- you know what Advent is
- you’d prefer a beer exchange over a cookie exchange
- your friends geek out over craft beer
- you’re thirsty right now
- you’ve ever been inspired by something you saw on Pinterest
A new tradition was born this week in Fayetteville. It started, as most EPIC ideas get started these days, by a Facebook post. The post, by none other than the Reverend Abigail Letsinger, Pastor of New Communities at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, sparked a flurry of of responses creating a most animated conversation. Soon, our plan was hatched. We would gather together with assorted craft SUPPLIES in hand, as well as 24 craft BEERS to share (think cookie exchange, only 1,000x better!). Winter, holiday and of course LOCAL brews were preferred. Together we would create our own beer Advent calendars to count down to Christmas.
Amy and Alan are our resident beer experts and they curated the following list:
(you’ll want to find out what is locally available where you live)
1. Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale (a fresh hop winter IPA)
2. North Coast’s Old Stock Ale (an English style old ale)
3. Ommegang’s Hennepin (farmhouse saison)
4. Boulevard’s Nutcracker Ale (winter specialty ale)
5. New Belgium’s Accumulation (white IPA)
6. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout
7. Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter (English style porter)
8. Saison du Pont (farmhouse ale — a huge fave among most of our beer-elitist friends)
9. North Coast’s Brother Thelonious (Belgian strong dark ale)
10. Samichlaus Classic (a Christmas-only Austrian doppelbock)
11. Kasteel Winter Belgian Ale
12. Avery Old Jubilation Ale
13. Anchor Our Special Ale (39th annual Christmas ale and always delicious)
14. Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
15. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (Belgian abbey ale)
16. Delirium Noël Belgian Ale
17. Schlafly Christmas Ale
18. Gouden Carolus Noël (another delicious Belgian)
19. Samuel Adams Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout
20. Duchesse de Bourgogne (Flemish Red ale)
21. Affligem Noël Christmas Ale (brewed in where else, Belgium!, at a brewery which has been in operation since 1074)
22. Ft. Collins Brewery Big Shot seasonal brown ale
23. Anchor Big Leaf Maple — red ale brewed with maple syrup
24. AveryThe Reverend — (a Belgian quad in honor of Pastor Abigail)
Then, the party happened. You’ve never seen so many cheery faces happily lugging heavy cases of beer into the cozy townhome of Pastor Abigail and her hubby Anthony who served as hosts. Oh, and since all of our participants were or are Lutherans, we created our own hashtags for the festivities: #Brewtheran #Beervent13
Here are your step by step instructions for hosting a beer exchange and Beer
Advent Calendar making party.
- Decide on a beer theme (Winter Ales? Local brews?)
- Everyone brings as many beers as they plan to take home.
We did 24 beers for Advent. You could do the 12 beers of Christmas, 8 beers for Hannukah – whatever floats your boat. Don’t forget to bring a few extra beers for consuming AT the party.
- Round up your craft supplies. Gift wrap, construction paper, glue, scissors, glitter.
Whatevs . . .
- Use the craft supplies to cover up the beer labels to give it that element of “SURPRISE” that Advent Calendars are famous for. Number accordingly.
- I wrapped my beer box in coordinating wrapping paper, but you could put them in a nice basket under your tree.
- Enjoy the “brew-of-the-day” each day during Advent. You can even have a “virtual toast” among your friends, or share a beer review each day.