I was going to sign off for 2016 by writing about last week's office Christmas party, but I can't remember it.

On-line producer Hanoi Jane and myself had the 'missing' parts filled in by our respective partners the next day and I can now see where the premise of those movies like 'The Hangover' originate from; total memory blank from a night of excess with the pieces of the puzzle gradually falling into place over the ensuing days.

I had made a commitment to thrash the company credit card for all it was worth earlier that day on The Country, prompting host Jamie Mackay to admonish me and others of this ilk in an annoyingly pious manner, descrying those who feel the company owes them; or something along those lines (I wasn't really listening).

That's got nothing to do with it, of course - it's not vindictive at all, instead a simple desire to celebrate another year's graft and usher in the festive season the way I intend it to continue.


As employees, one of the highlights of the year is the Christmas party.

It's up there with long weekends, summer holidays and pay rises. If the company offers such baubles as an office party then I feel it's incumbent on me to seize the opportunity with vigour - after all it's what they want, otherwise why would they offer?

However, one of the issues that can arise is unlimited beverages minus a substantial meal. I'm a firm believer in the old 'eatin's cheatin' adage, unless you're specifically going out for a meal. Food or booze - there is no in between.

And when you discover Emerson's White Tail IPA on tap at a nifty little 6.1% ABV, buttressed by just a few cold chips and some impossible-to-eat sliders, well then the recipe for extreme seasonal joviality is firmly entrenched.

It is around this point my memory fails me. I have been visited by the odd flashback in recent days and, coupled with the occasional anecdote, I've discovered one or two things.

Sadly I can't reveal them here for reasons of both good taste and libel. Suffice to say, good people, it was a great night!

Although it would at this point be pertinent to point out that controlled and responsible celebrating is advisable - we don't condone any untoward and socially unsavoury behaviour. Like I tell my children, do as I say - not as I do.

So any further elaboration on the staff party is impossible as it's either classified or eliminated, which, as I say, makes it very difficult to write about.

The other big project at The Country this Christmas is the production and release of our own beer, Mackaiser.

It's a single hop pilsner brewed under the careful watch of one of this country's pre-eminent brewery's, Emerson's, and is named in honour of despotic radio show host Jamie Mackay.

Members of The Dommune, the name given to those of us in the team that don't goose-step our way through life, were tasked with putting this together.

So we came up with the name, wrote and refined blurbs for the label, designed the label, devised a marketing concept, scripted the resulting video content, made key decisions alongside the brewers and created a competition element to the project.

Jamie Mackay then claimed the credit and the glory and the Sales team stole all the beer.

Merry Xmas.