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 celebrateand a very prosperous new year! (And remember, drink responsibly.)

IPAs

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. 

Lagers

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.

Belgian Ales

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. 

Chris Goettl

Chris Goettl has over 15 years of experience in IT Management. He spent several years working in IT before joining Shavlik in 2004. Chris started in the Shavlik support team, supported OEM partners integrating Shavlik SDK's, worked in Sales as a Systems Engineer, and is now the Product Manager for the Shavlik Protect product line.