Owners of Josh’s Taps Caps Josh (center) and Mara (far left) Arnold pose in their ugly sweaters with friends during an ugly sweater event at the Snohomish taproom. (Josh’s Taps & Caps)

Owners of Josh’s Taps Caps Josh (center) and Mara (far left) Arnold pose in their ugly sweaters with friends during an ugly sweater event at the Snohomish taproom. (Josh’s Taps & Caps)

Drink this: The ugly Christmas sweater party phenomenon

Where to find local ugly sweater events.

Ugly sweaters have become as synonymous with Christmas as egg nog, mistletoe and Bing Crosby. Every year our Facebook feeds are littered with friends and family goofily smiling as they wear hideously colored sweaters with crazy accoutrements.

Soon after they opened Josh’s Taps & Caps, Josh and Mara Arnold decided to hold an ugly sweater party to coincide with Mara’s birthday. This year they’re holding the third annual Ugly Sweater Birthday Party at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Snohomish taproom, 1800 Bickford Ave., Suite 210. There will be prizes for the ugliest sweaters, a food truck and, of course, beer.

Why are ugly sweater parties so popular? It embodies the holiday season, Mara Arnold said.

“It’s just a silly and fun event,” she said. “I think people love the creativity and fun that comes with making ugly sweaters. Our customers really go all out.”

As for birthday presents, Mara said that she isn’t asking for anything. Rather, she’d prefer people grab a paper ornament off of the taproom’s Giving Tree, which donates gifts of toys or clothes to the Snohomish County Boys & Girls Club.

Here’s a look at some other local ugly sweater events:

Sumerian’s 4th annual Christmas Ugly Sweater Event: Woodinville’s Sumerian Brewing is hosting its fourth annual Christmas Ugly Sweater Event from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 at the brewery, 15510 Woodinville-Redmond Road, Suite E-110, Woodinville.

Whitewall’s Ugly Sweater Christmas Party: Marysville’s Whitewall Brewing is hosting its annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at the brewery, 14524 Smokey Point Blvd., Suite 1, Marysville. Bring a donation of food for the Marysville Food Bank and receive $1 off your first beer.

Christmas Sweaters and Puppies at Dreadnought: Monroe’s Dreadnought Brewing is hosting its second annual Christmas Sweater and Puppies Party at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the brewery, 16726 146th St. SE, Suite 153, Monroe. Food truck Moonshine BBQ will serving food and Elf Dawgs the music. Also the folks from Motley Zoo, an animal rescue organization, will bring some furry friends.

Everett Makers Ugly Sweater Party at Scuttlebutt: Everett’s Scuttlebutt Taproom & Brewery is hosting the Everett Makers Ugly Sweater Party and Last Minute Gift Market at 4 p.m. Dec. 20 at the taproom, 3314 Cedar Ave., Everett. There will be $2 pints and plenty of gift opportunities from vendors such as The Whiskey Knits Fiber Co. and Moonflower Books & Cards.

South Everett Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl: Everett’s Crucible Brewing, Middleton Brewing and Lazy Boy Brewing will host the South Everett Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl from 2 to 10 p.m. Dec. 21. There will be special beers, ugly sweaters and prizes.

Paper! Rock! Sweaters!: Snohomish’s Center Public House is hosting its Paper! Rock! Sweaters! event at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at the pub, 115 Ave. A, Snohomish. Wear your ugly sweater, play Paper, Rock, Scissors with your server and get half off your drink.

Taster tray

Fn Holiday Ale, Foggy Noggin Brewing: A winter IPA with a big, rich malty backbone and a heavy dose of turbinado sugar and hops. Available on tap at the brewery.

Yule Fuel Winter Ale, Dreadnought Brewing: Made with cranberries and cinnamon, this winter ale is perfect for Christmas. Available on tap at the brewery.

Demonomania, Decibel Brewing: This Belgian-style golden strong ale is aged in wheat whiskey barrels from Bad Dog Distilling, giving it an oak and vanilla character that doesn’t overwhelm its delicateness. Available on tap at the brewery.

Vinson Massif Hazy DIPA, Sound to Summit Brewing: The second beer in Sound to Summit’s Seven Summits IPA series is named for the tallest peak in Antarctica and is peaked with Simcoe, Mosaic and El Dorado hops. Aromas of passionfruit and guava yield to citrusy hop flavors of grapefruit, tangerine and lime.


Holiday Clouds

Skookum Brewery, Arlington

Style: Milkshake IPA

Stats: 7 percent ABV

Available: On tap at the brewery

From the brewery: A lactose IPA hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe, fermented with cranberry, blood orange and tangerine puree, and then finished on whole vanilla, candied ginger and hibiscus.

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