A s a kid, I looked forward to the chocolate advent calendar. You know the one—Mom bought it for 99 cents and the chocolates tasted like cardboard dipped in waxy chocolate syrup. It was glorious.
Now that I’m a bigger kid and can’t stomach the chocolate cardboard, I need something else to entertain me through the holidays other than playing “spot the Northern Reflection Christmas sweaters”. Well, lo and behold, some local breweries and an importer make pre-boxed Beer Advent Calendars for your holiday drinking pleasure. Thank you, Santa!
Something to keep in mind, though, especially with the imported beers, is the length of time it takes them to get to your fridge. Let’s work backwards: they’re in stores in October/November, so they get packaged in a warehouse in about September, having sat at the LDB for most of August, after being shipped from Europe in June (mmm, hot cargo ship), which means they were brewed in about . . . March? Low ABV beers that travel from Europe and then sit at a warehouse for months taste like regret to me.
What we’ve done the past few years is make our own Super Awesome Beer Advent Calendar™. This way we choose the beers for each other and get to stuff the boxes full of the styles we love. A nice bonus is that it reduces our cellar by 48 bottles, so I can start shopping again.
Having a great advent calendar helps to make up for having to listen to Boney M from the moment the pumpkin spiced lattes have overstayed their welcome until the big day. But really, the anticipation of what each day’s beer will be, drinking some great beers and sharing them with someone is really what this is all about. If you use Instagram or the Twitters, tag your posts #beeradventcalendar so we can all follow along. Cheers!
How To Advent
Here’s your easy step-by-step guide to making your own Super Awesome Beer Advent Calendar™:
Find a beer-loving friend/spouse/neighbour—anyone breathing, really—to trade with.
Pick how many days you want to count down. No one’s the boss of you; you can have a nine-day advent calendar if you want.
Set an overall value for the box.
Get a box. Wine/bomber boxes work well, and any big ol’ box works, too.
SHOP! Whee! I know you’ll have fun with this one, picking great beers for your friend. Don’t say I suggested this, but a gag bottle of Colt 45 is always a big hit. Yuh-huh.
Disguise the bottles. Wrap them in tissue/newspaper or, for a bomber box, just cover up the top of the bottle with more cardboard.
Number the bottles or cardboard covers 1 to 24 (or 16–24 for your rebellious 9-day box). Maybe make 24 a special beer (no, not the Colt 45).
Trade (no peeking) and enjoy!