This holiday season, give the gift of craft beer and ale-ventures on the BC Ale Trail.
Okay, folks, it’s that time of year, and I’m here to give some gifting inspiration. As always, the best way to shop for your nice list is local all the way — so here is this year’s updated craft beer lover’s gift guide to help you get things done.
One thing that will never go out of style is the stocking stuffer. These are the tiny but mighty gifts that delight any giftee because the kid in us loves to unpack a Christmas stocking. This is where the thought truly counts and hits our hearts. (It’s sappy but true.)
Hear me out on this one. Giving the gift of choice so someone can purchase something they actually want is an amazing gift. (Especially after almost two years of having to compromise on so much.) Gift cards are also a fantastic way to support your local breweries, brewpubs, and local liquor stores. Main Street Brewing, Wildeye Brewing and Andina Brewing Co. are just a few examples of breweries with gift card options. Some, like Container Brewing and Brassneck Brewery, also have the option to purchase e-gift cards.
Kit your gift list out with swag from their favourite breweries (or your favourite). Many breweries — Vancouver Island Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, Fisher Peak Brewing, Red Arrow Brewing and Townsite Brewing just to name a few! — have swag available for purchase in their tasting room. You name it, they’ve probably got it:
- Baseball caps
- Camp mugs
- Socks (like the green ones above from Smugglers Trail Caskworks)
- Bottle openers
- Plaid shirts
- Dog accessories (so cute!)
- And more!
Local craft beer (Obviously)
Whether it’s a 4-pack, bomber, full-on mix pack, or glassware-beer combo, local breweries have got you sorted for gifting pleasure, no matter your budget. For something really wintery and unique, connect with Locality Brewing about their stoneware mugs and hand-poured candles. And, of course, check out the dark beer seasonal offerings from Dead Frog Brewing, Copper Brewing, and Cannery Brewing. For a personal touch, Kelowna Brewing Co. has the option to customize beer cans with photos and names.
Pssst! Stay tuned for our 2021 Holiday Beers story from Joe Wiebe on December 8!
Luppolo Brewing Company, Steamworks Brewing, Dageraad Brewing, and other breweries across the province have mix packs available this year and they look fantastic. You can also find mix packs at your local liquor store — give them a call to see what’s “on tap.” If you’re shopping for someone elsewhere in Canada or internationally, consider supporting their local breweries for any and all of these suggestions with an online order.
PSA: If you’re keen to get a craft beer advent calendar this year, this is me telling you to stop reading this RIGHT NOW and get on it. Head to your local private liquor store or contact breweries like Rustic Reel Brewing Co. or LoveShack Libations to secure yours (for yourself or a loved one) ASAP.
Help your giftees create some memories and keep busy with amazing experiences to enjoy at home or out and about on the BC Ale Trail.
Give a flight to taste some flights
Travelling to visit breweries is always fun, but amp up that experience with a flight on a helicopter or floatplane! Your giftees can enjoy a scenic flight to sip craft beer flights on a mountaintop or facing amazing water views. We shared details on this type of ale-venture with SKY Helicopters and Sunshine Coast Air here.
I love a staycation, and it’s the perfect idea for a couple. Victoria residents have the bed and breakfast at Spinnakers Brewpub in their “backyard”, while Squamish and the Sea to Sky Corridor have the hotel at Howe Sound Brewing to get cosy in. My partner and I had a staycation at Spinnakers when we lived in Victoria and it was wonderful — be sure to book the Cozy Up for Winter package. Hotels around the province also have some BC Ale Trail sip and stay packages, which you can check out here.
Or if a weekend isn’t long enough… plan an epic ale-venture getaway with some inspiration from our Road Trip Tasting Notes.
DIY beer advent calendar
Craft beer advent calendars sell out very quickly, so why not make one for the craft beer lover in your life (or yourself)? Or create a mini version to open from Christmas into the New Year. It’s a fun early Christmas present — a gift that keeps on giving leading up to the big day..
Beer it forward
Do you know someone who has gone the extra mile this year or that you just want to make smile? Many breweries give patrons the opportunity to purchase a pint or a flight (or two!) for a friend, essential worker, or just the person behind them. Their name will go on a board and it’s a nice way to say “Happy Holidays!”
Organize a get-together
Wait, what? Yep, I said a get-together. British Columbia, you’ve done such a great job this year with vaccinations and staying safe that capacity restrictions were lifted. We still have to wear masks when not seated indoors, but you know what? We’ll take it because you can go for a pint and flight or to a craft beer event with a group of friends this holiday season. And that, my fellow craft beer lovers, is what we all truly want for Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, etc: social connection.
Let the BC Ale Trail be your guide to craft beer-themed gifting this holiday season. Happy shopping!