Merry Christmas! Thanks for joining us for the 1st Annual Holiday Drinking Advent-ure Calendar journey. This has been quite the experience. As we finished this journey, we thought it would be great idea to leave you with our final thoughts on this experience and offer any tips for you if you want to do this next year.
Day 24: Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale
Alas, we have reached the final day in our Advent-ure calendar. Thirsty Dog Brewing is located in Akron, Ohio which isn’t too far from us. All of us have tried many of their beers, and I think overall we can agree that they make some great swill. 12 Dogs is a must-have Christmas beer for many Clevelanders every year. This beer, like many others, seems to taste a bit different each year. From the website 12 Dogs “is filled with seasonal flavors from generous amounts of honey, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.”
Day 23: Maumee Bay Brewing Co. Blitzen Holiday Ale
We’ve had a few Maumee Bay beers, usually at the local beer fests. Haven’t had anything particularly memorable or especially terrible; they are usually middle of the road. Biltzen is described as “Spiced with just the right amount of orange and cinnamon to round out this perfect glass of holiday cheer.”
Day 22: Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer
We haven’t had a lot of beers from Moerlein. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, you’d think we would have tried more of their beers. From Moerlein’s website: “the balanced hop finish creates a subtle spice flavor sure to excite your taste buds and bring you that cozy, warm feeling for those crisp, wintery nights.” We’re expecting a German Christmas beer that is smooth and malty.
Day 21: Southern Tier Brewing Company Old Man Winter Ale
Southern Tier makes very flavorful beers, sometimes too flavorful. Example: Pumpking, Warlock and Creme Brulee Stout. All are way too much for Beard and Broad to handle; cloyingly sweet and an instant hangover. Per Southern Tier’s description “A deceptively strong brew, its best to sit and ponder with this old man sip by sip.” This sounds a bit terrifying coming from the brewery that produces the aforementioned swill, but let’s see what we got.
Day 20: Fat Head’s Brewery Holly Jolly
We are finally back to an Ohio brewery Christmas beer. Disclosure: we’ve all had this one many times before and it’s one of our favorite. From Fat Head’s: “We think you will enjoy his holiday creation with it’s aromas and flavors of Christmas day. Sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice.” This beer is definitely becoming a classic Holiday staple in most Clevelander beer lovers fridges.
Day 19: SweetWater Brewing Co. Festive Ale
Per SweetWater’s website: “a strong ale brewed with generous amounts of rich malt, coupled with a taint of cinnamon and mace to keep you warm and toasted all winter long.” Nothing really sticks out from this minimal description. Basically, it sounds like a a generic Christmas ale description which leads us to believe there might not be a lot going on with this.
(For clarification purposes, we took the above quote directly from the website. Therefore “taint of cinnamon” is actually how this beer is described, which is awesome and hilarious.)
Day 18: Brasserie Thiriez Christmas Beer
There isn’t much on the brewery’s website about this beer but one line struck a chord with us “a special beer is created each year, according to the inspiration of the master brewer.” This makes it seem like the recipe changes every year. There are a lot of breweries who work with a new Christmas recipe each year and some of them admit to it and others don’t. We enjoyed this beer at a special event, Wrestlemezia 2015, Mez’s surprise birthday party so we had some surprise guests review the beer as well.
Day 17: Shmaltz Brewing Hannukkah, Chanukah Pass The Beer
Whoa, something very new to this holiday advent-ure, a Chanukah (or is it Hanukkah) beer! We’ve had a few beers from Shmaltz before but we don’t get them all here in Cleveland. From what we’ve tried, we’ve been pleased. We have not seen this specific beer before and from the website, it looks like it’s new. “The aroma and flavors lean toward a robust winter warmer, though brewed without any spices. Just all malt and hop goodness. Light caramel and toasty muttiness as well as a hint of sweeter chocolate…. “
Day 16: Muskoka Brewery Winterweiss
This is the last beer from our Ithaca beer stop. It’s a dunkelweizen which is new to this calendar so we’re pretty excited about it. We honestly haven’t had many dunkels, and this is the first beer we’ve ever had from this brewery, so there’s a lot riding on this. Let’s hope for a Christmas miracle! Per Muskoka’s website, “This Dunkelweizen is deep brown with notes of clove and banana. Muskoka Winterweiss partners the yeast and wheat character of a Hefeweizen with the malty richness of a Munich Dunkel.”