Gifts for Beer Lovers That Aren’t Beer
Finding gifts for beer lovers can be a challenge. Sure, you can try galavanting around the globe to get your hands on rare beers or assembling your own six-pack. But like any good present, the best beer gifts provide their recipients with a memorable experience. With that in mind, read on for a trio of suggestions for unforgettable craft-beer gifts you won’t find at any liquor store.
Beer lovers can visit the birthplace of their favorite brews thanks to brewery tours. Many of these are free or only cost a nominal fee, such as the $8 tours of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee (considered one of the country’s best).
For a heftier price, however, many breweries offer specialized tours. For example, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has three-hour Beer Geek tours that invite small groups to explore every nook and cranny of the craft brewery’s 100-barrel brewhouse and even sip beers straight from the tanks. Likewise, Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Smokestack and Unfiltered tours in Kansas City provide groups with a more in-depth view of the brewery, steering visitors toward areas that are off-limits to public tours.
Although good craft-beer bars are happy to offer free samples, we don’t recommend asking for more than three. If you want your beer lover to enjoy a full spectrum of brews, consider gifting a beer tasting. Some breweries allow guests to choose a flight from the beers on tap, whereas others offer a more formal experience. For example, The Bronx Brewery’s craft-beer tasting experience features its four year-round pale ales along with the brewery’s current seasonal. And Chicago’s Beermiscuous offers guided beer samplings, wherein guests sip six craft brews while a staff beerista provides them with information on each beer’s history, brewer, and flavors.
Homebrewing is the ideal hobby for beer connoisseurs who are also homebodies, or simply love to experiment. For folks new to making their own beers, many homebrew-supply shops—such as Stubby’s Texas Brewing Inc. near Fort Worth, San Diego’s The Homebrewer, and Long Island’s Homebrews & Handgrenades—offer introductory homebrewing classes to get beginners started. Alternatively, Hopsters Brew & Boards near Boston, as well as other breweries and brewpubs, invite beer lovers to come in and brew their own beer onsite. These brewing packages usually include help from a staff member along with all the necessary ingredients, bottles, custom labels, and—most importantly—the finished product.