How to Survive a Beerfest

One of the biggest beer events in Cleveland is the Cleveland Winter Beerfest. Located at the Huntington Convention Center downtown, the event has over 300 different beers from over 120 breweries. The event raises funds to benefit the Music Education Society and their mission to support music programs in underfunded schools.  There are breweries from all over the place at this event, not just from Ohio. The convention center is the perfect location for such a big event, as it never feels super crowded because everything is so spread out.

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3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar Final Reflections

Well we survived the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar! It hasn’t been easy or even convenient for everyone to have to drink a beer every day this month (our bedtime is normally 8:30 during the weekdays), but it sure has been fun to try new beers and retry old ones. As always, we like to get everyone’s final thoughts, reflections, comments, concerns about the process and hopefully we can improve this event for next year!

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Day 24: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 24: Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale

We saved the best for last, well hopefully! This may be the Christmas Ale of all Christmas ales. We love that every year the recipe is different and so is the label. From the website: “A smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice, this year’s brew marks the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition. The Ale’s recipe is different every year—as is the tree on the label—but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.”

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Day 23: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 23: Revolution Brewing Fistmas 

Revolution is number one on our out of state brewery list to visit. It’s so close to us (Chicago) and we have family there. We love their beers and this one is one of our Christmas favorites. From their website: “Our Holiday Red Ale is steeped with ginger root and orange peel, resulting in a beer with aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Fistmas was brewed with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue.”

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Day 22: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 22:  21st Amendment Brewery Fireside Chat

Fireside cat.

21st Amendment always has such fun cans which always grabs Broad’s attention. They also happen to make delicious beer. From their website: “Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation.”

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Day 21: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 21: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale 

Deschutes produces some of our favorite beers, especially their IPAs and Stouts. This beer has been on our list the last two years and probably will continue to be because it’s just so good. From the website: Warm spiciness and tradition grace this bold, complex winter ale. The deep garnet color pairs perfectly with holiday celebrations. To celebrate the 30th bottling, for the first time ever, this year’s packaging features not one, but a series of custom snowflake themed illustrations.

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Day 20: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 20: Clown Shoes Reindeer Games

One of the first craft beers that Broad fell in love with was Muffin Top from Clown Shoes so this brewery holds a special place in our hearts. We don’t usually think to look at this brewery for special seasonal ales but we’re excited to try this one. Plus, the can is amazing. There isn’t a description on the website or really on the can besides it being a Bavarian style IPA, which leads us to believe it’s an IPA brewed exclusively with Bavarian, or German, noble hops.

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Day 19: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 19:  Southern Tier Brewing Co. 2XMAS Spiced Double Ale

It’s not surprising that we have two beers from Southern Tier on the list this year, it seems like they always have so many different ones out! From the website: 2XMAS ale combines traditional brewing ingredients with figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root. It’s a holiday addition to the 2X line and another reason to toast to the season, but unlike Glögg, we recommend serving this one chilled.”

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Day 18: of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 18: Uinta Brewing Rise & Pine

Uinta Brewing is based in Salt Lake City, UT. They produce some really solid beers, and if you like sours we suggest checking out their Birthday Suit series that they release for their anniversary every year. Sours aside, we’ve never really had a bad beer from them, so we were excited to try this one. From the website: “Juniper and piney hops build the framework for this bold dark ale. With its assertive bitterness and smooth malt finish, this beer stands tall above the rest.”

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Day 17 of the 3rd Annual Advent-ure Calendar

Day 17: SweetWater Brewing Company Festive Ale

We are usually fans of SweetWater beers but generally only drink them at beer fest and events (for no particular reason they just usually aren’t on our radar when buying beer). From website: “Just in time for the holidays is this strong cheerfully spiced seasonal ale with big complex flavors to keep you warm and toasted all season long. Brewed only one day per year, this high octane 8.1% ABV brew has a sleighload of Centennial and Golding hops and is capped with a dose of cinnamon and nutmeg.”

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