Skip to main content

The End of the Beer Advent Calendar

It is time to officially end one of my favourite blogging experiences.

For four years I have looked forward to having a blog in December more than any other month. I'm already a geek for Christmas and to be able to combine that with a love for beer was a joy.

On a night in November 2012 the idea of doing a Beer Advent Calendar came to me. It was my first year blogging and so I was naive to the fact that such posts already existed. And then some. In hindsight the idea that nobody would have thought of such a simple idea was foolish. Still, as mine was exclusively Christmas-themed beer focused I had a slight niche and persevered.

At times it has almost been a chore. December is a very busy time for me so finding the time to drink a Christmas themed beer each day has been problematic. Finding the time to write about a Christmas themed beer every day proved nearly impossible, with most years culminating in a completion post long after Christmas was finished, making much of the exercise redundant.

Then there's the aspect of forcing yourself to drink every day through post-work party hangovers and seasonal sniffles and colds.

It all sounds quite laborious, but I looked forward to amassing Christmas-themed beers wherever possible. And I had a little following that encouraged me to keep going each year. Sometimes the posts showed why I am not a beer sommelier. Sometimes I can read my own weariness of the task. Sometimes they were silly yet fun. Sometimes I used phrases like “Dignified Honey” as a tasting note which, I mean, just... what?

I'd like to say it is simply a case of finding the time this year and, again, that is a factor in this decision. But it is more than that. It is my own silly ethical stance on the promotion and hand-outs happening in the beer blogosphere.

A couple of other blogs have, without disclaimers, joined the Beer Advent Calendar game through corporate boxes clearly handed to them by distribution or *independent* companies. I don't know whether they've been paid outright or simply been given the free box of 24 beers on the understanding they would shamelessly promote that company's calendar. I don’t know nor do I care. It does not sit well with me.

Since the concept seems set to reach even higher levels this year it is time to retire my little piece of Christmas. It would be a thankless task when I am picturing many more blogs, podcasts and Facebook forums sharing their own calendars this year. I won’t be able to enjoy them as I’ll be scrutinising who has had the hand-outs and who hasn’t. Even if they provide a disclaimer explaining that they have been asked to promote a company’s calendar, I’ll still be annoyed.  

Last year the podcast, that was then in the form of Beer O'Clock Show (now Hopinions) interviewed the original Beer Advent Calendar Godfather as far as I'm concerned, Eddie Grace. He said himself  that he probably wouldn't do one again due to its commercialisation and his final post from last year did seem to confirm this. Sometimes things get too big and the founders have to take a step back, like the departing words of Nøgne Ø's founder Kjetil Jikiun after its acquisition. Especially when those that join the field of play are doing it for the money rather than the love.

Have a great Christmas. I'll still be here writing about other beer-related things during December and enjoying Christmas beers without the pressure of writing a few hundred words about them.


Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

My Life in Guinness - Drink What You Like

      I first obtained my booze “bragging rights” drinking 4 cans of the black stuff at a house party in my mid-teens. Teenage masculinity was judged on one’s ability to put away alcohol in the early noughties. It appears trite and toxic now but, as a 15-year-old, to hear my older brother’s friends say “Well played mate, I couldn’t down that stuff” was the kind of social praise we devoured.   It didn’t occur to me then that twenty years on the same drink would be causing an industry existential crisis. I wasn’t pondering the reasoning behind my drink choice 20 years ago. It was fairly simple: I drank Guinness because I liked the taste. I differed from my friends in that sense, who chose crates of Fosters and Bacardi Breezers for house parties as it was the done thing. At least two of those present at those gatherings would go on to use the common phrase “Let’s be honest – nobody really likes the taste of beer” in their adult life and expect universal agreement.   It

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the