Welcome to 24 Days of Beer, in which we guide you through what might be a very dark month. Aren’t you glad we’re here to tell you what to drain your sorrows with?

They said it couldn’t be done.

Well, I guess technically they said it shouldn’t be done. That it would be a pain, and that I’d have to write on weekends and when we’re supposed to be on holiday and that it might move my cardio from weak to non-existent.

And sure, I guess they were right. But hey, the laugh will be on them when someone signs for the rights to a Supersize Me-style doc about my adventures in crushing B.C. beer. That’ll show them.

Even without that Big Doc money I’m surely in line for, I’m glad I took this on. Otherwise, I likely wouldn’t have been pushed to try so many different breweries around the province and their takes on winter beer. (And I still didn’t get even close to catching em’ all.)

But, like any self-respecting individual, I try to save the best for last. And while Vancouver’s brewery scene has evolved precipitously since I first tried Brassneck Brewery back in those decidedly un-pandemic days of 2013, it remains the undisputed king of the city in my bloodshot eyes. Yes, it’s hard to get a spot at the brewery. And yes, they don’t always have the most crowd-friendly beers. But the quality and execution remains top of the line.

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So, in the interest of moving away from the pack of stouts and porters slightly and wanting to showcase an elite brewery taking on a particularly tough beer style, I picked up the No Neck Oaked Apple Sour, its collaboration with Penticton’s Nomad Cider. I still contend this is a winter beer given the oak element and hey, apples are kinda Christmas-y right? You gotta give that to me.

In any case, I’m usually not a huge fan of heavily oaked beers. But Brassneck wisely didn’t go heavy on the oak and it goes absolutely perfectly with the sweetness of the apple. At 6.5 ABV, it’ll get you fairly smackered, too and that’s really what you want when you’re paying Brassneck prices.

In the end, this is a joyous beer to drink, one you won’t want to put down except maybe when unwrapping gifts, I suppose. And what could be more Christmas-y than that?

Previous 24 Days of Beer:
Tmavý Pivo 13 by Slowhand Brewing (No.1)
Mint Chocolate Stout by Moody Ales (No.2)
All Season Nitro Dry Stout by Container Brewing (No.3)
Four Year Oatmeal Stout by Strathcona Beer Company (No.4)
Idleback Amber Ale by Slackwater Brewing (No.5)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter by Bad Tattoo Brewing (No.6)
Velour Toboggan Blackberry Dark Ale by Dageraad Brewing (No.7)
Imperial Gingerbread Porter by Persephone Brewing (No.8)

Cranberry Mandarin Orange Witbier by Old Yale Brewing (No.9)
Chalet All Day Horchata Blonde Ale by Bridge Brewing (No.10)
Indulgeousness Imperial Stout by Superflux Beer Company (No.11)
Blackberry Export Stout by Vancouver Island Brewing (No.12)
Con Leche Horchata Style Milk Stout by Twin Sails Brewing (No.13)
Haulin' Oats Oatmeal Stout by Main Street Brewing (No.14)
Naughty and Spiced Porter by Russell Brewing Company (No.15)
The Crawl Stout by Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers (No.16)
1709 Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout by Brewhall and Egan's Whiskey (No.17)
Holiday Jam Cranberry Sour by Electric Bicycle Brewing (No.18)
Nitro Vanilla Stout by 33 Acres Brewing Company (No.19)
Heist Maple Stout by Cannery Brewing (No.20)
Chew Toy Coconut Porter by Yellow Dog Brewing Co. (No.21)
Hipster Haze Nitro Hazy IPA by R&B Brewing (No.22)
Molinillo Mexican Hot Chocolate Imperial Stout by Steel & Oak Brewing (No.23)