Beer Advent Calendar a DIY Experience
A few years back we stumbled upon something amazing, the Beer Advent Calendar from Costco. What beauty does this package behold?
This package was met with mixed reviews. While a pack of 24 beers all from Germany is my dream come true, it was not the case for Matt. He is not at all a fan of German beers but did find one or two he enjoyed but for the most part. That first sip usually resulted in some sort of facial contortion and a few grumbles.
Not from the year we purchased the Beer Advent Calendar from Costco, but check out the Beer Me Guys Review of the 2018 Calendar.
A few years passed, and we enjoyed finding different holiday beers every year, but always found ourselves talking about that Advent Calendar.
Aldi had one, but it wasn’t always available in the US. Last year we finally noticed it in the store, amongst others. Again, the variety wasn’t perfect for us. Obviously these variety packs are made to appeal to many, and we love the Aldi Cheese Advent Calendar, but the beer one, we felt we could be picky.
I’m going to assume that if you’re here, you’re familiar with the concept of an Advent Calendar. But if you’re not, I’ll give a quick synopsis.
Started by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries, an advent calendar is a special calendar used to count down to Christmas. Usually the first day of Advent varies from year to year, so most calendars start on December 1. Most feature the holiday countdown with each number representing a tiny gift. Paper covering small pockets, packages to open, cardboard boxes with perforated flaps, all methods used in modern calendars. Each day the beholder opens the corresponding number to find their treat or gift.1
The Solution- A DIY Beer Advent Calendar
The idea came about out of necessity. Don’t all great inventions come about that way? We wanted a beer advent calendar tailored to our tastes. Our specific beer tastes vary, so we decided to create two separate calendars. Matt is the ultimate IPA guy, while I prefer stouts, sours, and those German beers he cringed about. We would each choose 24 beers and figure out the rest from there.
The main goal was to find brews neither of us had before. That can be tricky when your checked in beers on Untappd are over 1,000 each.
Time To Go Shopping
I’d say 75% of our purchases came from Total Wine, an alcohol retailer with various locations around the country.
Total Wine sells Wine, Beer, Champagne, and Spirits. You can look in our store by local breweries, seasonal, around the world, and more. They sell in 4-6 packs, 12 packs and cases, and some are available by the single bottle/can. You are able to create your own six pack and try a variety of beers.
We also checked out Albertsons Grocery Store which also sells beer by the bottle or can.
In the process of searching for beers we were intrigued by, we did find a few that we were unable to purchase individually. For these, we went with smaller packs when possible 4 or 6, adding one to the advent calendar, and the rest we wouldn’t touch until we pulled the first out of the calendar.
Putting Together a Beer Advent Calendar
During the shopping process, we just kept Matt’s choices on one side of the garage fridge and mine on the other. But that wasn’t going to do. We were able to grab a box for cases of wine or liquor during one of our Total Wine trips. Taller than most of the beers we bought, I figured it would be good to test out.
Once we got home, I grabbed 12 of Matt’s advent beers and placed them inside the box. Everything fit just fine. Now to cover and number…..
I grabbed a roll of lighter colored wrapping paper and covered the top of the box. I taped all the edges tight, in the hopes they would hold on better as individual ones were removed from the package and the paper was torn. Not a perfect solution, but it would work for us. We grabbed more boxes on another trip so that each beer was to be a surprise.
If you’re looking for another option, try writing the name of each beer down on a small piece of paper. Fold each piece of paper and place into a bowl. Each night pull out a piece of paper to reveal your beer.
You could also just fold the paper once, and number each piece of paper for each day of your advent calendar.
An option I saw from another site included using mailing tubes. This was a super creative way to do this, and something for me to think about next year. Not only is this creative, but reusable. Check out that blog post here from Crafting Cheerfully.
And now, the beers.
You’re here because you want to make a beer advent calendar. You’re curious how it works, and you may also want some ideas of beers to purchase. Here is our review of each of the 48 beers we tried this year for our first ever beer advent calendar. You can click on each image to see it full screen. Beer information and ratings are listed underneath each image.
Unveiled Brewing Co | Double IPA | IPA-Imperial/Double | ABV 8% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Paulaner München | Original Munich Lager | Lager | ABV 4.9% |20 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 3/5
Keen River Brewing Co | River Buddy | Pale Ale-American | ABV 5.6% | 56 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.25/5
Cigar City Brewing | Maduro Brown Ale | Brown Ale- English | ABV 5.5% | 25 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Alaskan Brewing Co | Winter Ale | Old Ale | ABV 6.4% | 22 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.25/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Carlsberg Group | Premium Danish Pilsner | Lager Euro Ale | ABV 5% | 8 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 3/5
Firestone | Nitro Merlin | Milk Stout | ABV 5.5% | 27 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
21st Amendment Brewery | Tasty IPA | IPA | ABV 6.8% | 70 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4/5
Latitude 33 Brewing | Lost Cities Hazy IPA | IPA | ABV 6.3% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Einstök| Icelandic White Ale | Witbier | ABV 5.2% | Lora’s Rating: 2.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.25/5
Samuel Adams | Old Fezziwig | Old Ale | ABV 5.9% | 25 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 4/5
Sixpoint Brewery | Sweet Action | Blonde Ale | ABV 5% | 40 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.5/5
6 Down 18 To Go
Anchor Brewing Company | Fog Breaker IPA | IPA | ABV 6.8% | Lora’s Rating: 2.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.25/5
Cambrew | Angkor | Lager | ABV 5% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3/5
Bell’s Brewery | Porter | Porter-American | ABV 5.6% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.5/5
Hofbräuhaus | Hofbräu Dunkel | Lager | ABV 5.5% | 23 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.25/5
Ballast Point | Lager | Lager-American Light | ABV 4.2% | 10 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 2.5/5
Einstök | Icelandic Arctic Pale Ale | Pale Ale-English | ABV 5.6% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Stone Brewing | Enjoy By 01.01.20 | IPA- Imperial Doible | ABV 9.4% | 94 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 2.75/5 Matt’s Rating 4.25/5
Tempo Beer Industries | Goldstar Dark Lager | Lager-Vienna | ABV 4.9% | Lora’s Rating: 4/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.25/5
New Belgium Brewing | Oakspire | Strong Ale | ABV 9% | 20 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.25/5
Einstök | Icelandic Wee Heavy | Scotch Ale | ABV 8% | Lora’s Rating: 4/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Victory Brewing Company | Liberty Bell Ringer | Double IPA | ABV 8.7% | 76 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.5/5
Schofferhoffer | Grapefruit | Shandy | ABV 2.5% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4/5
Left Hand Brewing | Raspberry Milk Stout | Stout | ABV 5.7% | 23 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4/5
BJ’s Brewhouse | Committed IIPA | Double IPA | ABV 8.6% | 95 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 4.25/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.75.5
Mason Ale Works | Charley Hustle | IPA-Red | ABV 6.8% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.5/5
North Coast | Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale | Red Ale – American Amber Ale | ABV 5.4% | 42 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3/5
Anchor Brewing Company | Brewers’ Pale Ale | Pale Ale | ABV 5.3% | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
United Dutch Breweries | Oranjeboom | Lager – Euro Ale | ABV 5% | 19 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 2.5/5
Anchor Brewing Company | Liberty Ale | IPA -American | ABV 4.7% | Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.25/5
Garage Brewing | Belgian Tripel aka The Tow Truck | Belgian Tripel | ABV 9.1% | 16 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Samuel Adams/Boston Beer Company | Holiday Porter | Porter -American | ABV 5.9% | 40 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.25/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.5/5
Mike Hess Brewing | Claritas | Belgian Kölsch | ABV 5.8% | 28 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.25/5 Matt’s Rating: 3/5
Black Plague Brewing | Tropicus | Pale Ale -American | ABV 5.3% | 47 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Thorn Brewing Company | Relay IPA | IPA | ABV 7.2% | 74 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5
Blue Moon | Harvest Pumpkin Wheat | Pumpkin/Yam Beer | ABV 5.7% | n/a IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.75/5 Matt’s Rating: 4/5
Allagash Brewing Company | Tripel | Belgian Tripel | ABV 9% | 18 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 2.75/5
Boulevard Brewing Company and Modern Times Beer | Restless Nights | Porter-Coffee | ABV 7.5% | 30 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.5/5
Mad River Brewing Company | Slammin Salmon | Double IPA | ABV 8.6% | 95 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.25/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.25/5
Samuel Adams | Chocolate Bock | Bock | ABV 5.8% | 11 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.5/5
Deschutes Brewing | Inversion IPA | IPA | ABV 6.3% | 65 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
Boulevard Brewing | Whiskey Barrel Stout | Stout-American Imperial-Double | ABV 11.8% | 32 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
New Belgium | 1554 | Lager-Dark | ABV 6% | 21 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4/5
Boulder Beer Company | Killer Penguin | Barleywine-Qmerican | ABV 10% | 60 IBU | Lora’s Rating: 4.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 4.25/5
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company | FMB 101 | Kölsch | ABV 4.8% | 20 IBU |Lora’s Rating: 3/5
Rogue |Just A Pinch |Sour Gose |ABV 4.5% |IBU 10|Lora’s Rating 3/5 Matt’s Rating: 3/5
Ninkasi Brewing Company |Pacific Rain |Northwest Pale| ABV 5.4% |IBU 50 |Lora’s Rating 3.5/5 Matt’s Rating: 3.75/5
That’s it. This was the start to finish of our DIY Beer Advent Calendar experience from 2019. Time to do it again soon!
Check out more beer related posts here.