Yeah, nah man, it's just been busy. Last Christmas was the same way and this one shows no signs of relenting, but I am participating in the Craft Beer Advent Calendar for the sixth consecutive year now.
Production of this formerly rare item has ramped up sufficiently that I no longer have to reserve one in the summer, and was able to wait until a suitable Air Miles promotion was in play before making my purchase.
Having said that though, I must confess that the temptation to skip on the blogging portion of the exercise was surprisingly strong this year. Things are busy, and I'm running out of adjectives for describing head! But when I pulled today's beer out of the carton and recognized the brewery from an earlier calendar, I realized there isn't a cat in hell's chance of my remembering all these ales and lagers a few years from now, mnemonic support is one of the primary reasons I keep a blog, so all two dozen advent beers will be logged here, never fear! But my tasting notes are going to be a bit more subdued for the most part; after all, for aficionados of minutiae, sites like Beer Advocate already exist.
Today's inaugural entry is a grand justification to this approach; The Shipyard Export Ale is a fine beer, an American blonde ale that is well balanced, presenting both malt and hops in an even-handed fashion.At 5.1% it is only marginally higher in alcohol than most other beers. A great beer to have in a pub, along with some hot, presumably fried food, an either engaged in feisty debate with one's friends or perhaps enjoying a sporting event.
But it doesn't distinguish itself in any meaningful way.
If I was in Portland Maine, I would love the chance to try Shipyard Export on tap, but if not for this blog post (and a well-executed, classic label), I would probably forget about it before finishing this calendar.
That said, for a straightforward, no-nonsense, mainstream beer, it's a tasty one!