It is now a few days past Christmas and I have had some (beer free) time to reflect back on my Christmas Beer Advent Calendar.
So what have a learned during this period of sober retrospection?
Well, the term Christmas beer really means very little aside from any beer that comes out in the fall to winter season, sports a holiday themed label and (usually) a beer name incorporating a cheesy Christmas pun.
During my twenty-four day chug-a-lug I had hoppy beer and malty beer, strong beer and weak beer, dark beer and light beer but if I had to try and place what I consider a Christmas seasonal I think it is something a little stronger, bigger bodied, maltier and incorporates some sort of seasonal ingredient like spice or chicory or vanilla.
Personally, I like winter warmers, stronger liqoury beer, something to be sipped and savoured while you are snuggled up indoors.
During my reviews I found myself hauling out the candy canes for big caramel malts and rich heavy stouts though one or two beers really surprised me with their creative take on Christmas, Southern Tier Krampus for one, while others redeemed themselves being beers I did not like on previous tastings, Cannery Brewing Maple Stout and Lagunita’s Brown Shugga come to mind. Some of my go-to brewers did not fail to deliver, Evil Twin Soft Xmas and Oakshire Ill Tempered Gnome, and a few breweries really surprised me either as completely new to me or ones not normally on my radar, Great Divide Hibernation Ale and Samuel Adams Merry Mischief. The Canadian Christmas veterans, Mt. Begbie Bob’s your Dunkel and Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale, delivered reliable entries in the calendar.
To those few Christmas beers lingering in the fridge I promise I will get to you as soon as my liver indicates its willingness to get back on board.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thank-you and Merry Christmas to the generous Canadian breweries who assisted me with my Christmas Beer Advent Calendar by providing me with a seasonal beer for review. Please know how much I appreciate your willingness to donate a beer, your timely and considered responses to my request and your amazing people who often brought beer right to my house sometimes in Christmas bags and once with cookies!
I hope everyone enjoyed following along with my Christmas beer advent calendar and I hope you discovered a wonderful new beer to help you through the holiday season. Stay tuned for my Beer Egg Hunt where I countdown the best of the best Easter themed brews (just kidding).