Wednesday morning, 1030am, somewhere just outside Wetherby, near Leeds, someone’s knocking at the door!
Not more Black Friday online purchases, surely?
The nice guy from UK Mail helpfully drags the heavy box in while Mrs C wrestles with the dog who’s intent on savaging the strange intruder struggling with the large carton.
“Enjoy it mate! Wish I was getting one.”
“What is it?” (How does he know?)
“Beer advent calendar, delivered loads of ‘em.”
(How does he know?) “Cheers!”
I look down at the buff coloured box, and notice the writing on the side, well all over actually; BeerHawk, Hunting out the World’s best beers, and other stuff. There’s some handwritten words on the address label ‘Advent’. I start to smile, I wasn’t expecting it.
Mrs C says, ‘Happy Christmas’.
Cool. Bang on time too. Only have to wait until tomoz to open it.
I notice the senders address, Ash Way, Thorp Arch, LS23 … almost the same postcode as ours. I heard Beer Hawk had moved, I could walk to their new premises in under 20 minutes. It’s not their fault, it just saddens me that it’s been driven from North East Leeds to South West Leeds, and then back again, a round trip of about 40 miles instead of 3? I could have picked it up when I was passing Beer Hawk’s premises. I couldn’t though, could I, that’s globalisation for you I suppose; already my present is carbon heavy.
I open the box. It’s like a Russian doll, there’s an exactly fitting smaller box snuggled inside. This time it’s a multi-coloured one, I think this is it, but I can’t get any leverage to pull it out. The bottles, are they bottles or cans? Anyway, they clank as I slowly turn it upside down and ease the outer carton away from the contents, noticing the ‘This Way Up’ sign as I do. Yeah, I get it, the outer one protects the nice shiny one inside. Why do we routinely waste so much in packaging? I mean it’s not like it’s going to hang on the wall in the kitchen like the Advent calendars we had when we were kids is it? No, it’s not. It’s far too; big, heavy, bulky, awkward and it’s got no hooks or anything.
So, where are we going to put it? It’s got beer in. Craft beer it says, usually stick them in the bottom of the fridge, but it won’t fit in there. Doesn’t want to go near the fire or a radiator either. It’s sat in the middle of the kitchen at the minute. I’ll let you know how I get on with finding a, albeit temporary, home for it. Obviously it’ll end up in the Leeds City Council recycling bin, with a host of other Christmas packaging on Boxing day morning. Maybe there’ll be that much we’ll have to take the car to the
corporation tip, sorry LCC recycling plant at Thorp Arch like everyone else does. We could even drop the boxes back off at Beer Hawk as we drive past? Now that would be recycling.
Seriously though. I’m quite looking forward to this. Like which beers are in it? Where are they from? Will the storage/temperature be an issue? Will they be nice? How much did it cost? I know you shouldn’t ask how much presents cost but I’m a Yorkshireman and I demand VFM, yet remaining cognizant of the need to pay a premium, on occasions, for frippery and niceties.
Anyway, what I am going to do is open each of the little boxes, in turn, on the correct day, and describe my experience from start to finish. A post a day for a beer a day for Christmas. Think of it as my little advent gift to everyone out there that reads my blog.
There is someone out there reading it, isn’t there … ?
If you are reading, can I just reassure you that I haven’t received any payment for this. Only a nice little pre-Christmas present from my wife that gave me the idea to write about it. I don’t even know the people at Beer Hawk, but I’m sure they are very nice.