By: Matt Kenevan
The holiday season is upon us and before we all know it we’ll be rushing the stores for last minute gift ideas. Might as well get ahead of all of it and plan to give the gift of beer. Sure, you may think to yourself, a suitcase of Blatz takes care of Dad and Uncle Al, but what about the rest of the family?
Over the past several years more and more men and women alike are drinking craft beer and even joining clubs and organizations to promote their locally produced libation. Remember college when you went to a campus dive bar for the all-you-can-drink domestic light? That’s changed too. Nowadays the college kids are reaching more and more for small batch beers from local craft breweries. Getting back to the old world styles of ales has converted some of the elder generations as well.
I get it, craft beer – or beer at all – isn’t for everyone, but there is a reason craft sales are growing while macro beer sales remain stagnant. Craft beer spans a wide range of styles with a variety of flavor-profiles that can appeal to wine drinkers, coffee lovers, and lite beer die-hards alike. In short, people are interested in the variety of flavors that craft beer can deliver.
Who knows, maybe one day your sister, son, brother, cousin, or uncle will remember you fondly as the person that got them into craft beer while sitting at the helm of their new brewery. Here are a few ideas in the realm of craft beer for you to consider. ??The first step to a successful craft beer holiday is to visit your local liquor store. For example, Chill Zone never disappoints when I come back home to Beaver Dam. Ask which holiday seasonals are in stock. Don’t be bashful. Local liquor stores specializing in craft beer generally have staff that are very educated about beer and take great pride in helping people of all beer skill levels. Replace the bottle of wine for the dinner party with a few select 750 mL bottles of craft beer for everyone to sample. Your offering will be a great hit. How about the old saying: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for life.” Well, you can teach that special someone to brew with a complete homebrewing set this holiday season and give them the gift that keeps on giving. Two great sites to check out are midwestsupplies.com & northernbrewer.com. They offer lots of options for the first time brewer OR the homebrewer who is working on batch #478, and both have excellent online and customer service by phone with knowledgeable people who can assist you.
What about stuffing that stocking with beers from numerous different craft breweries? Easy as pie, in fact, even easier.
Or how about a ticket to a craft beer festival? I myself have been busy preparing for our outdoor Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival, which will take place on Saturday, January 24th. Last year we had 10,000 of my closest beer friends in attendance. I would be absolutely honored to have more people from the great state of Wisconsin coming across the border for it. This coming year, we will be hosting over 140 craft breweries who will each be offering more than one kind of beer to sample, plus live music, food, hot air balloons, and lots of other entertainment to keep you active, warm and having fun. If you think this would make a great gift for a friend or family member (or yourself), go to thebeerdabbler.com for tickets today.
?Lastly, there is a great selection of novelty gifts, beer glassware, artisanal beer art, and brewery apparel in every price range for that beer fanatic in your life at the online Beer Dabbler Store: store.thebeerdabbler.com.
I hope these ideas help you in your search of the perfect gift to let that special person in your life know how much you appreciate them and to remind them how thoughtful you are.