Merry Christmas everyone
... In the spirit of things I am looking for some creative ideas from the community. So, every year it has been a tradition to have Great Lakes Christmas Ale when my family gathers from the four corners of the world to meet back up in Ohio. However, each year, I (the only one back in Ohio, who is tasked with procuring the beer) fail at the task of getting the beer and am forced to either purchase random 6 packs around Columbus or rush as fast as I can to a grocery store across town so that I don't ruin Christmas.
Here is my solution. I want to create a family tradition where every year we have the same family beer that is homebrewed. This way, a) I don't have to add the extra stress of remembering to get a particular beer, and b) I think it would be a fun tradition.
What I want to do is crowd source from everyone and generate some ideas for a beer that is inspired from the fruit cake. A big difference would be that hopefully people would like to get this as a gift! The book "Radical Brewing" has a recipe but I am interested in what you think.
Here are some of my ideas:
1. Rum: I like the idea of imparting a rum taste... I'm not sure if the way to do is to use rum soaked oak chips or to add molases as a fermentable. Or simply just add a splash of rum (this seems the least appealing idea).
2. Fruit: Dates, Cherries, etc. However, I know some fruits don't really turn out that well when added to beer.
3. Spices: Cloves, nutmeg, ?
4. ABV: I think it should be high. When I think fruitcake, I always remember reading about the fruitcake that is over 40 years old and the little old lady cuts a little off each year. The rum preserves it.
I'm posting this because I am interested in doing something like this, but I would classify myself as a novice brewer who is close to intermediary. I just don't have the knowledge to put everything together yet. I really am interested in hearing what creative ideas folks might have for something like this. Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing the different ideas people have for something like this.