Monday 27 December 2021

Beer Cartel - 2021 Christmas Beer Advent Calendar - Review

 After 25 days of enjoying a large variety of flavours and styles of beer, we wanted to reflect on our experience with the Beer Cartel Christmas Advent Calendar for 2021.

Firstly, the excitement of coming home each day to a new, unknown, surprise beer made for a little more excitement than we would have anticipated - it certainly seemed to bring out a little bit of the inner child within us. Kids get chocolate advent calendars (among others), so why shouldn't adults have something similar as well?

What was also special was the fact that most, if not all of these beers were special/limited editions - commissioned directly from craft breweries by Beer Cartel, specifically for their advent calendar. You can't buy these beers over the counter which is really cool - and almost definitely gave those craft breweries a certain freedom to try new and different things that they can't do with their core product range. This made for some unique beers and flavour experiences.

There were definitely a couple of standout beers - the Akasha Brewing Company's Ron McClane Cryo Pop IPA and the Sunday Road Brewing Co's Yule Fuel Cold IPA are the first that come to mind. But every beer was at the very least, good, in it's own way. Nothing was terrible by any measure, and every drop from every one of the 25 beers was happily consumed.

For beer enthusiasts, an advent calendar such as this one is an excellent way to get exposure to beers that you wouldn't otherwise drink, or buy for yourself. This is certainly true for us, with some of the darker porters and stouts that we don't typically consume. It's great because we found ourselves quite enjoying these other beers - an experience we wouldn't have otherwise had. Broadening your horizons is almost always a positive thing.

Turns out, overly sour beers aren't our thing, but we enjoyed the experience of drinking, tasting, and reviewing all these different, and sometimes quirky beers. It was also an excellent way for us to fine-tune our reviewing process, to make it more fair, consistent and standardised by having a set list of criteria for analysing each beer. Although time consuming, putting this all together was fun, and paying closer attention to each beer to analyse it more closely was really enjoyable and a good learning experience for us.

For anyone thinking about doing a beer advent calendar like this in the future, we can't recommend it enough. We'll certainly be doing it again next year!

Here are some fun facts from the Beer Cartel 2021 Christmas Beer Advent Calendar;

Average ABV: 6.26%

Average Drinkability Score: 7.4/10

Average Overall Impression Score: 7.7/10

Here's a breakdown (and link to reviews) for all 25 of the beers;

1 - Mountain Culture Beer Co - Wet Bandits - Oat Cream IPA

2 - Deeds Brewing - Lazy Summer Hazy Days - Oat Cream IPA

3 - Banks Brewing Co - Throw Pillow Marshmallow Porter

4 - Garage Project - Someone Special - Hazy DIPA

5 - Jetty Road Brewery - Dank & Stormy Black IPA

6 - Kaiju Beer - Tangerine Love Machine - Fruit Sour

7 - Big Shed Brewing - Lupo Wheat - American Wheat

8 - Wayward Brewing Co - Dreaming of an Amber Christmas - American Amber Ale

9 - Hop Nation Brewing Co - St Nick's Nightcap - German Hoppy Lager

10 - Ballistic Beer Co - It's A Cracker - West Coast IPA

11 - Hawkers - Solarism - Imperial Pastry Stout

12 - Blackman's Brewery - Simcoe Cryo - Pale Ale

13 - Nomad Brewing Co - Gingerbread Milk Stout

14 - Mismatch Brewing Co - XPA

15 - Two Birds Brewing - Berry Christmas Baby - Salted Blueberry Sour

16 - FogHorn Brewery - Withnail & Rye - ESB

17 - Akasha Brewing Company - Ron McClane Cryo Pop IPA

18 - Modus Operandi Brewing Co - Halo Hunter - Belgian White Hazy IPA

19 - Slipstream Brewing Co - The Grizzly - American Brown IPA

20 - New England Brewing Co - Wolf & Fox Slovenian Hopped Pale Ale

21 - Yulli’s Brews - Negroni Pilsner

22 - Sunday Road Brewing Co - Yule Fuel Cold IPA

23 - One Drop Brewing Co - Strawberry + Vanilla Nitro Milkshake IPA

24 - Boatrocker - Tripel - Blonde Strong Ale

25 - Sauce Brewing Co - Stoutmas - Mocha Imperial Stout

You can register your interest for the 2022 Beer Cartel Advent Calendar here


  1. Loved reading your analysis of each days beers. Great you enjoyed the experience. Cheers!