Eating & Drinking

‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Beer.’

Make it a happy (early) Christmas for the hop head in your life! While beer books and gadgets are grand, wouldn’t the suds lover on your list really appreciate the chance to kick back with a craft beer-a-day ’till Christmas?

It can be done! Nita Beer Company has teamed up with 11 fellow craft brewers to launch the Craft Holiday Beer Calendar. That means a different beer each day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 24. Yes, the city’s booming craft brewery scene just got a whole lot easier to sample.

IPAs, stouts, pilsners or cream ales — recipients won’t know what they’re getting till the beers start arriving, beginning in mid-November. (Yes, you get the beer before Dec. 1, so if you lack willpower, you’ll have to get your partner to hide them away until Dec. 1.). Or get a head start on the advent season. Your call.

Who’s in: Broadhead Brewing Company, Cartwright Springs Brewery, Clocktower Brew Pub, Covered Bridge Brewing Co., Crooked Mile Brewing, Kichesippi Beer Company, Nita Beer Company, Stray Dog Brewing Company, Tuque de Broue, Vimy Brewing Company, Whitewater Brewing Co., Whiprsnapr Brewing Co.

What you get: Twenty-four 473-mL cans

Cost: $111 (plus tax). Shipping $20 (in Ottawa)

Hot Tip #1: The order deadline is Nov. 10, but the brewers have pre-decided a maximum run for the advent calendar, so don’t delay. Reps at Nita Beer Company say they expect to sell out ahead of the deadline.

Hot Tip #2: Once they start enjoying the calendar contents, jot down your beer lover’s favourite brews — now you know what to get him or her for their next birthday. Bonus: Most of these breweries also sell some pretty cool swag.