I spent most of my childhood enjoying some form of chocolate advent calendar but once the austerity of being an adult set in that tradition faded away. After an excellent suggestion by my wife, this year I decided it was time to bring it back with a bit of a grown up twist in the form of a beer advent calendar. I tried to mix and match my choices in terms of style—around 8 IPAs/Pales, 8 Stouts/Porters and 8 miscellaneous-anything ranging from Belgian Ales to Lagers.
I played it safe with some of the choices with old trusted favorites like Oskar Blues Dales Pale and Old Chub but I did try to diversify enough so that the calendar contained some beers I have never tried before as well. The Samuels Smith’s Chocolate Stout was a surprise gem, a great beer that will pair excellently with deserts. The New Belgium Abbey Ale was great which along with my recent glass of Dubbel Up at the Upland Brewpub has sparked a new interest in the Belgian Dubbel style.
I found the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable. It was also a good opportunity to bolster my newly created Instagram account and even though I have very few traditions in my life I feel like this is something I’ll return to year after year.