Secret Santa 2023

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In need of constant supervision
Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2018
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Ballinderry Upper
Evening all, Halloween is over and that can only mean one thing, it's time to start thinking about Christmas!

For most people the Secret Santa Swap doesn't need any introduction. For those who do it's very simple, keep reading.

A few weeks before Christmas you send off a beer to one or two different forum members. You will then get a beer from either one or two brewers in return. All beers are sent anonymously or else it wouldn’t be a secret.

The swap is open to all types of brewers, from kits to all grain, beginners to old hands. Don't be put off by the thought of your beer being reviewed, it’s Christmas and positive, constructive feedback is expected. This is not the place for a competition style deconstruction.

If you’re up for joining in this year’s fun post "I'm in" or something similar below and send me a PM with your postal details (even if you sent them to me before). The closing date for this years entries will be Friday 1st December allowing 2 and a bit weeks to package and post your bottle(s) before the last postal date for Christmas (Monday 18th December). Your swaps will be sent to you by PM on Saturday 2nd or Sunday 3rd December. I recommend posting beers before Monday 11th if possible, in the event of a breakage there’s still time to get a replacement bottle out for a Christmas Eve arrival. When you receive a beer, post a quick photo so your Santa knows that their bottle has arrived safely. If you’ve already swapped at lot of beer with someone else whose taking part, let me know and I’ll try to direct your swaps elsewhere.

I will post periodic updates in this thread on who’s in and for how many bottles. Keep an eye out for these updates and make sure I’ve got you in correctly.

As always the review thread will open on Christmas Eve, in the meantime happy brewing every one :cheers3:.
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How do I package a bottle for posting?
A small box, around shoe box size or smaller with plenty of bubble wrap is sufficient. This should be within the small parcel category and costs around £3.00 online for 2nd class. Mark the box "fragile". Put your postcode on it as the return address, you don't need to include your name.

What do I tell the post office when they ask what's in the package?
Just be honest, you can send alcohol as long as it's less than 24% abv and no more than 1 litre.

What info should I include with the bottle?
As much detail as you want, however I think beer name and style should be the minimum and if possible mention that it’s a HBF Secret Santa beer. Don't include anything that gives away the sender, remember it's a secret swap.

I received my swap and it's smashed, now what?
Unfortunately breakages do happen, send me a message and I’ll try to sort it out. In previous years a couple of people very kindly volunteered as back-up senders if the original Santa was unable to get another beer out in time.

I opened my beer and it's undrinkable, now what?
At least one beer each year doesn't travel well, or hasn't come out too great for some other reason. If you get one like this, send me a message and I will pass on tactful apologies to the original sender. Posting that you poured a beer down the sink, or similar, in the open forum isn't in keeping with the spirit of gift giving.

How does it work if I want to swap two beers?
The two beers will go to two different people so it won't matter if they're both the same, and you will receive two beers in return from two different people.

How do I keep it anonymous?
Well apart from the obvious (don't put your name on the bottle/packaging), don't mention in this thread what you might be sending, and if someone posts here saying they received a bottle which you sent, don't "like" the post. Also, if you have a brewday thread of your beer, give it a different name when you send it. The beer you receive will not be from the person you sent to. It's not possible to keep it completely anonymous, but we'll try our best.

Can you ensure my dietary requirements are catered for, vegan/lactose/gluten free etc?
Sorry I can't guarantee that, my advice is if you have a specific dietary requirement then sit this one out.

I don't like stout/sours/wheat beers etc, can you make sure I don't get one of these?
That would be a bit of a logistical nightmare to organise, so nope I'm afraid I can't help there. I would say only enter if you're willing to try any beer, there have been instances in the past of people saying "I don't like the style I received so I gave it away" which isn't really fair to the sender.

I'm in Ireland/France/Tasmania, can I enter?
Unfortunately the postage cost to/from these places are probably prohibitive and so this will be for our UK members only. Sorry.

I missed the closing date, can I still enter?
It will be too late for the big swap, but we’ve relied on back up senders in previous years. Drop me a PM, you can still get involved and receive an anonymous beer in return.

Any other questions, feel free to ask here.
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