Christmas Tree Celebrator

Christmas Gifts for Beer Lovers, 2013

Beer at Christmas.

It’s around this time of year that we start getting lots of visits to the blog from anxious relatives looking for gift ideas for awkward beer-loving spouses, siblings and cousins.

So, with apologies for mentioning the other, other C-word in November, here’s our best attempt at a Christmas wish list for beer geeks.

Books: a safe bet

We’ve reviewed quite a few books in the last year.

Toys

DVDs

Beer — the main event!

  • A general rule: try to find brands that can’t be bought easily all-year-round (like having egg and chips for Christmas dinner).
  • A warning: avoid nicely packaged budget supermarket gift sets, which often feature smaller bottles of relatively weak, not-especially-good beer in fancy boxes. You’d be better off buying a slab of cans of lager, or one really nice beer, in terms of value for money. (But have a look here for our tips on which supermarket brands are worth buying.)
  • This mixed-case of IPAs from Beer Ritz offers a selection of twelve reliably good and/or interesting beers for £38 — perfect for the more adventurous beer drinker. (Again, Aunt Janet might not like it.)
  • Beer Merchants’ Belgian gift box contains a wide variety of beers and a glass for £42.50 + delivery.
  • Does the person you are buying for have a favourite brewery? Fuller’s, Adnams, Thornbridge, Brewdog and many others have online stores which offer everything from single bottles to mixed cases. Limited edition/’vintage’ beers (Fuller’s Past Masters, Adnams Tally Ho) are often beautifully packaged and offer something a bit ‘special’.
  • If you’re buying for someone who doesn’t want to be lugging presents back on a train or plane, mini-kegs offer great value and a bit of fun on Christmas Day. They usually contain 5 litres (just short of 9 pints). Tesco supermarkets often have Bath Ales Gem in mini-kegs for around £17 (it’s a decent enough traditional bitter), while Adnams sell sets of two ‘mini casks’ for around £32.

Other suggestions welcome in the comments below. (But please don’t use this as an opportunity to promote your own book/online shop/beer/novelty beer-smuggling bra.)

Disclosure: some (but not many) of the suggestions above were based on samples we were sent.

7 thoughts on “Christmas Gifts for Beer Lovers, 2013”

  1. I’ve been amazed at how long the publishing process takes. The commercial one, I mean. Most of my “proper” book was finished 12 months before it will be published. Just as well it’s about the past.

    Instant publishing is one of the great advances in civilisation. I’ve gone from concept to sale in less than a week.

    Which reminds me. I’ve two books to finish by next Wednesday.

  2. Hi Bloggers,

    First of all, what a unique topic. It is indeed not easy to choose the best Christmas gifts. Last week I visited [LINK REMOVED BY SITE OWNERS] and found over 50 Belgian Christmas beers. Both a great assortment and shipping. Selected around 15 beers, got them home delivered and surprised my father.

    Cheers to that.

    Belgian Beer Enthousiast

  3. How about a CAMRA memebership? Maybe a bit boring though?
    I would be happy with pub vouchers or some of that soap made from beer, or perhaps any luxury food stuffs made with beer or hops etc.

  4. I’ve had that key bottle opener for a few years now, and have given it as a gift once or twice. It’s always to hand and doesn’t catch in your pocket like some bottle openers. On a couple of occasions I’ve actually been asked if I went to Timpsons and asked them to cut me a key that would open a bottle! That would be crazy. Though one day I may have a lock made that fits the bottle opener key…

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