Appreciating the fine craft of delicious brews is the dude version of appreciating fancy wines that get all the credit for being unique and interesting. There’s so much more to beer than just the piss water we all drank for a cheap buzz in college, you just have to know what the good ones are. If you’re already a beer lover, this is the perfect time of year to share your knowledge with those around.
Beer always makes a great holiday gift, and the right quality can even serve as something that can be saved for a special occasion. If you’re looking for gift ideas for fellow beer lovers, or even the newcomers, we have an awesome list of some of our favorites that will help make your decision a little easier:
Corsendonk Christmas Ale
It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas! Packed with notes of plums, cloves, and cinnamon, this ale delivers the holidays in a bottle. It’s the perfect gift for the season, and only runs about $15, so if you toss in a bottle opener you’re looking at under $20 a gift per person. You can’t beat that during the holidays!
This brew is a combination of wheat, oat and barley. Not only does it have the lightness of wheat, but there’s also a creaminess as well thanks to the oats, which is then topped off with a spicy lemon flavor. This is perfect for someone new to the beer scene.
La Fin Du Monde
This Tripel style beer is creamy and delicious with hints of banana esters, lemon, orange, cloves, and just a touch of honey. Its name directly translates to “The End of the World,” which we suppose could be pretty accurate if you have too many. This bottle typically runs about $10, which is affordable and leaves no excuse to not go out and buy a couple right now (one to give as a gift, and one to keep for yourself.)
Cascade Apricot Ale
Cascade is known for some of the finest sours in the country. Why is a sour the perfect gift? First off, sours can sit longer. Dry-hopped IPAs tend to fall off in just a matter of weeks, which means you’ll have to pop the cap before the New Year and you can’t save them for a special occasion. Also, the time and ingredients that go into making a sour is usually a bit pricier, so giving a quality bottle is a little nicer than giving something like a 6-pack of that piss water we mentioned earlier. Apricot Ale is our Cascade beer of choice, but any of their bottles are outstanding.
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is a Belgian-style dark ale with notes of ginger, caramel, and cocoa. It’s released before the holidays every year, and the price ($5.99) as well as the flavor is exceptional. This is the perfect gift to bring along to a party hosted by a beer lover. Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is brewed by Uniqbroue, which also brews the La Fin Du Monde we mentioned, so you know you can’t go wrong.
With notes of coffee and bourbon, Tweak is a big, bold, in-your-face stout. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s totally worth it. This beer can even sit around for a bit to be saved for a special occasion. Just make sure that when this bottle is popped open, you’re going to be ready! Prepare to have your mind blown.
The Bruery 9 Ladies Dancing
The Bruery creates a series of beers based on the “12 Days of Christmas.” The first year they released Partridge in a Pear Tree, followed by Two Turtle Doves the next year. Next was (you guessed it) Three French Hens. The idea behind the series is to consume all the beers at once in a tasting after all of them have been released, so they crafted them in such a way that the older brews will age nicely while the newer ones can be consumed a bit fresher. It won’t be easy to find the early beers at this point, but you can get someone started now by giving the gift of Nine Ladies Dancing. This American Strong Ale is more like a dessert with cacao nibs, coffee, vanilla, and lactose added in an attempt to mimic tiramisu. This could potentially cover your gift ideas for the next three years!
Hair of the Dog Adam
Adam is an Old Ale which is best served following a meal. It packs notes of chocolate and cigars, which is perfect for an after dinner drink. It’s also the perfect drinking experience for winter. Any of its variants are also excellent choices: Adam From The Wood or Cherry Adam From The Wood.
Sam Adams Utopias
At $200+ a bottle, Utopias is not exactly the gift for just a casual acquaintance. This is meant more for a beer-loving family member, boss, or someone you’re close with. This is the bottle these people would never splurge on for themselves. Utopias is sold in a mini still, and the beer inside is almost more of an after dinner liquor than just a standard brew. Luckily, this means they can savor it for quite a while, and have the beer experience they wouldn’t otherwise have. This beer didn’t make an appearance in 2016, so it may require some searching to find it.
Founders Breakfast Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout is a stout that everyone loves! With bitter chocolate and roasted coffee notes throughout, this beer is perfect for after dinner, especially on a cold winter’s night. Breakfast Stout is an excellent gift for both craft enthusiast or beer novice.
So there you have it! Hopefully this helps make your beer purchasing decisions a little easier. You may have even learned about some new brews that you would like to try yourself. You can give the gift or beer knowledge to all of your friends and family members this year. Otherwise, if nothing else, maybe this will inspire you to host a holiday beer tasting party this year. Either way you can’t go wrong!