Remember The 12 Days Of Christmas? You know the song – lords a leaping, maids a milking, swans a swimming and all that. But haven’t you ever sat back and thought, ‘hey, this song would be much better if this was 12 days of beer?’ OK, there’s a good chance no one in the history of the world ever thought that but still, wouldn’t it be cool if there were a 12 Beers of Christmas? 12 straight days of new beer releases to help usher in the Christmas season? Sounds great, right? Oh wait, that’s exactly what the 12 Gates of Christmas at 12 Gates Brewing is. Yep, you read that right.
Starting on December 1, 12 Gates will release a new beer each day, along with an in-house special on beer and brewery merchandise, for 12 days leading up to the release of their Grave Concerns Russian Imperial Stout at their Third Anniversary Party on December 12. And if you go to the brewery each day to drink each beer, you’ll receive a custom t-shirt. Just ask your bartender for a punch card to participate.
Up first is Hot Chocolate Amber on Dec. 1, 12 Gates’ pilot Amber aged on cacao nibs and infused with toasted marshmallows. “The only thing missing with this beer is a nice campfire,” 12 Gates Head Brewer Scott Shuler says. “The chocolate notes are offset with sweet and toasty notes from the toasted marshmallows.” Special: $6.99 Cherry Vanilla Wheat 6-packs.
Dec. 2 brings Wassail Blonde, Barbaric Blonde treated with homemade wassail (oranges, cloves, brandy, cinnamon, ginger, and cider). “We brought this beer back from 2016 and 2017’s 12 Gates of Christmas,” Shuler adds. “This beer is smooth, spicy, with a nice apple finish.” Special: 25% off ¼ Zip Sweatshirt.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Habanero Porter follows on Dec. 3. “This special pilot batch is about sugar, and spice, and everything spicy,” Shuler says. “The English Porter carries the weight of the brown sugar and cinnamon while the roasted habaneros subtly create heat on the back of the throat.” Special: $25 Gift Card for $20.
Christmas Six Shooter IPA is up next on Dec. 4, a variant of Dan Bean’s Six Shooter IPA. “After fermentation Christmas spices and dry hops are added to create a unique experience. Look for a malty backbone, spices, and earthy hops.” Special: 25% off Tin Tackers.
Pumpkin Pie Blonde, Yoga Pants American Blonde aged on cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, fresh ginger, and nutmeg, hits tap on Dec. 5. “This beer drinks like a nice slice of pumpkin pie,” Shuler says. Special: $6.99 Coffee Porter 6-packs.
Fruitcake Amber, Amber Ale aged on raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted walnuts, releases on Dec. 6. “Who doesn’t love fruitcake? Well this beer will give you the experiencing a drinkable fruitcake.” Special: $5 off Grey Zip Sweatshirt.
Dec. 7 brings Italian Grape Ale, 12 Gates’ German Pilsner conditioned with grape must. “An additional splash of grape must is added after lagering to give you the best of wine and beer. The beer is hazy and purple and perfect for a December afternoon.” Special: $50 Gift Card for $40.
Eggnog Stout (on Nitro) comes out on Dec. 8, an American stout conditioned on eggnog, and then poured through the nitro faucet. “The result is a very unique, creamy, roasty, and smooth egg nog concoction.” Special: $6.99 West Coast Style IPA 6-packs.
Then, on Dec. 9, Weihnachten Berliner Weisse, makes its presence known. “Our Christmas “Weihnachten” sour is aged on cranberries and mangoes to put you in the festive spirit. Look for tart and fruity notes with a crisp finish.” Special: $5 off Black Sweatshirts.
Nutcracker Sweet Brown Ale debuts on Dec. 10. “We roast our own grains and pecans and then throw them into the mash to create a sweet and nutty beer. Even the Nutcracker would enjoy a pint or two.” Special: 25% off all kegs.
Dec. 11 brings the release of Chocolate and Orange Peel Porter. “Starting with our base English Porter we age cacao nibs, cocoa, and blood orange peels until we hit the sweet blend that balances the porter. Perfect for a cold winter’s night.” Special: 25% Ornaments.
Finally, after a long 12 days of beer releases, Grave Concerns 2018 drops on Dec. 12. “As we turn three years old on the 12th, we celebrate with our annual release of our Grave Concerns,” Shuler says. “This year’s version comes in at 12% (go figure). Look for notes of vanilla, cacao, coffee, and ancho chilies.” For Grave Concerns, 12 Gates will hold a limited bottle release (100 22oz. bottles, $12, limit 2 per person) along with a special keg tapping at 12:12PM. Special: $25 Cases.
Along with the release of this year’s Grave Concerns vintage, 12 Gates’ Third Anniversary Party will also feature live music from Julian Burgio (12-2pm), Murphy’s Law (4-7pm) and Box of Wine (8-11pm).
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at email@example.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.