I am going to be totally honest. Trying to find 24 new beers for my annual advent calendar is getting really hard. In fact I thought this year I had 24 totally new beers only to find out when I checked some of the beers in on Untappd, I had already had several of these beers previously. Oh well, c’est la vie.
Here is the Paws For Beer Advent Calendar 2016
December 1st: India Pale Ale from Bellevue Brewing Company, Bellevue Washington. A 7.2% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 69 International Bittering Unit (IBU). This beer was not one of my favorites. I poured it slow and it totally volcanoed up over my glass. Too much carbon-dioxide I suppose. This beer has a lot of piney and floral notes which overshadowed the supposed citrus notes. Meh at best.
December 2nd: Groomer from Bayern Brewing, Missoula Montana. A 5.3% ABV and a 23 IBU winter lager. This is an interesting beer as it’s style is a märzen, which is more commonly seen in late September to early October with the Oktoberfest beers. I enjoyed this beer. It has good flavor and fits the bill for a märzen.
December 3rd: Salted Caramel Porter by Cascade Lakes Brewing, Redmond Oregon. A 5.8% ABV and a 37 IBU. My beer store guy suggested this one to me. He knows the styles of beers I like, but he also knows I like to try new things. And this beer is definitely a new thing. The caramel flavor is noticeable, however not overbearing. Like a nice subtle nudge. Give this one a try if you like porters.
December 4th: Golden Monkey by Victory Brewing Dowington Pennislvaina. A 9.5% ABV and a 25 IBU. I was trying to expand my horizons with a Belgian style beer. I am not big on Belgian style beers but this is the time of year for trying new beers. Except it wasn’t a new beer. I had already had this beer before. Having had this beer already was disappointing but when you’re a beer collector you are bound to repeat yourself. This beer was OK. Since I do not like this style I will attribute my “OK” rating to that. I have a friend who thinks this is one of the best beers out there, but she is a huge fan of Belgian beers.
December 5th: Shiner Oktoberfest 2016 by Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner Texas. A 5.8% ABV with a 18 IBU. You bet I sneaked in an Oktoberfest. I did my shopping early this year and picked up some now off season beers. It was a nice treat as I believe you can never have too much Oktoberfest! The märzen style beer has a nice malty flavor sticking to tradition and I loved it.
December 6th: 90 Wee Heavy by Belhaven Brewery Dunbar, East Lothian Scotland. A 7.4% ABV and a 26 IBU. This was another repeat as well. Although disappointing to repeat, this beer is actually quite good and probably should be consumed more by me in the future. Perhaps next year in my advent calendar when I forget again that I have already had it. This beer is flavorful with notes of roasted maltiness and caramel.
December 7th: Budweiser Black Crown, Anheuser-Busch, St Louis Missouri or Leuven, Belgium depending on how technical you want to get. Not my typical beer style or company I would buy from but like I’ve been rambling on above it is the season for new. A decent 6% ABV but I could not locate an IBU. Now don’t scoff because even regular Budweiser has an IBU, it’s 12. For this style of beer it has a decent amount of flavor. It is classified as a red lager so perhaps the maltiness is helping me get over the skunkiness their beers typically have.
December 8th: Brombeere Blackberry Gose, Odell Brewing, Fort Collins Colorado. A 4.8 ABV and an 11 IBU. This beer is good, but it is not overly blackberry flavored. If you are looking for a solid sour beer this is one to try. It has a nice tang to it as well.
December 9th: The Optimist IPA by Fort George Brewing, Astoria Oregon. A 6.2 ABV and a 50 IBU. This beer is flavorful and hoppy. I was not optimistic however that I had not had this beer before because I drink a lot of Fort George beer. Fortunately it turned out this was a new beer for me!
December 10th: Country Boy IPA by Everybody’s Brewing, White Salmon Washington. A 6.2% ABV and an 80 IBU. Decent amount of hops, flavored with centennial, Amarillo and cluster. Notes of grapefruit which whet nicely with my spicy dinner I had along with this beer.
December 11th: Spaten Optimator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Lowenbrau-Gruppe, Germany. A 7.5% and 25 IBU. A Doppelbock that surprised me. I typically do not like this style of beer but it was a solid beer. A pretty dark amber color with malty notes.
December 12th: Los Locos by Epic Brewing, Salt Lake City Utah. Holy salt Batman. This beer is a lager with sea salt and lime flavor. I tasted more salt than lime and ended up adding a lime wedge to the beer to help cut down on the salty flavor. Once it had more lime in the beer it was much better. This beer is a 5% ABV and a 25 IBU.
December 13th: Night Time Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma California. An 8.2% ABV and 65 IBU. I picked up this beer based off of a recommendation from my bottle shop guy. He knows my beer style and he nailed it on the head with this beer. Typically I do not care for Lagunitas beer but this one is a delightful black IPA. Due to the unfortunate demise of Wookey Jack Black IPA from Firestone Walker the Night Time Ale will be stepping up to fill that missing spot in my heart. Although it does not have rye like the Wookey Jack, it is delightful nonetheless.
December 14th: Spur & Vine by Square Mile Cider Co, Portland Oregon. A 6.7% ABV and 10 IBU. This is a dry hopped cider using Galaxy Hops. I loves me some dry hopping! This cider is fresh, clean and has a nice hoppy flavor, but not overly hoppy.
December 15th: Pub Ale Boddington’s Brewery, Shamlesbury, Lancashire England. A 4.6% ABV and a 26 IBU. This beer comes with a C02 cartridge inside giving a delightful texture to the beer of velvetly smoothness. It is classified as an English Bitter and has a malty flavor that pairs well with it’s velvet texture.
December 16th: Pub Beer by 10 Barrel Brewing Co, Bend Oregon. A 5% ABV and a 14 IBU. This pilsner is decent but there isn’t much in my opinion special about it, sort of like it’s logo. I am all for simplicity and this beer is just that.
December 17th: Hop Pursuit IPA, Full Sale Brewing Company, Hood River Oregon. A 6.5% ABV and a 65 IBU. A flavorful beer that I have tasted before, no surprising as I’ve stopped by their brewery many times while passing through Hood River. The beer is brewed with Cascade hops, one of my favorites which gives this beer a flavorful fruity and citrus taste.
December 18th: Sharkinator, Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka California. A 4.8 ABV and a 40 IBU. This beer is excellent! It has some hops that I adore: Cascade, Citra and Chinook. This is classified as a white IPA and I love it’s playful name, maybe you can drink it while watching Sharknado.
December 19th: Lunch Break by Breakside Brewery, Portland Oregon. A 5.2% ABV and a 30 IBU. One of my favorite breweries making yet again another tasty beer. Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial fill this beer with flavor. This beer is classified as a session IPA, which grants you the ability to drink more! And trust me you will want to because it’s delightful.
December 20th: Bonfire Ale by Freemont Brewing, Seattle Washington. A 6.0% ABV with a 40 IBU. Their logo says “Because Beer Matters” and they’re right, it does matter. This is a nice well rounded brown beer. It has some fantastic smokey and rye notes as well as some Cascade hops. You can’t get much better then this when you are looking for a brown ale.
December 21st: Tank 7 Farmhouse by Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City Missouri. An 8.5% ABV and a 38 IBU. There is something great about farmhouse beers and when you like that style this is one you should seek out. A nice spicy flavor with a cloudy appearance sticking true to it’s saison roots.
December 22nd: Red, White & No Li by No-Li Brewery, Spokane Washington. A 6.1% ABV and a 35 IBU. This pale ale is a solid beer with bold hoppy flavors. The beer’s patriotic name pays tribute to the local air force base Fairchild located in Spokane Washington.
December 23rd: Vital IPA by Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown Pennsylvania. A 6.5% AVB and a 65 IBU. The can’s logo states that this is the only IPA you will need and while that couldn’t possibly be true, as there are so many IPAs to need, this one is a pretty good one! This beer has full hoppy flavor with notes of citrus and fruit that leaves you satisfied.
December 24th: Black Butte XXVIII by Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon. An 11.5% ABV and a 51 IBU. I end my advent calendar every year with this annual release of the Black Butte Porter. This beer is dressed up for the holidays with an imperial style, cocoa, vanilla beans and orange peel. The flavor slightly changes from year to year but it never disappoints.