Beer is an easy Christmas gift. So long as your recipient likes the stuff then a trip to the supermarket booze section will yield no end of giftable cans and bottles. But for maximum gratitude it’s worth putting a little more effort into your purchase. You could consider a big bottle of one of the limited edition
releases available at this time of year, with Camden’s Barrel Aged Imperial Pilsner and Mikkeller’s Christmas Ale being among our favourites. Or you could consider one of the ten suggestions below, each one a guaranteed to bring a festive grin to whoever is on the receiving end.
Booths Ale Crate: £30, Booths
The beer buyers at Booths have got great taste so you can be sure that their gift packs are always stocked with quality beer. Six such bottles from the likes of Eden, Black Sheep and Saltaire come in this crate – a handy wooden caddy that has an even handier bottle opener fixed to one end making it the most portable and functional six pack we’ve seen.
Canon & Canon, Beer & Cured Meat Tin: £35, Canon & Canon
No one can survive Christmas on beer alone, so give your mate something to munch on with this tin of tasty treats. The British meat selection includes jerky with pineapple and chilli, spicy snacking salamis, a big posh salami (made with red wine and chocolate) and some superb biltong that will set you up for a prolonged chomp-a-thon. The two beers – FourPure’s Jukebox IPA and Northern Monk’s Mocha Porter – have been chosen to complement the meat and we particularly enjoyed the pairing of porter and salami, a combination that should keep you going through most of the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special.
Wild Beer Cap: £25, Wild Beer
Adorn the bonce of your beloved with one of these tip-top beery caps. There’s a variety of styles and colours to choose from, including a suave suede and twill five panel hat and a red, white and blue Trump-baiting truckers hat. We like the charcoal and twill snapback hat, featuring Wild Beer’s appropriately festive stag logo. One size fits all.
Oak Bottle Opener: £15, The Wood Project
There’s nothing wrong with prizing off the top of a beer bottle with the toe end of a can opener, but there are better tools to make the operation that little bit more pleasurable. These hand carved oak openers are just the trick: well balanced, nicely claspable and the engraved wood not only looks good new but it will age as well as a bottle of Thomas Hardy’s Ale.
The Perfect Pint: A Beer Lover’s Handbook by Andy Hamilton: £12.99, Amazon
This book is not only a great gift for anyone interested in brewing their own beers, but there’s also enough to satisfy fans who have no interest in handling hops and malt. Author Andy Hamilton has travelled the land guzzling beer to provide education and witty anecdotes about the various beer styles available while recommending exemplary pints for each one. He’s also teased a few recipes from some of the brewers so you can recreate the goods at home.
Best of British, Craft Beer Box Set: £28.95, Best of British Beer
Lurking behind a fake box of ale-pun book spines your gleeful recipient will find six 330ml bottles from some of the UK’s top breweries to start their own beer library (our sample included Wiper & True, Cotswold Brew Co and Thornbridge). That box not only hides the beery evidence from nosey housemates but will almost certainly instigate a few festive attempts at book-and-beer punning.
FourPure Black College T Shirt: From £12.50, FourPure
If your mate still goes to festivals wearing a Stone Roses t-shirt then tell them to get with the times: these days the cool kids wear craft beer. London brewery FourPure have this season’s top T – it’s made from organic cotton, is emblazoned with the FourPure logo and has a price that looks as good as the design.
The Lantern Tankard: £14.94 for a case of six, thelanterntankard.com
Modern Teku and Tulip glasses may be all the rage in trendy kitchens but, more often than not, we want to grip hold of a sturdy tankard when we’re dipping our beaks into a frothy brew. The Lantern Tankard is a ten-sided glass based on a design that used to be popular in the 1930s and is a reassuringly weighty vessel that adds an extra shimmer to a cold lager or pale ale. It’s also more likely to survive your clumsy attempts at wrapping than those dainty tekus.
Honest Brew, Secret Santa Howler: £9.90, Honest Brew
If you’ve been roped into the office’s annual Secret Santa gifting shambles then rather than try to find something funny and a little bit risqué, get something that almost anyone will enjoy: quality beer. Honest Brew’s three-can-howler is loaded with maximum craft beer flavour for under a tenner. The only downside is likely to be envy when you unwrap the disappointing gift you’ve been given. Still, giving is better than receiving…
Grainfather Connect: £675, Beer Hawk
Brew like Beavertown and mash like Marstons with this monster stainless steel pantheon of malt, hops and grain. It’s an all-in-one beer brewing system, meaning you can mash, sparge, boil and cool your brews into whatever style you fancy with maximum control and the minimum of fuss. The built-in Bluetooth connectivity enables you to keep track of your beer’s progress and tinker with the settings via an app on a smart device of choice.
It will also connect you to the wider Grainfather brewing community to share recipes and beery tips. Its 30 litre capacity (which will produce up to 20 litres of beer) has a relatively small footprint so won’t dominate your kitchen or brewing shed too much. It’s not cheap – but this is the closest you’ll get to brewing nirvana without owning an actual brewery.
Verdict: Best Christmas gifts for beer lovers
We would be happy to receive any of these gifts on the 25th but for beer goodness with added practicality we’ll settle for Booth’s Ale Crate.