Cool Picks Friday December 21, 2012

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1) Christmas is a season of tasting things, old traditions and new adventures. The Christmas beers are now being tapped at several regional breweries. Penn Brewery’s seasonal beers are: St. Nikolaus Bock and Nut Roll Ale. You can sample several of Penn Brewery’s products today at the West Mifflin Giant Eagle, 4-6 p.m.; and Bellevue Beer, 5-7 p.m. Zwarte Piets Xmas, a Belgian -style brown ale named after the Belgian legend’s mischievous sidekick to Sinterklaas  (St. Nicholas) is on tap at The Church Brew Works, 3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville.  At East End Brewing Company they’re serving up Snow Melt Winter Ale, a rich, deep, malty ale, which they promise “will clear the fog off your glasses” and help “remove frost,”6923 Susquehanna St., East End.

2) Garfield Artworks is holding a Benefit for Dave Whaley, the local musician and record store employee who was senselessly attacked while riding his bike on the South Side, to help him pay his medical bills. Featuring bands, The Shift, and The Mast, both from New York City; and Colter Harper (of Rusted Root). 8 p.m. 4931 Penn Ave.

3) The Pittsburgh CLO presents A Musical Christmas Carol, which includes all of our favorite holiday characters: Ebeneezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. The CLO stages the production with dazzling special effects, great singing and acting and a heaping helping of holiday charm. Written by Charles Dickens. 7:30 p.m. Half price tickets for kids 3-14 (sponsored by Macy’s). Runs through December 23rd.  Byham Theater. 101 Sixth Street, Downtown Cultural District.

4) In an alternate universe (the Strip District) The SpacePimps are plying their wares (music) at Altar Bar. In a unique collaboration the SpacePimps, a Pittsburgh pop punk band are jamming with Cello Furry, a cello rock band. Also taking the stage: The Switch Kids, My Cardboard Space Ship Adventure, Trophies, Dash City Skyline. 7:30 p.m. 1620 Penn Ave.