Christmas was always very exciting for me growing up. We did not have a lot of money but my parents always made sure to make Christmas special for me.
One of the special parts of Christmas was my annual advent calendar. It was always made by the same distant relative and each year I counted down to Christmas with a small daily present from the calendar. Unlike some advent calendars mine did not consist of candies but of small gifts and trinkets. As I got older my relative stopped sending the presents for the advent calendar… I do not remember if she had passed away or perhaps I had gotten too old for the advent calendar process.
Regardless of the reason my mom was never one to let tradition go to the wayside and decided to take on creating the advent calendar for me. My most memorable calendar was around the age of 17 years old. She made a small kitchen gadgets calendar – things she thought I would need once I moved out. Measuring cups, a vegetable peeler, measuring spoons ect. If it was small and needed in the kitchen it was on the calendar.
As the years passed by I finally moved out, with my kitchen gadgets in hand and I never forgot the fun of the advent calendar. I was surfing around on the internet in late November of this year and found something that could revive the advent calendar for me. A craft beer advent calendar! I could carry on the tradition from my childhood while adding a little adult tradition.
I set out on a mission to find only beers I had not tried for the advent calendar. I stopped by a few grocery stores and the local beer store, collecting a healthy amount of beers. I found more beers at a few other beer stores in a nearby town as well. When you live in a small town, like I do, sometimes you have to travel far to get what you need.
My plan was to wrap all the beers, mix them up so I did not know which one I was getting each day and cover the lids with numbers to identify which beer to drink on which day. I did decide I would leave my most special (and expensive) beer for the last day. It was the Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXV. It is a porter that was brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs. Then it is aged in bourbon barrels where black currents are added. I figured it should be the grand finale beer of the season as it was a complex monster of a beer.
Now that I had all the beer wrapped up I needed to find a way to store it. I use to buy beer from Costco, back when I use to by store bought beer, that held 24 loose bottles of beer. I use these boxes now to store my home-brew beer and thought one of these boxes would be a perfect match for my project. I realized a slight snag however, 12 oz beers sold as single bottles are hard to find. Beers sold as singles are much more likely to be found in 22 oz sizes. It was a bummer and resulted in me having to find a different box. Luckily I had a few 12 count 22 oz boxes that I would use instead.
Here is a list of beers and the breweries they come from that will participate in my advent calendar this year (in no specific order):
1. Black Butte XX, V Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon
2. Gotterdammerung IPA, Stone Brewery, Escondido California
3. Back in Black Black IPA, 21st Amendment Brewery, Cold Spring Minnesota
4. Queen of the Night Pale Ale, Cerveceria Mexicana, Tecate Mexico
5. J.K’s Scrumpy Hard Cider, Almar Orchards, Flushing Michigan (it’s the only cider on the list this year )
6. Traquair Jacobite Ale, Traquair House Brewery, Peeblesshire, Scotland
7. Sleighr Dark Double Alt Ale, Ninkasi Brewing, Eugene Oregon
8. Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA, Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon
9. Sockeye Dagger Falls IPA, Sockeye Brewing, Boise Idaho
10. Green Bullet Triple IPA, Green Flash Brewing, San Diego California
11. The Immortal IPA, Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle Washington
12. Vaporizer Dry Hopped Pale Ale, Double Mountain, Hood River Oregon
13. Hop Trip, Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon
14.Vertical Epic, Stone Brewery, Escondido California
15. Cyclops IPA, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, Redmond Oregon
16. Last Cast Black IPA, Bitter Root Brewing, Hamilton Montana
17. Hell or High Watermelon, 21st Amendment Brewery, Cold Spring Minnesota
18. Valhalla Red IPA, Elysian Brewing, Seattle Washington
19. Adam Hearty Old World Ale, Hair of the Dog Brewing, Portland Oregon
20. Bad Elf Winter Ale, Ridgeway Brewing, Oxfordshire England
21. Mountain Standard Double Black IPA, Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Colorado
22. Top Cutter IPA, Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Moxee Washington
23. Myrcenary Double IPA, Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins Colorado
24. IRA, Double Mountain Brewery, Hood River Oregon
As you can see from the list above majority of the beer is mostly Northwest United States beers. Some of that is because of where I am buying the beer and some of that is because that is the beer I love.
I have decided that I will carry on the advent calendar tradition and while I am traveling throughout different states I will make an effort to pick up beer along the way to give a little bit more diversity to my calendar. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a heavily dominated Oregon Craft Brew Advent Calendar… but I guess I need to give the rest of the country a try too!