CHRIS DROSNER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Around this time of year back in 2006, Miller teased us with a jaw-dropping beer: Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager, an absolute bomb of creamy, sweet chocolate aroma that never returned in earnest. I’m thinking of this decade-and-a-half-old beer because ol’ Fred’s ghost has been reincarnated this year in the Leinie’s seasonal lineup. Leinenkugel’s Chocolate Dunkel bears that same over-the-top milk chocolate aroma on a dark lager base. Lager traditionalists may recoil from such a twist on a classic Germanic style, but the beer is not nearly as sweet as it might sound. There’s a lot of chocolate flavor mixed in with those dark malts, but it’s well balanced and easy-drinking.
ALLISON GARCIA, MANAGING DIRECTOR
It’s holiday market season, so you know I’m making the rounds. I love to shop around at different local craft shows and makers’ markets to find new decorations, gifts for friends and other fun items. You get to meet local vendors and it’s the perfect way, in my opinion, to get in the holiday spirit. Noel Market and Light Park is new this year at the Wisconsin State Fair grounds and the Old World Christmas Market is always a hit. Both are options this week.
ANN CHRISTENSON, SENIOR DINING EDITOR
I haven’t bought a holiday tree in a few years. I just wasn’t in the mood, particularly last year. But this year, things feel different. I’m in a more festive spirit. But I’d also heard that, like seemingly everything else, there’s a shortage of trees this year. So… I embarked on a tree-buying mission earlier in the season than I ever have. And I’m glad I didn’t wait. They were going fast! I got a nice full little beauty at my local Bliffert Lumber & Hardware. It’s drinking a lot of water and is looking pretty sweet with white lights and my Scandinavian ornaments. Tip: If you’re looking for fun, Nordic holiday décor, check out Olson House.
ALLISON GARCIA, DIGITAL EDITOR
Every year, I go to see the Milwaukee Rep’s A Christmas Carol. The show is always stuffed with talented cast members and incredible set design. The story never gets old, but the team at The Rep always make sure to keep things fresh year-to-year. It’s a holiday must-see.
ARCHER PARQUETTE, MANAGING EDITOR
Stanley Kubrick’s famous masterpieces (2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, etc.) often eclipse another of his great movies: Barry Lyndon. The 1975 film is an adaption of an 1844 novel about a young, scheming Irishman trying to become part of the English aristocracy. It’s a long one at 3 hours, but it has some of the most remarkable cinematography out there, with almost all of the shots using only natural light or candlesticks. Kubrick’s scenes are often shot as re-creations of Renaissance-era paintings and capture a breathtaking watercolor-style beauty that few other films have even come close to. It’s worth watching for the visuals alone – but it’s also an engaging story and has one of the best duel scenes in cinema.