It’s an idea that uses all of Scott Wetzel’s skills: drinking, singing and praising the Lord.
Wetzel, who owns Snohomish’s Center Public House with his wife, Loni, is organizing a classic “Wass-Ale” event at the pub on Dec. 23. He’s asking patrons to gather around 5 p.m., enjoy a drink of mulled wine or cranberry sangria to get into the holiday spirit, and then start belting out Christmas carols. He hopes to have enough folks to visit surrounding businesses and serenade the community.
“We’ll have homemade hymn books made up and everything,” Wetzel said. “Christmastime is perfect for getting together, hanging out and singing.”
Wetzel came up with the idea after chatting with a pair of Presbyterian pastors in the area. One of the pastors was regaling Wetzel with the time he visited a bar in California and the whole place broke out into song. It gave Wetzel the idea for a true wassail event — just with more “ale.”
“Ultimately, we want to be the type of place that people get together, have a conversation and feel a part of the community,” he said. “Something like this can be a real bonding experience.”
Wassailing is the ancient tradition of going house-to-house singing to the health of your neighbors and offering them a drink from the “wassail bowl.” Often in the bowl was as mixture of mulled ale or cider, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. Neighbors would drink from the bowl in exchange for gifts. Center Public House’s wassail is a bit more streamlined (see Drink This box).
An intersection of drink, song and praise, wassailing is well-suited to Wetzel. A member of Clearview Foursquare Church, Wetzel has been singing and playing guitar in bands nearly his whole life. Throw in the fact that he owns a pub, and you’ve got a wassailing veteran.
Gather with the folks at Center Public House, 2925 115 Ave. A, Snohomish, on the Sunday before Christmas to have a few drinks, including some mulled wine, and do some caroling around town.
Resilience IPA, Sound to Summit Brewing: Brewed from a Sierra Nevada recipe and donated ingredients, Resilience IPA was brewed by hundreds of breweries across the U.S., including Sound to Summit, to help in recovery efforts from the Camp Fire Wildfire near Sierra Nevada’s home base in California. Sound to Summit is hosting an event Dec. 20 to release the beer. All of the sales of the beer will go to Camp Fire relief. Available on tap at the brewery.
Vinson Massif IPA, Sound to Summit Brewing: The second in Sound to Summit’s Seven Summits IPA series is a hazy IPA made with Simcoe, Mosaic and El Dorado hops. Aromas of passion fruit and guava yield to citrus-y hop flavors of grapefruit, tangerine and lime. Available on tap at the brewery.
Blackberry Sour, Decibel Brewing: A mixed culture fermentation was brewed in February and aged on 2 pounds per gallon of wild Snohomish blackberries, giving the beer a mild tartness with a big blackberry flavor and a touch of funk. Available on tap at the brewery.
Black Currant Kolsch, River Time Brewing: This beer has a slightly fruity nose with hints of black currants and a dry finish. Available on tap at the brewery.
SIMKOH/Blue Velvet/Another Dimension, Skookum Brewery: Three new beers from the Arlington brewery: SIMKOH, a wheat IPA brewed with a touch of Vienna malt and hopped with Simcoe and Kohatu; Blue Velvet, brewed in collaboration with folks from Latona Pub, an oatmeal milk stout finished on blueberry puree, whole vanilla and cinnamon; and Another Dimension, an oat/rye IPA brewed with tons of Nelson Sauvin hops. Available on tap at the brewery.
Center Public House, Snohomish
From the pub: The classic wassail drink is mulled cider. Center’s version has baking spices steeped in hot apple juice and mixed with Alexandria Nicole Quarry Butte red-blend wine and garnished with an orange slice.