A beer is a beer, right? If you said yes, it might by time for a beer education. So, put the PBR down (or smash the can against your forehead or whatever it is you do) and consider the smoked lager, sour ale, and double bock.
Connoisseurs, or the sort of chaps who frequent Burp Castle in the East Village, Spuyten Duyvi in Williamsburg, or The Beer Table in Park Slope already know that a beer can be so much more than cold-filtered. So for them, and for yourself, this holiday season, don't just have the Missus whip up some of her famous chocotinis when company comes caroling. Enlist the services of a professional. A good place to start is with Justin Philips, proprietor of the aforementioned Beer Table. Just in time to lively up your holiday festivus, Philips is hiring himself out for private beer tastings. He'll bring the brew, and an encyclopedic knowledge of what ales you.
“I try to approach tasting beer with a sense of adventure, in as unbiased a way as possible,” says Philips. For prices starting at $250 he'll host a tasting as casual (think: he's pouring and you're drinking) or formal and educational (think: a dissertation and a six-pack) as you like. Either way, we're still thinking no keg stands.