A Favorite Local Tradition
Here at Lasting Joy, we are obsessed with all things local. Right here in Tivoli, Red Hook, Germantown, and Rhinebeck, there are so many unique and wonderful things that bring us joy throughout the year. During the holiday season, the Sinterklaas festival is right at the top of that list. For the past fourteen years, artist Jeanne Fleming has worked together with a community of artists and visionaries to thoughtfully reconstruct the best historical Dutch Christmas traditions into a present day community celebration of joy and peace.
One Saturday every December, the already impossibly charming town of Rhinebeck is transformed into a winter wonderland of magic and artistry that is enjoyed by children of all ages. Shop windows are filled with illuminated paper stars, the proceeds of which are donated to local food pantries. The streets are filled with music played by bands from all over the Hudson Valley, and children are invited to create their own “crowns and branches” that symbolize the elevated position they hold in the festival, as kings and queens for the day. Once the sun goes down, the crowds part to the sidewalks to wait in earnest for the parade to begin. Walking trees, angels on stilts, dragons, butterflies, animals of all shapes and sizes, and of course, Sinterklaas himself parade through town, their glow illuminating the faces of the children watching in awe and wonder. Every year an animal is especially honored in the fanfare, and this year the porcupine was front and center, with his shape featured in the paper lantern stars and a special place in the march through town.
Our Sinterklaas Beer
We knew we wanted to highlight this special celebration with a brew of our own. For the base beer, we chose a Finish Sahti, a traditional Finnish style beer brewed with rye and juniper. We added ginger to our Sinterklaas Ale, which gives the beer a warming spice quality. Of course, this beer would not be complete without very special packaging. For the label art, we tapped local artist Lauren Germano, who was delighted to portray the enchantment of Sinterklaas with a one of a kind illustration. Sinterklaas himself takes front and center, joined by his horse, the iconic polar bear, and this year’s animal of honor, the porcupine, with a paper star hanging above them.
The cans flew off the shelf the weekend of Sinterklaas, but you can still get a limited quantity here in the tasting room while supplies last. We’re also pouring draught pints for your enjoyment on site. We hope that we captured just a little bit of the magic that is Sinterklaas here in the Hudson Valley, and that you’ll join us at the parade next year. You’ll find us on West Market Street soaking in all the wonder and joy of the day with our family and friends. See you there!