Stay local. Support local. Give local. This holiday season, give the gift of craft beer and local experiences on the BC Ale Trail.
How is it already time to think about holiday season gifts?!?? I don’t know about you, but 2020 has been the longest, yet quickest year. But since it is that time of year and we’re sticking close to home, the best way to shop for your nice list is local all the way. Just in case you need some inspiration, I’ve put together a craft beer lover’s gift guide to help you get things done!
LIKE YOU, WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT EXPLORING BC. BUT NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO STAY LOCAL AND SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES WITH JUST YOUR IMMEDIATE HOUSEHOLD OR BUBBLE. LET’S EACH DO OUR PART NOW, SO WE CAN EXPLORE BC AGAIN, SOON. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
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 in a year where we’ve been stripped of most of our choices — like vacations. Gift cards are also a fantastic way to support your local breweries, brewpubs, liquor stores, etc. Wildeye Brewing and Andina Brewing Co. are just two examples of breweries with gift card options. (Psst! They are also super easy to add to a holiday card and pop in the mail!)
Kit your gift list out with swag from their favourite breweries (or your favourite). Many breweries like Steel & Oak, Vancouver Island Brewing, Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse, Howe Sound Brewing, Fisher Peak Brewing, and Townsite Brewing have swag available for purchase in their tasting room. You name it, they’ve probably got it:
- Baseball caps
- Bottle openers
- Plaid shirts
- Glassware (Pssst! Strange Fellows Brewing has re-released their Krampus beer with a beautiful, branded glass!)
- Dog accessories
- And more!
This reminds me that I have my eye on some socks for my partner — which also reminds, me, I need to see if VIB ships!
Local craft Beer
Whether it’s a tall-boy pack, bomber, full-on mix pack, or glassware-beer combo, local breweries have got you covered for gifting tiers. And if you’re shopping for someone elsewhere in Canada or the world, consider supporting their local breweries for any and all of the above. Vancouver Island Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Steamworks Brewing, and other breweries have mix packs available this year and they look fantastic!
For more craft beer gift inspiration, check out our guide to this year’s winter beers!
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
(For when we can travel again!) 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. (It includes dinner, breakfast, beer and truffles pairing, and one night’s stay.)
DIY Beer “advent” collection
Craft beer advent calendars sell out very quickly, so why not make one for the craft beer lover in your life? Or create a mini version to open from Christmas into the New Year.
craft beer Books
Share the knowledge of craft beer, homebrewing, and cooking with beer!
- Craft Beer Revolution (By our very own Joe Wiebe!)
- Cooking with Craft Beer
- Methods of Modern Brewing
- Beer School
- The Brew Your Own Big Book of Craft Beer
Beer it forward
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!”.
The BC Craft Brewers Conference has gone digital for 2021! Craft beer professionals and enthusiasts can virtually attend a three-day (February 3 – 5) offering of keynotes, workshops, networking, and more! Tickets start at $20 + applicable taxes and make for a great stocking stuffer!
Let the BC Ale Trail be your guide to craft beer-themed gifting this holiday season. Happy shopping!