We have hit mid-December, the days are counting down towards Christmas and I’m sure I’m not the only one that still has a significant amount of Christmas shopping to do. It seems like every website has stock articles about “The perfect gift for the (insert name of hobby/interest) enthusiast in your life”, and beer is certainly no exception. I try to be original, so I think you will find my list to be a bit different than most. Since I imagine most of my blog followers are beer geeks themselves, feel free to pass this along to anyone struggling to pick a gift out for you. Here is my list for the perfect gift for the beer geek in your life:
That is it, full list. Everything on those other lists is somewhat misguided. Brewing supplies and equipment are great for a home brewer, but they are probably very particular about what they would like (gift cards to a homebrew shop are totally OK). If you think your favorite beer fan might try their hand at homebrewing, but they haven’t explicitly expressed interest, you’re probably wrong. Brewing quality beer takes a lot of time and hard work, it’s easy to love beer but have no desire to make it yourself. Glassware and bottle openers are fine, but most beer fans have more than they need, and they like the experience that goes along with acquiring new glasses. Same goes for shirts/hats/other brewery gear. And don’t get me started on shirts that glorify getting hammered, unless your favorite beer geek is still a college frat boy those are inappropriate. This is true for most “novelty” beer products, great for dorm rooms, not for adults. The hardest exclusion from my list are beer books, I always want to support quality beer writing. If you decide to go that route just make sure you are buying quality books (if you don’t know ask someone who does). That 8-year-old “100 greatest beers” book on the shelf at TJ Maxx definitely doesn’t qualify.
Just because my list is short doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Do you know a big Tree House fan who hates waiting in line? Maybe head out yourself and get them some fresh beer for the holiday week. You can also reach out to friends in other cities and have them send local standouts with limited distribution. Many quality bottle shops offer gift cards, which are always great for a beer fan on a limited budget. If you prefer experiences to physical gifts make an offer to be a designated driver to your beer enthusiast and a couple friends for a Saturday afternoon full of brewery visits. My wife did this as a birthday present one year and we had a blast. So skip the novelty cooler bags and bottle openers that make crude noises when used, and buy your favorite craft beer fan the one thing they really want for the holidays, some delicious beer!