Paul DeLuca Winter Ale Challenge

by Renee on December 12, 2015

winter ale challengeThis year the holidays are, of course, different for me and Matt and Ali. The heart of our holiday is missing. Paul’s cooking at Thanksgiving–his beer-brined bird and amazing apple and pumpkin pies–weren’t on our table. The guy who slayed the Christmas tree every year with the help of our wonderful children isn’t here to do the job (“help” is relative, as you’ll see when you click that link). Our tree will be artificial, and the lights will be blue for good reason.

But this year we are beginning a new tradition in Paul’s name and memory. The idea came from our good friend Doug, who is a home brewer, and the past couple of years hosted a seasonal winter ale taste comparison at his home. He thought this year he’d like to do it to honor Paul–and to collect donations from those who attend to pass along to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. I said, why not!

The Paul DeLuca Winter Ale Challenge will be intimate this year, with close friends in attendance. Several breweries are donating their seasonal ales, including Willoughby Brewing Company and Chardon Brew Works. The competition will be a simple People’s Choice selection, by vote. And Doug, who was a chef by trade before he worked in sales, will provide some tasty pairings.

Next year we’ll look to do something a little bigger, and will open it up to a larger attendance. But in the meantime if you’d like to donate to the LLS in Paul’s name for the holidays, I’d be grateful (LLS, 5700 Brecksville Rd, Independence, OH 44131). And certainly if you’ll raise a glass to honor a man who raised thousands of dollars himself to fight the disease that ultimately took his life, I’d be grateful as well.

We’ll have a Blue Christmas without Paul–but I can’t help but laugh when I hear his favorite rendition of that chrismtas 2014particular song–if you are aware of his love of Looney Tunes, you won’t be surprised to find out it’s the Porky Pig version. Hope your holidays are merry and bright. Cheers.

UPDATE: I wanted to let you know that we raised over $1,400 that night for the LLS in Paul’s name. It was a great first event, and we look forward to a bigger event next year! doug pd


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Maloy December 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

You have such grace, Renee. You make something new and generous even as you deeply mourn Paul and his celebratory spirit. You’re an inspiration, I’m sure without meaning to be. The best kind. Love to you and yours, during your Blue Christmas and beyond.


Renee December 13, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Thank you, Kate.


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