I’ve been looking forward to this moment since the very first leaf began to turn. I’ve waited impatiently through PSL season and Halloween season and now – it’s time.
I’m sitting here with a little tipple (Dillon’s vermouth, if you must know). My tree is lit. The seasonal tunes are playing.
Holiday season I AM READY FOR YOU.
Let’s advent calendar.
The making of the calendar
Yet again Jasmine and I made our annual pilgrimage to our favourite LCBO location (Summerhill, natch) to splurge on some holiday brews. It seems that the price tag creeps up a little every year – this year’s tally came to $110! Luckily I had a couple gift cards burning a hole in my pocket so I ended up only paying $20 out of pocket.
The biggest change this year is the format. I’ve done away with the festive-yet-shoddy red bags and replaced it with next-level boxes (old wine cases) that I have decorated with Christmas wrapping paper. I don’t consider myself a very crafty person so I am pretty proud of myself for making something that doesn’t look like a dumpster fire.
Since I was slipping bottles en masse into little cardboard cubbies instead of carefully placing them in bags one by one (the sturdiness of the packaging really changes things!) I have to admit that I don’t really remember which beer went into which day. I know what I’ve saved as my bonus Christmas beer (the cases only fit 24, after all) but other than that I have no idea what I’m getting each day. I’m pumped!
Every year I try to avoid having multiple beers from the same brewery and this year I finally did it! That is, if you don’t count my bonus Christmas beer, which I will choose not to count because it isn’t strictly part of the advent calendar. And because it makes me feel like I accomplished something.
Of the 24 beers in the calendar this year (+1 bonus beer), 16 are from Ontario, 1 from elsewhere in Canada, 3 from the UK, 4 from Europe and 1 from Sri Lanka.
The stouts and porters
- Block 3 Brewing Frankenstout
- Black Isle Brewing Co. barrel-aged oatmeal stout, east coast edition**
- Sinha stout (aka Lion stout)**
- Sawdust City Brewing Co. Skinny Dipping stout
- Collective Arts Brewing Stranger than Fiction porter
- Innocente Brewing Company charcoal porter
- Collective Arts Brewing bourbon barrel-aged imperial porter**
The Belgians and Belgian styles
- Chimay Première red
- Trappistes Rochefort 8**
- De Leite Cuvee Soeur’ise Oak Aged Tripel Kriek Ale**
- Henderson The Ugly Belgian dark**
- Royal City Brewing Co. Tripel Entente**
- Brothers Brewing Company Abbey Ale
The darks and browns
- Czechvar dark lager**
- Hop City 8th Sin black lager
- Napanee Beer Company Blacklist black German lager
- Left Field Brewery Eephus oatmeal brown ale
- Innis and Gunn The Original bourbon barrel-aged Scotch ale
- MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company Red Fox ale
- Muskoka Brewery harvest ale
- Cowbell Brewing Co. McNall’s Mission honey brown ale**
The one-offs and randoms
- Great Lakes Brewery Saison du Pump farmhouse ale
- Prince Edward Island Brewing Co. Blueberry Ale
- Wychwood Brewery Bah Humbug spiced ale
- Beau’s Brewery Three Knocks sticke alt**
Beer notes and stray thoughts
- The starred beers are ones I haven’t had before.
- I rewarded myself an extra beer on Christmas day, as you do. This year’s bonus beer is the bourbon barrel-aged imperial porter from Collective Arts. I am so looking forward to this beer.
- As usual, I’ll be posting what I get each day on Instagram, and invite you to follow the fun over there.
How are you getting into the holiday spirit?