‘Twas the night before Christmas and long ‘fore the feast,
All was quite still, ‘cept the bubbling of yeast.
The mantle was covered with decorative steins,
waiting to be filled with craft brews divine.
Hoperatives were dozing in favorite chairs
and crackling fires were warming the air.
I sat at my keyboard, a post in my head,
but the words were not coming; I considered the bed.
When near the garage came a noise like a quake
and I dashed to forestall it, lest my children awake.
Away through the kitchen I ran like a nut,
as the pints of the evening sloshed in my gut.
I reached the front window and peaked through the blind,
breathlessly wondering at what I might find!
When, what did I see, looking out on the road,
but a horse-drawn wagon weighed down by its load.
The driver was crowned and surrounded by heralds,
’twas Gambrinus, I knew, with that load of barrels.
Like a thundering storm his mounts, they did race,
but he called out a “Whoa!” to lessen their pace.
“Now, Porter! now, Pale Ale! now, Lambic and Marzen!
On, Strong Ale! on Stout! on, Bitter and Weizen!”
“To the edge of the drive, to that garage door!
Now gallop on! Gallop on! Gallop on more!”
As the smooth flow of ale into a clean glass,
they charged to my home, across my front grass.
Right up to my doorway, that wagon did fly,
as the man drained his mug in the blink of an eye.
With a jump, he leapt straight from his perch to the ground,
Went right to his kegs and made no other sound.
I left the front window, and dashed back to my chair,
but somehow Gambrinus had beaten me there!
He was done up in finery, a crown on his head,
and I couldn’t but wonder if I slumbered in bed.
A keg on his shoulder, and bottles and jugs
hung from his belt beside his own mug.
His dark, droppy eyes looked a tiny bit glazed,
and he stumbled about, seeming partially dazed!
He hiccup’d, then straightened, and smoothed his fine robe,
and then idly scratched at one floppy earlobe.
He blew out his mustache, then patted it down,
put down the keg, and took cup with a frown;
He looked at the bottom of his wondrous stein;
but his was quite empty, so I offered him mine.
He waved me away, a command that I heeded,
then he chuckled and I saw why no offer was needed.
With the twist of a spout, like a gift just unwrapped,
in mere seconds the keg he had carried was tapped.
He gave me a smile, then turned with a wink,
and filled all our cups with a frothy ale drink.
After setting down growlers and bottles of beer,
he gave a loud hic, and in a flash disappeared!
I ran back to the window, to watch him depart,
but his team was away, pulling him and that cart.
Yet I heard him exclaim, as they galloped from sight,
“Better Beer gifts to all, and to all a good-night!”
*With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, or whomever actually wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas