There are a number of different things that everyone associates with Christmas, and the build-up to the year’s biggest holiday; presents, Christmas trees, Christmas dinners – the list goes on. However, for adults and kids alike there’s something particularly special about 1 December, as it’s the day you finally get to open the first door on your advent calendar. We don’t know whether it’s because this starts the official countdown to the big day, or simply because everyone is desperate to find out what treat door number one holds, but you never grow out of that advent calendar excitement.
Given that advent calendars used to be simple creations which tended to depict a Nativity scene and would simply have further images behind each door, they’ve now grown into a whole different beast. Chocolate advent calendars have become the norm, while there are also a number of other types now available including food and drink-filled calendars. For beer heads out there, there’s only one option that springs to mind. Beer advent calendars give you the chance to try a huge array of different cans and bottles throughout the month. They may be rather bulky due to the nature of what’s inside, but they’re also the perfect way to discover a new favourite brew in time for Christmas day.
Some of the UK’s most popular breweries now offer an advent calendar allowing you to try their various different products. However, a number of different beer suppliers and websites also offer mixed beer calendars which allow you to try a wider variety of beers from different breweries. So, whether you’re wanting to buy a craft beer fan an early Christmas present, or simply want to have the chance to try some new beers yourself, a beer advent calendar could be just the thing this year. We’ve put together a guide below to this year's best beer advent calendars to help you pick the perfect one.
The best beer advent calendars 2021
HonestBrew's Craft Beer Advent Calendar
What: This year, HonestBrew's advent calendar features 24 craft beers, in 12 different styles, all of which have been picked carefully by the team to make it the best HonestBrew advent calendar yet. The fun design on this calendar also makes it less of an eyesore than some of the more cardboard box-like ones, and will bring out your inner child every morning, when it's time to see what's inside.
How much: £59.90 for HonestBrew members, £64.90 for non-members
Buy the HonestBrew Advent Calendar
Beer Cartel Beer Advent Calendar
What: With more than 15,000 beer advent calendars sold, it’s safe to say that the folks at Beer Cartel know their stuff. Each year, beer fans can treat themselves to a box of 25 exclusive beers which are all sourced from independently owned Australian breweries. The details of the 2021 calendar aren’t available yet, but last year’s crop included bottles from the likes of Mountain Culture, Boatrocker and Hop Nation to name just a few.
How much: £85.65
Buy the Beer Cartel Beer Advent Calendar
Beer Countdown Advent Calendar
What: What better way to countdown to Christmas Day then with this wonderful beer advent calendar. It may be among the most expensive advent calendars on our list, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth the money. Every single bottle of beer included is world class, with a few particularly special numbers hiding within, such as a bourbon milk stout from The Raven brewery in the US.
How much: £110
Buy the Beer Countdown Advent Calendar
Dry Drinker's Alcohol-Free Beer Advent Calendar
What: Now, we know that some of you enjoy the flavour of beer even if you don’t drink alcohol, so this alcohol-free beer advent calendar from Dry Drinker could be just the thing for you. With 12 cans, and 12 bottles of different alcohol-free beers inside, you’ll get the chance to check out the wide range of low alcohol beers on the market. Even if you do drink, this calendar is a great option if you want to avoid drinking every night of the week during the Christmas party season.
How much: £64.99
Buy Dry Drinker's Alcohol-Free Beer Advent Calendar
BrewDog's Craft Beer Advent Calendar
What: BrewDog has, over the last 10 years, become one of the UK's most recognisable brands of craft beer thanks to its numerous bars across the UK, and its ever-growing range of ales and lagers. This year BrewDog is offering a fantastic advent calendar filled with 14 brand new beers for 2021, four beers which are only available from the online shop, and six that are new for the Christmas season. Last year’s calendar sold out by November, so you’ll need to act fast.
How much: £49.95
Buy the BrewDog Advent Calendar
Beer Hawk's 2021 Advent Calendar
What: Coming in at £85, Beer Hawk's 2021 advent calendar may be one of the more expensive ones on our list but it's still great value, as it contains £110 worth of beer! On top of that, every single beer inside has been brewed exclusively for the calendar by 28 different breweries (including some collabs!), meaning that the only way to try them out, is to order the calendar. This is the perfect gift for any beer nerds out there.
How much: £85
Buy Beer Hawk's 2021 advent calendar
The Snaffling Pig Co.'s Pork Crackling and Beer Advent Calendar
What: Chocolate advent calendars are great for those with a sweet tooth, but what about Christmas fans who have more savoury tastes? Well, the Snaffling Pig Co is here to save the day with its crackling and beer advent calendar. Each calendar contains 12 330ml cans of Snaffling Pig beer (varieties include Tiwsted Tail Pale Ale, and Wild Hog Pilsner), as well as 12 pork cracking bags - think flavours including Low & Slow BBQ, Marvellous Maple and Perfectly Salted.
How much: £65
Buy the Snaffling Pig Co.'s Crackling and Beer Advent Calendar
Beerwulf's Beer Advent Calendar
What: Ok, so this might not be an official advent calendar, but you can create your own festive fun by purchasing one of Beerwulf’s mixed beer cases. You can order a box of 12 beers to enjoy across the 12 days of Christmas, with the Abbey and Trappist Beer Cae being particularly interesting, thanks to the beer’s historical connections to abbeys. Inside, you’ll find Blonds, Tripels, Dubbels and Quadrupels.
How much: £40.99
Buy Beerwulf's Beer Advent Calendar
Virgin Wines' Beer Advent Calendar
What: You might not expect a company with wine in its name to offer a beer advent calendar but Virgin Wines do, and it's a great one too. Featuring 24 premium craft beers from all corners of the world, there will be something to satisfy all tastes in this calendar. Expect everything from simple lagers to much more complex ales.
How much: £79.99
Buy Virgin Wines' Beer Advent Calendar
Fill-your-own beer advent calendars
If you fancy getting creative this Christmas, why not design your own beer advent calendar? Below, you’ll find beautifully designed structures which can hold any beers of your choice. The best part is you’ll be able to use them year after year, so they’re worth the investment!
Advent Calendar Beer Cap Collector
What: What to get the beer lover who has everything for Christmas? Well, a quirky gift like this one of course! This novelty calendar allows you to collect your used beer bottle caps for the festive season, as well as featuring a Santa image engraved into the wood, which you can add to with your own personalised wording - think something like ‘the 25 beers of Christmas’. The best part is that once you’ve filled all the slots, you can hang your calendar up on the wall as some eye-catching beer artwork.
How much: £29.95
Buy the Advent Calendar Beer Cap Collector
Personalised Drinks Advent Calendar Holder
What: This personalised festive drinks holder would make for a thoughtful early Christmas gift for beer lovers. The advent calendar structure is shaped to look like a Christmas tree and you can personalise the star atop the tree with the name of your loved one. The advent calendar will hold most beer bottles (of 330ml size) and you can then add your own selection of 24 beers of your choice.
How much: £65
Buy the Personalised Drinks Advent Calendar Holder
Beer Advent Calendar Crate
What: There is no denying that this beer advent calendar crate is pretty pricey, but the high quality of this product means it will last for years. The crates are hand sanded and boast a natural or vintage dark walnut finish. The lid of the crate features individual slots for each day’s beer and you can fit 24 beers of your choice inside. There is also the option to further personalise this gift for an additional cost, plus it’s pretty enough to sit in your living room all year round.
How much: £303.47
Buy the Beer Advent Calendar Crate
Personalised Snowman Beer Advent Calendar
What: This cute and creative fill-your-own advent calendar is designed to resemble a snowman and can be filled with your choice of beer bottles, festive or otherwise. You can also opt to personalise the calendar by adding your name or the name of the gift recipient to the snowman’s hat - it doesn’t get much cuter than that.
How much: £81.43
Buy the Personalised Snowman Beer Advent Calendar
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Fancy an alchohol advent calendar but not a fan of beer? Check out our guide to the best gin advent calendars