We all know someone who loves beer and spirits. But with so many choices nowadays, finding the perfect gift for drinkers — the sort that that elicits a huge gasp and “you shouldn’t have!” — can be a daunting challenge.
We’re here to help.
Here’s a list of some of the best gifts for the beer-loving buddy, brother, niece or anybody else on your list who loves to kick back and enjoy a drink.
Snohomish’s Haywire Brewing went all-in on brewing barrel-aged gift bottles this year. Grab one of Haywire’s six barrel-aged concoctions with cheeky names like Resting Grinch Face, a stout aged in Bad Dog whisky barrels, or Son of a Nutcracker, a porter aged in a Skip Rock whiskey barrel, and get some big thank-yous.
Get your tin on!
Brewery logos are some of the most fun branding images around. Tin signs, like the ones you’d see at an old timey saloon, are a classic way to show off your allegiance to your favorite brewery and decorate your drinking spot. Visit tintackers.com and buy your favorite drinking buddy some tin. Check out Clinton’s Thirsty Crab Brewing tin for a whimsical, beach-y touch.
Beer cap maps
Once you’ve polished off that six pack, what to do with all of those bottle caps? How about showing them off and letting folks know your eclectic taste in craft beer. Buy your craft beer loving friend or family member a bottle cap map. These maps come in state form, including Washington, and show off dozens of bottle caps to be displayed on your wall. www.beercapmaps.com.
Bourbon and more
Let Maltby distillery J.P. Trodden be the elves to your Santa with these bespoke gift sets. Always matched with one of J.P. Trodden’s small-batch bourbons, these gift sets include cocktail books, cocktail kits and glasses. www.jptrodden.com.
Beer backpack cooler
It’s hard to picture right now in the dead of winter, but someday the days will be long, warm and filled with sunshine. So buy your favorite beer lover a cooling backpack that will keep beers cold for the whole day at the beach. Yeti and Icemule make expensive ones, but I love the one from RTIC because of its boxy shape and ample room.
■ I’ve turned to Jeff Alworth’s The Beer Bible many times, often when I come across a style of beer I’ve never heard of before. Part history and part drinking guide, the second edition of Allworth’s opus is available now and would be a great stocking stuffer for any beer fan. Allworth, from Portland, Oregon, writes the beer blog Beervana.
■ If you don’t mind giving a gift that can’t be opened until May, another second edition of a classic beer book would make a fantastic gift for beer lovers. Joshua Bernstein has updated his The Complete Beer Course with info on the pandemic, coverage of international beers and the author’s top picks for any beer-drinking occasion. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.
A Kingly pint
Brewed to commemorate the beginning of Advent each year, We Be Kings is one of my favorite beers. 5 Rights’ We Be Kings is an imperial black IPA that is so majestically balanced between dark malt and citrus hops that it will have you singing carols. Get the beer fan in your life a crowler of it or even better an insulated growler. www.5rightsbrewing.com.