Challlenge Accepted | #12beersofxmas Recap

I started this blog to scratch my itch. I’m doing this more for myself in terms of turning a hobby into something more creative and productive. I had to start somewhere and the Beer O’Clock Show podcast and their annual #12beersofxmas was an obvious choice.

The challenge of a daily post would test my passion, resolve and stamina. Creating a 300-400 words post and a few pictures, preferably before 9pm every night was indeed challenging, but one I strangely enjoyed. Yes there was typos and I am still learning the nuances of wordpress, but I think I produced something I could be proud of.

If you’re interested, here is the list of the beers with links to their posts:

1st Day | Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

2nd Day | Thornbridge Halycon IPA

3rd Day | RedChurch Great Eastern IPA

4th Day | Cloudwater DIPA

5th Day | Magic Rock – Grapefruit High Wire & Salty Kiss

6th Day | Fullers Vintage Ale 2013

7th Day | Stone and Wood Pacific Ale

8th Day | Camden Town Brewery Barrel Aged IHL

9th Day | Beavertown Heavy Water (Sour Cherry and Sea Salt) Imperial Stout

10th Day | Westmalle Dubbel

11th Day | Kriek Boon 

12th Day | Pelican Brewing Bad Santa Cascadian Dark Ale

I also wrote an opinion piece on the Camden Town Brewery AB InBev deal announced on December 21st.

I distributed exclusively via twitter with a few messages to friends and family. I have no doubt piggybacking off the #12beersofxmas helped drive up traffic. I did have a link in my Instagram profile, however I didn’t use it as much as I thought I would. I am still getting to grips with the stats features on wordpress and what the numbers means however I thought I would share a summary of the past few weeks:

My viewer stats for the past two weeks
My viewer stats for the past two weeks

281 views from 198 visitors across 11 countries

My viewes were focused primarily in the UK, with the US and Australia making up for most of the traffic
My views were focused primarily in the UK, the US and Australia

The most views day was December 23, which coincided with when I published my Cloudwater DIPA post and my comment on the Camden Town Brewery sale.

My Cloudwater post was well recieved
My Cloudwater post was well recieved

The least viewed day was New Year’s Day. I didn’t post on the 31st or the 1st so it comes as no surprise that traffic fell away. Plus I am sure there were a few people feeling the #craftermath from New Year’s Eve and the last thing they felt like doing was reading a beer blog!

The response has convinced me to continue. Mainly because it tells me that what I have written doesn’t completely suck and that people are reading it, which is always motivating as a writer. I will be making a few changes to the blog over time and I have also changed my twitter and Instagram account to be consistent to @bushcraftbeer (twitter linkinstagram link)

If you read the blog and are keen to see where it goes, please bookmark this page or follow me on twitter or Instagram. If you have read the posts or are also a blogger and have any feedback, tips or otherwise please get in touch.

I’ve already started working on future posts and look forward to sharing them with you in 2016.



Getting Festive. 12th Day

Pelican Brewing Co – Bad Santa

Style: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale

ABV: 7.5%

Size: 355ml (Bottle)

Getting Festive.

Sampling 12 beers over Christmas calls for at least one ‘festive beer’ right? At least I thought that was the right ratio. Festive beers are often brewed seasonally, to celebrate major holidays; especially Halloween and Thanksgiving – where pumpkin beers dominate due to their association with each – and Christmas – where often dark or spiced beers dominate for obvious reasons.

I had two of Oregon’s finest to choose from thanks to a shipment from my brother, who resides in the Willamette Valley and was in town for work. In a choice between Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve and this one, I chose Pelican as after doing some research, I discovered that while Rogue is a big brewery making great beers, Pelican pride themselves on small batch, high quality beers with a focus on food and beer matching at their beachside brewery-cum-restaurant in Pacific City, Oregon.

My festive choice, Pelican Brewing's Bad Santa
My festive choice, Pelican Brewing’s Bad Santa

The Oregon Coast is famous for it beaches and most notable is the setting of some of the most memorable movies of my childhood; The Goonies, Short Circuit, and Kindergarten Cop. But Oregon is also famous for its association with craft beer. Four of the top 50 Craft Breweries in the US are from Oregon (which isn’t the biggest; California takes that title with 8) but with its sparse population the key driver is the fact that Oregon and the surrounding Pacific Northwest states are one of the biggest hop producing regions in the world.

While marketed as a Cascadian Dark Ale, the rear label reveals this is a Back IPA
While marketed as a Cascadian Dark Ale, the rear label reveals this is a Black IPA

Back to the beer. This is labeled a Cascadian Dark Ale, however with a quick rotation of the bottle the labeling on the back reveals that it is in fact a Black IPA. And a hell of a smooth one too. So smooth it masks the 7.5% ABV. I was dinking this while prepping New Years Eve dinner for my wife. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the giddiness of being NYE but this beer was gone much quicker than is customary and proved a great way to celebrate my final participation in the Beer O’Clock Show’s #12beersofxmas.

My accompaniment to prepping my New years Eve dinner
My accompaniment to prepping my New Years Eve dinner

Thanks to everyone who read, retweeted and liked my posts and tweets. I’ll be posting a wrap up shortly. However, based on the response, its convinced me to keep going in 2016!