Budget Beer Advent Calendar – Days 17-24

The rules are these. Each day from 1-24 December I drink a different beer. It must be either: 1) Discounted in some way; or 2) A gift for something I have done to help someone.

I will try to assemble the cheapest, most varied, highest quality beer advent calendar known to man!

I was away for a few days, so you get the final double bill in one post.

You can view previous days here: Days 1-4 – Days 5-8 – Days 9-12 – Days 13-16

Days 17-20: Belgium, Czech Republic, London and Southwold

Around the houses, checking out some of the best European beers in the supermarket, one of my favourite cask ales of the year in bottle and getting trendier in London.

Advent Calendar 5

Wednesday 17th December

The Beer: St Stefanus Blonde, 7.0% ABV, 330ml.

How the brewer describes it: With roots dating back to 1295, St. Stefanus Blonde is the original abbey beer contracted to the Van Steenberge Brewery. To this day, it’s brewed with three different yeasts and matured for at least three months. This speciality Belgian Blonde beer is an unpasteurised, high fermented beer that is then refermented in the bottle.

The price: £2.50 (reduced from £2.99).

The source: Waitrose, Horsham.

Thursday 18th December

The Beer: Waitrose Czech Pilsner (Herold), 5.0% ABV, 500ml.

How the brewer describes it: A classic Czech lager, made at the Herold Brewery, situated in Breznice Castle in Bohemia, where beer has been produced since the 15th century. The beer is made from Saaz hops and locally grown barley, which is malted within the Castle walls.

The price: £1.41 (reduced from £1.88).

The source: Waitrose, Cobham.

Friday 19th December

The Beer: Redemption Urban Dusk, 4.6% ABV, 567 ml.

How the brewer describes it: Chestnut coloured Premium Bitter with malts providing coffee aromas and some hazelnut and caramel on the palate, while Bramling Cross hops offer some dark fruit flavours. Citrus notes and an earthy bitterness lasts into the finish.

The price: Free (usually £4.25).

The source: A gift from my friend Charlie at The Parcel Yard in King’s Cross station. Slightly tenuous, but for being a good mate and attending his stag do and wedding this year (it was pretty tough!)

Saturday 20th December

The Beer: Adnams Ghost Ship, 4.5% ABV, 500 ml.

How the brewer describes it: This Pale Ale has a good assertive pithy bitterness and a malty backbone. It is brewed with a selection of malts – Pale Ale, Rye Crystal and Cara – we use Citra, and a blend of other American hop varieties to create some great citrus flavours.

The price: £1.50 (in a 2 for £3 deal, usually £1.99)

The source: Waitrose, Salisbury.

Days 21-24: Pale and fruity – just how I like it…

I finished the calendar with four beers I know well and would buy in a heartbeat if I was offered them at a discount. They are all pale and well-hopped and are all stand-out beers.

Advent Calendar 6

Sunday 21st December

The Beer: St Austell Proper Job, 5.5% ABV, 500ml.

How the brewer describes it: A powerfully authentic IPA with a modern twist, Proper Job is brewed with a blend of imported hops, Cascade, Chinook and Willamette for a punch of citrus, pine resin and a hint of spice for a classic IPA. Voted the South West’s Champion Golden Ale and Champion Bottled Beer by CAMRA in 2013.

The price: £1.67 (in a 3 for £5 deal, usually £1.99)

The source: Waitrose, Salisbury.

Monday 22nd December

The Beer: Downton Chimera IPA, 7.0% ABV, 500ml.

How the brewer describes it: This is a truly classic IPA bursting with resinous hoppy flavours that packs quite a punch – just as a traditional IPA should. Refreshing for the summer, yet strong enough to be warming in the winter; a traditional India Pale Ale, brewed with a hugely increased hop rate for a strong, floral aroma, and a powerful, bitter taste. This award winning IPA is seriously drinkable, but deceptively strong…. not a beer to be taken lightly!

The price: Free (reduced from £2.30 – price on Beers of Europe).

The source: My Mum gave me this for Christmas, for being a great son (obviously!) It came form the Downton stall in the Christmas market in Salisbury. The only question is: How did she know?

Tuesday 23rd December

The Beer: Oakham Ales Citra, 4.2% ABV, 500 ml.

How the brewer describes it: A light refreshing beer with pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry, bitter finish.    

The price: £1.59 (reduced from £1.99).

The source: Waitrose, Salisbury.

Wednesday 24th December

The Beer: Brewdog Jackhammer, 7.2% ABV, 330 ml.

How the brewer describes it: The devastatingly bitter finish will drill straight through your taste buds. If you like hops and bitterness then go ahead. But be warned: this beer has more bitterness than a human palate (or nipple) can detect. For freaks, craft beer junkies and stamp collectors only.

The price: £2.08 (reduced from £2.60)

The source: Brewdog, online shop. To celebrate my Brewdog shareholding significantly increasing in value, I decided to have a Brewdog Christmas with 24 bottles. This was the first – a nice way to start the festivities.

Final total

Total spent: £27.55

Normal price: £56.80

Saving: £29.25

So there you have it. Twenty-four different beers, from 20 different breweries. Lagers, pale ales, IPAs, stouts and more. I’ll be writing up my thoughts on this ‘experiment’ over the Christmas holiday, so do keep an eye out.

What do you think of my advent calendar? Could it have been better? Should I have spent more money down at the pub, or are publicans doing fine at Christmas? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.


One thought on “Budget Beer Advent Calendar – Days 17-24

  1. Pingback: Budget Beer Advent Calendar – Closing Thoughts | Strange Brews

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