Buying for the craft beer lover in your life can be complicated. You could just buy them beer, but that doesn’t feel festive enough. What about more beer glasses? Well odds are they might already have everything they need (especially if you’ve been buying from our previous lists). So then what should you get a craft beer lover for the holidays?
This year we’re recommending experiences over things. After two years of pandemic related disruption and shutdowns, many craft beer lovers are eager to get out of the house and once again start engaging with the community. So, with that in mind, here’s some experiential gifts that you can help to get them started.
Most of us haven’t had the chance to attend a beer festival since 2019. With restrictions easing and vaccinations making it easier to have organized gatherings, 2022 looks to be the year that festivals get back on track. We’re already seeing some pop-up, like Weathered which is currently selling tickets for its January weekend. Look for what’s available in your community and get a couple of tickets for someone whose been itching to get back into the festival scene.
If festival tickets are your thing, why not plan a day tour of some of the best local craft breweries? There are a number of established companies like Vine & Hops, Vancouver Brewery Tours and Canadian Craft Tours that all offer different brewery tour packages.
Or you can design a brewery tour yourself using the excellent guides over at the BC Ale Trail. If that’s not nearly fancy enough for you, there’s even a helicopter and craft beer tasing tour from Sky Helicopters featuring a 30 minute flight over the pristine Coast Mountains and a 30 minute backcountry landing where guests will sample a complimentary selection of West Coast Craft Beer.
Beer Focused Vacation
Take the beer tour idea one step further and plan out a beer focused vacation. Whether it’s a weekend or longer, there are plenty of excellent locations to explore. Why not head into the interior and check out the breweries in Kelowna or Penticton? Or head to Vancouver Island with stops in Victoria or even Tofino? Could even venture to the far north and experience the Whitehorse brewery scene, or head south with the border reopening and go to Portland or even Bend, Oregon. Just remember to research and follow all covid related restrictions wherever you plan to go.
Homebrewing Starting Kit
Perhaps your craft beer lover wants to learn how to make it themselves! Design a starter kit with all the basics they need to get started. There’s no better place to begin than with The Complete Joy of Homebrewing which can help guide everyone from beginner all the way up to expert. You can even grab a complete starter kit from a homebrewing supply store like Centennial Home Brewing.
Yes this seems like the easy option but there’s more behind this idea than just a simple gift card. Craft brewers have been hit incredibly hard during the pandemic, with many forced to close their doors over the last year and a half. A gift card not only allows your giftee to choose for themselves how they’d like to spend the money, it also supports the independent breweries that have fought to stay open. Any craft beer lover will value supporting their favourite brewers.