The days of chocolate advent calendars as your only option are long gone. You can now get 24 of almost anything to help you count down to the big day. Beer advent calendars are our favourite kind and, so we hear, many of yours' too.
With beer advent calendars, we’re not talking about a few basic lagers you'll find in the local convenience shop. Far from it. Many of the drinks inside are specially brewed for the calendar.
There's a lot to choose from too, unlike picking your favourite chocolate brand. Some offer a range of different styles, others are suited to those who like strong beer, and some come from breweries themselves.
UPDATE: We have updated out best beer advent calendar list for 2020 - all the beers in this list have been updated for the year and many of them are selling out.
We won’t spoil any of the beer line-ups here, but you can click the links to lists, where available, if you’d rather be sure what you’re buying. Otherwise you’ll be able to get an idea from this article and leave them a surprise.
A large crate of beer is 24 bottles or cans so it’s perfect for an advent calendar. They often sell out a long time before December so grab one while you can. This shortlist gives you a head start on the best options.
- The best beer snacks, revealed
Best beer advent calendars
1. SirenBuy now from Siren
Berkshire’s finest has created its first ever advent calendar and guarantees diversity with the amount of styles Siren is able to brew at a top level.
A mix of small and large cans will take you on a journey from 3.4% to 11.4% abv so you’ll get all kinds of styles including sour, lager, IPA and imperial stout. Siren has started infusing beers with nitro for a smooth, creamy texture and you’ll get to try that too.
2. Billy Franks
You might not just want beer in your advent calendar so this is a great alternative. You could open two doors every other day and have a beer with a snack.
The box features 12 beers from UK breweries and 12 bags of BF’s award-winning craft jerky as featured in our best beer snacks ShortList. One bag will be a mystery, one-off flavour.
3. Ghost Whale
Ghost Whale is well-known for its advent calendar for including big rare beers like Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout and is back with two options to choose from.
The Homegrown Heaven is dedicated to the UK craft scene, or you can go for the Other Worldly option which will take you to distant shores with almost 24 different breweries. Either way, a wide variety of styles and strengths is guaranteed.
4. Beer 52
Another affordable option comes from subscription service Beer 52, although you don’t have to sign up to anything to get this advent calendar.
The price includes free delivery and you’ll get 24 beers, from 14 different countries with 16 different styles from the likes of Vocation, La Trappe, Gipsy Hill, O'Brother, Rothaus, De Molen, Virginia Beer Co, Tempest. You’ll also get a limited edition tasting glass.
With every advent calendar, you also get a scratch card where you can win free cases of beer, a year of beer subscription and more.
Fan of Beavertown? Well, the North London brewery famed for its iconic artwork has two advent calendars for you to choose from. The first consists of core range beers such as Gamma Ray along with two limited edition festive versions of Neck Oil.
The limited edition has more variety with 13 different beers as well as seasonal dark beers, a seasonal treat and a new mystery collaboration.
6. Dry Drinker
If you’re off alcohol for whatever reason, you needn’t miss out on a beer advent calendar. Specialist alcohol free retailer, Dry Drinker, has put together the perfect box.
This contains 24 of the best alcohol free beers around with half in bottles and half in cans. It also comes with a free branded glass to drink them out of.
7. Beer Hawk
For 2020, Beer Hawk has managed to curate an advent calendar made entirely of exclusive beers. These 24 beers are all different styles and a few collaborations mean that 28 breweries from around the world are involved including Omnipollo, Mikkeller, Lervig, Wild Beer.
In an interesting twist, the box only has 1 December marked so you’ll have to follow clues in a booklet to find out which door is the right one. There’s also a mini-website to give you a virtual tour of the breweries along with tasting notes and more.
Available at lower prices for members, HonestBrew once again has two of the best advent calendars around. The regular option is great value for money and includes 13 different styles and 12 exclusives from the likes of Siren, Thornbridge and Basqueland.
Those wanting to go all out can get the Ultimate box with no less than 15 exclusives. You’re getting big hitters such as Double IPAs, Imperial Stouts and barrel aged beers.
9. Bier Nuts
Not only do you get three cans of delicious Bier Nuts to taste all flavours, you still get a full 24 beers so needn’t go without a brew during advent. Furthermore, this calendar comes with a branded glass and a pair of socks.
That’s a lot for a modest price and it’s not due to low quality beer. This showcases some of the best brewing talent around from the likes of Five Points, Amundsen, Fierce Beer, Big Smoke and Laine.
This year, Beerwulf has one of the more affordable and striking options with a range of different styles and breweries. Well-known UK breweries such as Beavertown and BrewDog are joined by some from The Netherlands, US and Belgium.
With 2020 going virtual, there’s more than just beer you’re getting here. Beerwulf has a range of daily extras including “virtual events, tastings and festive content”.