Giving the Gift of Beer

As a beer lover I have often received the gift of beer from friends and family. I’ve also been asked many times what beers to give as gifts. With the holidays upon us it seemed relevant to discuss what constitutes a good beer gift.

How to pick that special beer.

Most people look at any beer over $10 a bomber as overpriced. The sad part is sometimes they’re right. Not all beers are created equal and that’s something to keep in mind, especially if you want to find that perfect beer. First off consider what the person likes. Are they a fanboy of any particular brewery? If so you might consider  looking for rare beers from that brewery. Look for things like 1 or 2 year old beers, vertical set ups (different year releases pf the same beer), or just really hard to get limited editions. For example if they are a Deschutes Brewery fan you could consider a vertical set up of Jubelale, a hard to find bottle of their 20th anniversary wit, or a line up of the 2009 Bond St series. A good site is liquidsolutions.

What if they don’t have a favorite brewery? Then the next step up is style. My cousins husband is a big fan of IPA’s, especially Stones. When she wanted to get him a special beer  for his birthday I gave her a short list of IPA’s similar to Stones. Beeradvocate is very handy for figuring this out as well as a person with a good knowledge of beer. Verticals apply to style as well. Not every beer drinker understands what happens to their favorite beer as it ages. For many vertical tastings are an eye opening experience.

Lastly what if they’re pretty dead set in their beer drinking ways? My grandparents are Busch light drinkers and nothing but Busch light. In this case I’d refrain from buying them beer as a gift. If your adamant though then look at paraphernalia pertaining to that beer. If their not the kind that enjoys beer related decor then you could look at getting cases of their favorite. This is especially handy if they drink a higher priced beer.

5 Responses to “Giving the Gift of Beer”

  1. jbx says:

    Further ideas for appropriate gifts, include
    – subscription to beer centric magazine or quarterly newspaper
    – a beer book; eg, ‘Beer for Dummies’ [Paperback] by Marty Nachel. A few months back, John Foyston, of TheBeerHere, mentioned that despite the lame title is was a useful book
    – glassware appropriate to the recipient’s favor style of beer


  2. Mark says:

    Speaking of gifts… I can’t thank you enough for the Belgian saison. I split it with my step-Dad and we both thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks Jared!

  3. Beermented says:

    Any of Michael Jackson’s coffee table sized beer books are nice gifts. When it comes to beer books, so many are written by boneheads who “think” they know something about beer, but are really just regurgitating the same ol stuff over and over again.

    The fact the Foyston even read “beer for dummies” is kind of scary for a guy who is writing about beer.

    Beer as gifts? Only the rare and unique should be considered as gifts, unless you’re dealing with some beer bozo who’s impressed by those 10 packs of “beers of the world,” which are usually filled with commonly found international lagers or ales. In that case, I wouldn’t waste my time giving them a beer gift. A moronic beer hat that holds two cans and straw would fit the bill. ;-}

    Gift beers:

    Rare HOTD beers
    Roots Epic
    Upright Beers
    Stuff like that….

    Abyss is widely availble as are others.

    I did send a friend in CA two Uprights beers. He really appeciated them and send me two Russian River Belgians in return. I think I got the better deal. ;-}

    O sent another guy a 6 six of local Holiday beers that are hard to find in other places. I received an Anchor “Our Special Barrel Ale'” in return. Once again, I think I got the better deal!

    Same can be said to the guy who send me 4 Lost Abbey beers…. :-O

    Cheers All!

  4. Jared says:

    @jbx and Beermented

    I wasn’t even going to touch books since my idea of a good beer book is lists of figures from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. This was beer only.


    Not everyone truly can appreciate a truly rare or hard to find gift, and not everyone knows how to find them. This was more of a picking the right gift for the level the persons at post.

  5. Beermented says:

    I’m with ya. I just feel giving a beer gift to a person who doesn’t appreciate quality beer is a waste of time. It’s like buying someone a bottle of White Zinfandel. That’s a gift that says, “I know you have no clue about quality wine, so I bought you this piece of crap. The local 7/11 ran out of cheap ass box wine, so here ya are! ”


    Buying some quality beers for a non-quality beer drinker is like saying, “Here’s a gift that you probably won’t appreciate, but this is where I’M at…. and so should you.”

    If you’re trying to buy for the middle of the road beer drinker….. any craft brewing 6-pack that new to them will do.

    Is there another group of people I’m missing? Non-quality beer drinkers, Middle of the Road and Quality beer drinker. I guess you could be a WANNA BE quality drinker then refer to a QUALITY Beer gift.

    Choices respectively: Moronic Budmilloors beer hat – 6-pack of Holiday ale – Upper end rare beer.

    Don’t know where to find a quality or rare beer??? if your a quality beer drinker, you should already know! ;-}

    Wanna be original? Cook something with beer and send that as a gift.

    Busch drinkers! What’s the point? A nice 40 ozer of Old English 800 would be a Winter Warmer for them….. Leave the paper bag on as wrapping paper. :-O

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