We reach the halfway point of this Beer Advent Calendar. I'm managing fairly successfully to keep up with the beer-a-day drinking and have only fallen one day behind on the posts themselves. This has been much more relaxed and better structured than previous years, that is for sure.
However, Saturday 12th December was to see me out the door 45 minutes after waking up in the morning for a day in Huddersfield - knowing that I'd be returning long after midnight. Fitting in an Advent beer was going to be potentially a struggle.
Luckily I was in the Grove, Huddersfield early afternoon and could hope that they would have at least one Christmas beer on sale. They did have one; unfortunately it was Brass Castle's Christmas Kitty on cask which has already featured in this calendar. I looked to the fridges instead.
Here I spotted Trappistes Rochefort 8 and had an idea. When I asked Twitter in November for ideas of beers that aren't marketed as Christmas beers but are made for the season, such as the way Maredsous Brune 8 made it into the calendar, somebody told me that Rochefort 8 was initially brewed especially for New Year's Eve. Okay, so maybe not strictly Christmas, but I'm more than happy to include it as a festive beer.
The Trappist brewery Rochefort at Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint Rémy produces just three beers; the 6, 8 and 10 which are all reknowned in beer circles. Beer has been produced at the abbey since the 16th century, though Rochefort 8 was first brewed especially for New Year's Eve in 1955 but became a permanent just five years later.
Whilst there was no way of telling whilst in the pub, to my delight they reckon this particular version will have at least two years of age to it.