer so it really needs to be consumed within 2 months to be at it’s optimum.

    That said, after I drank my last bottle last night I heard they had a couple of cases at a store about a half hour drive away and, had my car not been in the shop, I would’ve gone to get more. I nearly took the bus today, but I ran out of time. It’s that good.


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