Beer Advent Calendars 2017
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Beer Advent Calendar Season! Last year's blog post on the Beer Advent Calendars talked about how these were beginning to be big business for breweries and beer suppliers across the globe and this year it's really ramped up. Pretty much every beer retailer appear to be offering their take on a beer advent calendar and many breweries are offering their own. Last year, I also collated this spreadsheet with a list of the contents of some of the calendars on offer as I thought it might be useful this year. And it was. I now know to avoid Flavourly's offering like the plague - offering an advent calendar with multiple duplicate beers is absolute clown shoes. There were some good looking boxes last year and with even more choice this year, it made the decision quite difficult.
I toyed with the idea of creating my own but I like the element of surprise so ended up buying one ready to go. Before I reveal the one I plumped for, I thought I'd round-up a few that had caught my eye that may be worth checking out if you're still trying to make a decision yourself. (It's probably too late to order some of these as I've been lazy with writing this). Anyway, behold...
I'm not going to list every single one because that'd take forever and some are probably terrible. Here are the ones we like the look of the most.
I had Mikkeller's advent calendar (or Julepakkekalender to our Danish chums) last year and it was a doozy. Pricey but completely justified with the quality of beers in the box. However, I wanted to try something different this year so decided to give it a miss. I did see a list of what's in it this year and it looks very good (not as good as last year's so I'm quite happy selfishly).
From another Danish brewery is this calendar from To Øl (or To Ølekalender). The one from last year had some great beers but it seemed to be mainly pales and lagers. Where dem dark beers at? I imagine they've fixed that issue here so will be interesting to see, as Brad Pitt once said, 'WHAT'S IN THE BOX?'
Beavertown have two advent calendars on offer this year, one with just beer (£65) and one with a mixture of beer and merch (£75). For only a tenner more you get the merch option so I imagine it's mainly glassware, bottle openers etc.
I'm intrigued to see what is in this box because I'm not sure I could name 24 Beavertown beers currently in production. Unless they've held some back over the year specifically for this. If it's just a mixture of their core beers I'll be pretty disappointed.
HonestBrew have two advent calendars on offer this year - a regular version (costing £64.90) and a new-for-this-year, ULTIMATE version (priced at £114.90). The range in the regular box from last year was so-so and contained a lot of core beers that I've had before so the new, premium version has piqued my interest.
Being fans of Ghost Whale, I'm very interested to see the contents of their box this year. They often have a wide variety of beers on offer in-store so I'm intrigued to see which ones they've snuck into their advent calendar. I have high hopes for this one. £95 seems a reasonable price if they deliver on quality.
HOP BURNS & BLACK
Last but not least is another offering from a London-based bottle shop, Hop Burns & Black. As well as offering a box of 24 beers, you also get a £10 voucher for their online store which seems like a great incentive. I didn't see the range they had last year so I'm not sure the quality of the box but the website boasts it'll be good. It seems to good to be true at £79.
Honourable mentions go to Sauver with possibly the best-designed advent calendar box so far - what do you expect from Karl Grandin of Omnipollo design fame. Although they only ship in France which ruled them out. Same goes for Prohibition Beers based in Northern Ireland who had probably my favourite box of last year but you have to register to their website to see any of their products and I'm too lazy to do that or work out if they even ship to England.
The beer advent calendar box I actually went for is the Honest Brew Ultimate Craft Beer Advent Calendar - mainly due to having money in my account after being refunded a previous order which brought the overall cost down and seemed a good way to spend what is essentially free money. Keep your eyes peeled in December for our blog post detailing the contents of said box, along with a review of each beer. Here's hoping it's a Christmas cracker.