December 20th, 2012
11:30 AM ET
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Nathan Berrong works at CNN's satellite desk and writes Eatocracy's beer column, "Berrong on Beer." He Tweets at @nathanberrong and logs beers at Untappd.

The end of the world is just a day away, and as the crazies prepare for it by stockpiling canned goods and jugs of water, I’m more concerned about which beer I’m going to drink to celebrate the future. You see, the world isn’t really going to end and the Mayans didn’t even predict it would. December 21, 2012, is just the final date on one of the Mayan calendars. According to scholars, the ancient Maya created several calendars and when one ended, another began.

For the Mayans, the end of a calendar cycle wasn’t about death and destruction but about rebirth and newness. December 21 should be about the celebration of what’s to come, not about the doom and gloom of a bygone world. Regardless of which view you lean towards, there’s a beer for you!

lost abbey label

Beers for when the end of the world draws nigh:

Unibroue - La Fin du Monde
The name of this beer translates to “End Of The World,” and if you’re going to go out, you might as well go out with a bang and drink the best Tripel-style beer on earth.

Shock Top - End of The World Midnight Wheat
I’m not the biggest fan of wheat beers, and thus, have never sought out any Shock Top brews. This particular one changed my mind. The beer uses chocolate malts and is brewed with chilies, which makes for an extremely flavorful yet balanced beer.

The Lost Abbey - Judgment Day
This Quadrupel-style beer is a perfect choice for welcoming the end of days with its big flavors of dark fruit and caramel. It also contains a good amount of alcohol content and will surely take your mind off the impending doom.

Three Floyds - Apocalypse Cow
This unique double IPA contains lactose milk sugar which puts it into a beer category all its own. Weird factor aside, it’s truly an amazing beer. The crew over at Three Floyds have a reputation for being metalheads and let’s be honest, if the world is going to end, you might as well welcome it with a beer and some headbanging.

DC Brau - On the Wings of Armageddon
DC Brau brewed this beer specifically for December 21 as an homage to the Mayans and to welcome the transition from one world to the next. It’s a double IPA that hides its 9.2% ABV deceptively well and is considered one of the best IPAs in the world.

Elysian - Doom Golden Treacle Pale
Seattle’s Elysian Brewery has been planning for the end of the world longer than most and started releasing special themed beers last January to mark the end of the Mayan calendar. Known as the “12 Beers of the Apocalypse Series”, the brewery has released one each month leading up to the December climax and the final beer, the Doom Golden Treacle Pale Ale, will be released today.

Weyerbacher - Rapture
This exceptional sour ale ages for 18 months in pinot noir barrels and if you’re a sour beer lover like me, you won’t be disappointed in this one. The beer was originally brewed for another “end of the world” day - May 21, 2011 - the day a Christian radio broadcaster infamously predicted Jesus would return. He didn’t. And now we have a great beer to drink in honor of that failed prophecy.

Beers for a new and better world on the horizon:

Sierra Nevada - Celebration
This fresh hop ale from Sierra Nevada is truly something to celebrate. It’s brewed once a year right after the hop harvest season and is released to the public just before the holidays. If I were to welcome a new beginning, this would be my beer of choice.

Shmaltz Brewing Company - Jewbelation
Shmaltz brews a different Jewbelation beer each year that corresponds with the anniversary of their brewery. The brewery began in 1996 and this year brings Jewbelation Sweet 16. It contains 16 malts, 16 hop varieties and clocks in at 16% ABV. Jubilation, indeed!

Sam Adams - Utopias
I got the rare chance to try this beer at a private tasting with Sam Adams founder, Jim Koch, and this beer was shocking. In the best way possible. It’s the highest ABV beer I’ve ever had (29%) and although it tastes more like a cognac, it’s brewed with the same basic ingredients found in every beer. The beer costs upwards of $175 a bottle but think of it as a fine liquor that you bring out only for the most special of occasions - like the start of a new world.

Avery - New World
Avery is one of the more diverse breweries in America, brewing beers that run the gamut including everything from a pilsner to a barrel-aged stout. New World is Avery’s take on a porter and is dry-hopped, which gives it more hop flavor than most traditional beers of this style. I’ll drink to that.

Russian River - Redemption
This beer is Russian River Brewery’s version of a Belgian Blonde Ale. It’s light in color, big in flavor and at 4.8%, it’s low enough in alcohol to drink a couple of these while reveling in the fact that redemption is on the way and a new world is on the horizon.

What beers will you be drinking as the Mayan calendar comes to end on 12/21/12? Let me know in the comments. Cheers!

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soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Turner

    Utopias 29% is nice. I love the (and fitting here) Tactical Nuclear Pengiun from Brewdog (Scotland) @ 32%. I also have had the the Sink the Bismark @ 41%.

    July 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  2. CBQ

    Visit my fb page to discuss locally brewed beers and discover your own favorite. https://www.facebook.com/ChrisBeerQuest87

    June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  3. Ronni Raynes

    Many thanks for being my personal teacher on this niche. I actually enjoyed the article quite definitely and most of all enjoyed the way you handled the areas I considered to be controversial. You are always extremely kind towards readers much like me and let me in my everyday living. Thank you.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
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    December 26, 2012 at 3:55 am |
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    December 25, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  6. Matt

    Good fun.. Lost Abbey has some other fun ones we could say are attributable to doomsday. 10 Commandments, Amazing Grace. Remember, Lost Abbey is "for saints and sinners alike." Stone's Ruination might be appropriate. If some dietly is going to rain down fire we could even stretch to call it Don de Dieu (Unibroue). I for one might slide over to Breakwater on PCH in Oceanside for some Kali Kush to ease my fears.

    December 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Matt

      There's also a Suplication and a Damnation from RR that seems appropriate...

      December 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • RC

      Damn I miss Oceanside. Seattle-soooooooooo dark, cold, wet. That being said-lot's of good beer!

      July 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  7. sandy Storm

    My husband's favorite beer?? LIQUID

    December 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  8. just lil ol me

    no love for Oregon brews? no Rogue fans out there?!? Portland has more regestered micro's then any other city per capita, 95 last i checked ;) ....of course good beer is necessery when you dont see the sun for 8 months

    December 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  9. T-Bone

    I'll be drinking my own beers! We brew some of the dankest sh*t anywhere, right in the kitchen.

    December 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Kevin Burkitt

      I will be drinking a New Orleans', Vanilla, Chocolate porter.
      Made it myself.

      December 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
      • Kevin Burkitt

        Check that.
        It is a New Orleans Coffee, Vanilla-Chocolate Porter. My own recipe.

        December 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  10. GB

    Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? Brewed for the apocalypse... or not. http://www.greatbasinbrewingco.com/site/mayan/

    December 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  11. mmmmmmbeer

    I never understood beer snobs, or wine snobs, or any snob for that matter. Who cares who says what beer is better than other beer. Beer is just delicious. You know the great thing about beer. If you don't like the one in your hand, there's a hundred other ones nearby. Try a different one. Who gives a rat how much it costs or the brewing method or whatever. If its good, its good. If it sucks, it sucks.

    December 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  12. Bmore Careful

    Interesting beer from Germany is impossible due to their own purity laws. German beer used to be considered some of the best. Not anymore. Can you say "boring"?

    December 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Joe Leppig

      A matter of opinion with millions to choose from

      December 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – those laws have been in place for centuries. If you're remembering once-great German beers, something other than the purity laws have changed.

      Or, you've simply never had a German beer in the first place.

      December 21, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  13. Jack

    Shock Top?!? AB-InBev! For shame.

    December 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • alex

      when h!!! freezes over right? so i guess that would make it appropriate.

      December 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Nathan Berrong

      If it's good...I'll drink it. I can count on one hand the AB-Inbev beers I actually enjoy. This End of the World Midnight Wheat is one of them.

      December 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Jeann

    It is so cute to watch Americans trying to discuss beer, as though you actually know what you are talking about. You all have such unsophisticated tastes..."Great taste, no, less filling". You are like little children who love their chicken nuggets...

    December 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • /0\

      Jeann, sukk my nuggets.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Brad

      Even cuter to see smug euros pretend to have the monopoly on good beer with such stellar offerings as Stella, peroni, and all of the other distinctly undistict beers of any merit whatsoever. News flash frog...Euorpe has great beers, and trash beers. Same as the US.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • lol

        And don't forget the great Euro domestic offerings like Heineken. lol I've sample enough of the so-called "better" beers from England, Belgium, Germany, etc. over the years to know those countries are capable of plenty of bad beer too and there are enough beer-stupid people there who don't know hops from granola as well.

        BTW: I'd rather eat a chicken nugget than Yorkshire pudding any day.

        December 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Christian

      How arrogant of you to generalize over 300M people. "Great taste, less filling" is a slogan for Miller Light – hardly comparable to the craft brews listed here. By the way, I live in Asheville, NC – Beer City USA for the past three years. We know beer very well and I doubt you'd be so dismissive of Americans' taste in beer if you visited. Cheers!

      December 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • lol

      Obviously you have no idea what you're talking about. Minus the big garbage brands like AB and MillerCoors, I'm quite sure there are more great brewers and breweries in the USA than the country you come from. Therefore; more than enough people who enjoy good beer and know a great deal more than you and your ilk ever will.

      That said; La Fin du Monde is an awesome beer and I've been drinking it for many years now. Amazing Triple from Canada no less...take that Belgium. lol

      December 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bmore Careful

      U.S. beers used to suck. But now there's been a micro brew revolution. I travel to Europe regularly and no one can deny that Belgium makes the world's best beers. But American micro brews beat out just about anything else coming out of Europe. It's nice to be smug, but you're about 20 years behind the times, bro.

      December 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • sds65805

      Really? Getting snobby about beer? Beer is the feel good beverage, it brings the world together. Get off your high horse and open a keg of your favorite, and I'll be happy to share it with you. I've had beer from about 20 countries and I like most of them. Some more than others, but they are all old friends.
      So shut up Jeann and quit ruining my buzz.

      December 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Barry

      What ignorant conceit. I have traveled and drunk beer all over the world, and can say without hesitation that American craft brewers can go toe to toe with anyone out there. BTW, it's "so cute" to watch grossly overweight , middle aged Europeans stuff themselves into speedos or thongs, and then go waddling around the beach.

      December 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Zebula

      It's so cute to watch an anonymous, faceless basement dweller pretend to be a euro.....

      December 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Elvin

      I suppose Jeann likes Jupilier beer...

      December 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  15. Josh

    Come on....if you were a real beer lover and afraid of the end, you would have been spending your time homebrewing and stockpiling your favorite brew. If you think about it, you can live off beer. It is purified water with carbs and other nutrients.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  16. Joe

    Troegs – ¿Impending Descent?

    December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  17. Lorelei Jackson

    Cigar City Brewery.... Any of their beers.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  18. Hoyman

    Point 2021 Black Ale –

    Stevens Point Wi

    Thousands of years ago the ancient Mayans of Central America developed a “Long-Count” round calendar that ends ominously on December 21, 2012. Some predict this symbolizes the end of time as we know it. Inspired by this mystery, we offer Point 2012 Black Ale to help contemplate this ‘end of time’ or perhaps a ‘new beginning.’ Dark rich roasty and complex, Point 2012 Black Ale is hand-crafted with Pale, Munich, and Roasted Malts with Cluster, Saaz, and Cascade hops for the robust flavor and finish. Enjoy — while there’s still time.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  19. BeerGuy

    You did not include New Glarus beer???? Now we are really doomed!!!

    December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  20. Chad

    I'm snuggling up with the Long Trail Survival Pack

    December 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  21. JT

    12 – 12 – 12 from Stone. They've relased one a year for 12 years but I only have the '09, '10, '11 and now the '12.

    Wasn't sure I wanted to drink 12 year old beer anyway! I'll have to look for the Weyerbacher "Rapture" as I'm kinda in a sour beer phase.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • RC

      Got to help in a bottling at the original Stone brewery years ago. What great fun!
      Greg and his crew have come a long way.

      July 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
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