The 12 Beers of Christmas: 2017 Edition
The year is coming to an end and the holiday season is upon us. This can only mean one thing. It is time, once again, for Ivanti’s 12 Beers of Christmas.
This tradition dates back many years when our team up here in the frozen north (New Brighton, Minnesota) decided to change things up around the holidays and start a beer exchange. The rules were very simple: bring 12 craft beers to the exchange and leave with 12 craft beers.
Four years ago, I decided to write a holiday blog post where team members could contribute their craft beer picks for the year. We ended up sharing the first 12 Beers of Christmas holiday blog post with our customers, and it was a hit!
This year, we are trying something a little different. We extended the request out to our Customer Advocacy group and got a great response. So in addition to some of our team here at Ivanti, we are also including over 20 recommendations from Ivanti customers.
So from all of us here at Ivanti and our broader Ivanti family to all of you, we wish you a happy holiday season—no matter what you celebrate—and a very prosperous new year! (And remember, drink responsibly.)
Merry Christmas to all the hop-heads out there. Here is the lineup for IPA recommendations this year, including one from Down Under!
- Brian, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer recommendation: Fiddlehead Second Fiddle
Style: Double IPA ABV: 8.2% IBU: 80
Description: Big, juicy, Double IPA
- Steven, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: James Squire Pale Ale
Style: IPA ABV: 5.4%
Description: (In an Australian accent) Smooth flavours that lingers slightly on the palate
- Darth, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Burning Brothers Pyro Pale Ale
Style: IPA ABV: 4.6% IBU: 39
Description: A excellent Gluten-Free Ale that doesn't taste like crap. Usually I prefer Whiskey or Bourbon.
- Tyler, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Fulton Sweet Child of Vine
Style: English IPA ABV: 6.4% IBU: 69
Description: Has a serious malt backbone to stand up to all those hops, creating a delightful balance that will keep you coming back for more. It’s an IPA, Fulton-style.
- Justin, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: New Belgium VooDoo Ranger IPA
Style: American IPA ABV: 7% IBU: 50
Description: Bursting with tropical aromas and juicy fruit flavors from Mosaic, and Amarillo hops, this golden IPA is perfectly bitter with a refreshing, sublime finish.
- David, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Schlafly Pale Ale
Style: English IPA ABV: 4.4% IBU: 25
Description: Smooth, balanced, copper-colored session beer with mildly spiced flavor and aroma from the East Kent Goldings hops. The bready, lightly caramel malt complements the hint of fruitiness contributed by the London Ale yeast, making it satisfying and authentic.
- Brent, Ivanti
Beer Recommendation: Lupulin TDH Hooey (Triple Dry Hopped)
Style: Hazy Northeast American IPA ABV: 6.2% IBU: 60
Description: I met the brewer of this and he described how hard it was to make a successful TDH batch of beer. This is probably the driest beer I’ve ever tried. By no means the most well-rounded, but amazingly satisfying for someone like me who loves bitter and dry IPAs. Lowish ABV, super hazy, creamy, and still fruity. A must try if you ever find it on tap. Could be a local unicorn to MN.
- Matt, Ivanti
Beer Recommendation: Cloudburst Brewing Verse Chorus Verse
Style: American IPA ABV: 7.3% IBU: 70-90
Description: A juicy citrus explosion followed up with sweet malts. Probably the best class of beer I’ve ever had. It’s was a perfect match for my tastes. Everything that’s good about 300, Todd, or King Sue .. but better.
On the lighter side for those who aren’t into the hop craze or darker beers.
- Thomas, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Kirner Pils
Style: German Pilsner ABV: 4.8%
Description: Good beer from my home in Germany
- James, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Yalobusha Snopes Family Pilsner
Style: Czech-Style Lager ABV: 4.5%
Description: Flavorful lager that is crisp , dry and perfect for any occasion.
- Kelly, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Yuengling Traditional Lager
Style: American Amber\Red Lager ABV: 4.5%
Description: Founded in 1829, this lager is a historic recipe from America's oldest brewery. This classic lager features a beautiful rich amber color. A combination of cluster and cascade hops combined with hints of sweetness from roasted caramel malt produces a medium-bodied flavor that is well-balanced and distinct.
There are two main families of Belgian ales. The farmhouse ales and what I like to refer to as Monk beers. Trappist, doubles, triples, quads, strong dark are many of the types you will find descended from traditional beers brewed by Belgian monks who would fortify the beers as a staple to supplement their diet during the winter season. Today these are often referred to as high octane beers because of the higher ABV. I do a bit of home brewing and typically have a Belgian beer on tap and another conditioning. Currently I have a Trappist ale on tap and a Belgian Triple that needs about another 7-9 months of conditioning before it will be ready.
- Michael, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Reformation Brewery Wilder
Style: Belgian Strong Ale ABV: 8.8%
Description: Black currant, orange peel, and pilsner malts lend a bright, assertive tartness and dry finish to this limited offering. A Belgian-Style Strong Ale by style, these beers are described as having a moderate yet distinctive perfumy, floral hop character with esters often reminiscent of lighter fruits such as pears, oranges or apples. Subtle spicy, peppery phenols can sometimes be detected.
- Susie, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Mad Beach Craft Sweet Potato Imperial Ale
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale ABV: 9%
Description: Tastes like Pumpkin! That sounds like it will go really well with some pie!
- Frank, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Duchesse de Bourgogne
Style: Belgian Dark Ale ABV: 6%
Description: Dark beer, riped in oaken barrels which gives a sweet-sour taste to the beer
- Shane, Presales Solutions, Ivanti
Michael, Director of Sales, Australia New Zealand, Ivanti
Beer Recommendation: Doss Blockos #$%@. The. Rent. Golden Ale
Style: Golden Ale ABV: 4.6%
Description: In true Aussie fashion this Golden Ale is a bit more punchy than your standard golden ale with upfront sweetness and some bitterness from the hopes coming through at the end. Shane and Michael sent me a picture of the two of them enjoying a round. Looking forward to seeing you guys in January!
Stout and Porters
The heavy hitters. We have a few options here this year that are guaranteed to please those of with a taste for darker beers.
- Jason, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Dragon’s Milk, Bourbon Barrel Aged
Style: Imperial Stout ABV: 11%
Description: Super smooth almost sweet and hard to just have one.....unless you're driving.
- Evan, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
Style: Imperial Stout ABV: 14.1%
Description: American Double / Imperial Stout, aged in Bourbon Barrels.
- Ivanti Content Team
Beer Recommendation: Horny Goat Brewing Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
Style: Porter ABV: 6.5% IBU: 55
Description: The limited edition porter offers a unique take of peanut butter beers by straying away from the more common stout option and embracing a clean and balanced mix of nutty aromatics and subtle chocolate hazelnut tones. This brew does a great job of avoiding sweetness by putting the peanuts front and center.
Some additional recommendations for your sampling pleasure!
- Michael, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Four Falls
Style: Weizenbock ABV: 6.7% IBU: 19
Description: Only beer in 2017 I gave 5 stars to...
- Marc, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Ryan, Sr Server Administrator, Ivanti Customer Advocate
Beer Recommendation: Great Lakes Brewing Co - Conway's Irish Ale
Style: Irish Red Ale ABV: 6.5% IBU: 25
Description: Arrestingly smooth with a rap sheet of toasty biscuit and caramel malt flavors. An awesome red ale that isn't around nine months of the year.