It’s the most wonderful time of the year so they say and I would be inclined to agree. Not that family isn’t important all year round, but I find Christmas to be a time where our families really come together and make every year special. Given that it is our first Christmas in our first owned house, we have decided to host on Christmas day this year. I’m not sure whether this was a brave and/or stupid call either way just yet…
But with that in mind, there’s no better way to mentally prepare for this than counting down the days of advent with a beer-themed advent calendar. As you may have already seen from the featured image, we have plenty between us too. I have my beer and Hershey’s one whilst Ana has her Reese’s one and a gin one too, with the rabbit one being for our Rabbit/child Houdini (we couldn’t leave him out could we?).
Now I bought my calendar well in advance of Christmas, at the start of October, and since doing so I saw more and more from different companies and breweries. Now, this one was much cheaper than the others, so I wasn’t expecting the same quality as these when I picked it up but I was happy to have one either way. I toyed with the idea of doing my own or asking my local bottle shop to pick 24 random beers for me but the cost of doing this made me settle on this one.
Given that I have been looking forward to opening this for nearly two months, I was somewhat underwhelmed on my first day. I thought it was very generous giving buyers a glass and beer on day one, but upon opening I soon realised why this was. I was happy with the beer, a Punk by Brewdog, but the glass was a plain run-of-the-mill glass you could pick up from any supermarket. I wasn’t expecting wonders, but something with a print or etch on it for the year would have been nice. As you’ll see in the images below, it is nothing fancy and just very, very boring in fact…
Had I known it was going to be a plain/standard glass, I would have been OK with this but the fact it says ‘special tasting glass’ on the box is a bit misleading. Now what I will do is update the list of beers I get below and add images to the slideshow also. So far, the selection has been a mixed bag but recent openings have been better so I’m hopeful for the rest of the month. If you have one of these, or a different one for that matter, let me know what your thoughts are so far!
- Punk (IPA), Brewdog (My Untappd score – 4)
- Meon Valley (Bitter), Bowman Ales (My Untappd score – 2)
- Goose 312 (Wheat Ale), Goose Island (My Untappd score – 2.5)
- Resolution (Bitter), Martston’s (My Untappd score – 2)
- Ho-Hum (Mild Ale), Bowman Ales (My Untappd score – 1.75)
- Route 1 (IPA), Fordham (My Untappd score – 3.5)
- Fraoch (Ale), Williams Bros Brewing (My Untappd score – 3.25)
- North Pale Ale (Pale Ale), Mr Whitehead’s (My Untappd score – 2.5)
- Goldfinch (IPA), Black Isle (My Untappd score – 3.25)
- Craft Pilsner (Pilsner), Belhaven (My Untappd score – 2.5)
- Wallops Wood (Brown ale), Bowman Ales (My Untappd score – TBC)
- Honkers Ale (Engish bitter), Goose Island (My Untappd score – 2.75)
- Mann’s Brown Ale, Marston’s Brewery (My Untappd score – 1.5)
- IPA, Bowman Ales (My Untappd score – 1.75)
- Big Bang IPA, Craft Academy (My Untappd score – 3.5)
- Yumi (Golden Ale), Bowman Ales (My Untappd score – 1)
- Boston Lager, Samuel Adams (My Untappd score – 2.75)
- Young’s Light Ale, Eagle Brewery (My Untappd score – TBC)
- Pukka Porter, Bowman Ales (Not scored, gave this one away)
- Red IPA, Andwell Brewing Co. (My Untappd score – TBC)
- St Nick’s Blizzard Brew (Red Ale), Mr Whitehead’s (My Untappd score – TBC)
- Mojo (Pale Ale), Robinsons Brewery (My Untappd score – TBC)
- Cwtch (Red Ale), Tiny Rebel (My Untappd score – 3.25)
- Double chocolate stout, Young’s (Not scored, gave this one away)
Well to say I was disappointed with this calendar would be an understatement. It didn’t get off to the best start considering the advertised special tasting glass was just a bog standard glass you could pick up anywhere. Sadly that set the overall benchmark of quality for this and, if you look at my scores of those I tasted, my highest score was a 4. Even then, this was from a brewery which people may not even consider a craft brewery anymore (I do I would like to quickly add).
The only good thing that may, or not yet, come from this advent calendar is the box which it came in. I am still undecided whether or not to keep the box so I can use it for my own DIY calendar next year and buy a random selection of beers myself and get the other half to put them in order. If that isn’t enough to give you an idea of the overall quality of this, then I don’t know what will. I feel sorry for the people out there who may have paid more than the £40 than I did as I would feel ripped off if I were them…