The #12BeersofXmas is over for another year and without a doubt it was a massive success. Only in it’s second year, the number of people taking part this year trebled and I really enjoyed following, watching and reading about the beers that were being enjoyed.

The one thing that happened this year was that people experienced new things, whether that was a beer they had never tried before, an old favourite or writing a blog for the first time. There were impromptu twitter tastings springing up when people realised they were drinking the same beer as others, and the level of #craftwankery was raised on Instagram (a look back at the 12 #prizelessprizes is below). The twitter community really took to the event and you can have a look back at the daily feeds on our Storify page.

A special mention to all of the bloggers that took time to write something every day, it was a struggle to keep up with them all but I think I managed to keep up and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of them. You can check out the full blogger list at the bottom of this page along with links to each of my #12beersofxmas reviews.

This year saw an increase in the number and style of beer advents going on. The original from Ben McCormick used crowd funding to get his annual 24 beers funded, each beer being bought by a contributor. We’re hoping to do this with Ben this year and to feature him and the chosen beer on a show. Show supporters Ales by Mail provided one of the commercial boxes that were available and you can read all about those 24 beers, some Christmas stories and terrible jokes on Justin Mason’s blog.

One of the things that I maintain is unique about the #12beersofxmas is the flexible nature. You can drink what you want, when you want and how you want. You can dip in an out and you can share your experiences in any way. Take Mark Landells for instance, his twist was ‘Twelve Stouts of Chirstmas’ which brillaintly twitter always shorted the link to ‘VestOutForChristmas…’ which I think is possibly an entirely different sort of event!

Would I change anything about the #12beersofxmas? I don’t know. Personally I think I need to rethink how I select my beers. There were a lot of impy stouts and barrel aged beers in this year’s list and not a sinlge IPA (although typically, there was a supporting cast of Halcyon) – maybe more variety is needed? There has been some suggestion of having a #12beersofxmashour but I’m not sure. I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this suggestion or any other ways in which we can improve it below or via twitter please.

Best of the bunch for 2014? Personally, there were two beers that stood head a shoulders above the rest. Siren Craft Brew’s ‘Odyessy 001’ and Camden Town’s ‘Beer 2014’ were brilliant for different reasons but both left me with the warm, happy, gurning feeling inside.

Thank you to everyone that took part in the #12beersofxmas via whichever medium. The #12beersofxmas 2015 will start on Sunday 20 December – best start saving those beers up now!

While I’m talking 2015, here’s a quick preview of what we’ve got coming up over the next 12 months…

The next live Lock In will be on Saturday 17 January with Left Hand Brewing Co. We’re enjoying the Lock Ins so we’ve got tow more planned for 2015 – Saturday 16 May and Saturday 5 September. If you’d like to get involved in these send us a tweet and we’ll add you to the list.

Season 6 launches on Friday 6 February and we’re hoping to have the full beer list up on Friday 9 Janauray. The theme is Irish Craft Beer and we’ll be doing a number of collaboration shows with 11pm Somewhere and The Irish Beer Snob. We’re also working with Ian and Wayne to bring you a way of getting your hands on the Irish beers we’ll be featuring – more details on Friday.

During season 6 we will also hit show 100. This is quite a milestone for us and to celebrate we’ll be broadcasting the show live so you’ll be able to get involved. Monday 16 March is the date for your diary.

Season 7 will tie in with Beer Day Britain and will therefore focus on ‘Great British Beers’, and for season 8 we’re thinking of doing a second run of US Craft Beers – more details will follow in due course.

Following the success of the Crimbo Crawl this year, we’re hoping to get out and about a little bit more this year and we’re thinking of a Brighton Crawl at some point when the sun is shining.

2015 looks like it could be our biggest year yet and we’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all of our listeners, followers and anyone who actively gets involved with the stuff we do. The Beer O’clock Family continues to grow and for that we will always be grateful.