The season for giving and receiving is here and, as always, shopping and supporting your local BC craft breweries and taphouses are the best way to go.
And this year like no other, the breweries around the province are coming out with some mighty creative gift sets and opportunities to help you out. It will be a challenge for you not to buy something for yourself!
Looking for local places to shop?
Artisan markets and pop-up shops are very popular this time of year, and if the market is located in a brewery then you have the opportunity to purchase a pint of beer or cider while going through the market for your shopping.
Here are just a few markets being held at breweries:
- A Reel Christmas Market ~ Rustic Reel Brewing – Kelowna (December 17)
- Holiday Market – Red Arrow Brewing – Duncan (December 18)
Be sure to keep an eye on our events page as markets are still being added.
Head over to your favourite local brewery, cidery, or taproom and see what they have to offer. Gift cards are always a great option and many of them have great swag! There are also a few breweries that have Beer Club memberships.
Gift Cards & Beer Club Memberships
Breweries like Four Winds Brewing, Lakesider Brewing, and recently La Cerveceria Astilleros sell a limited amount of Beer Club memberships that get sent out monthly or quarterly. Many of the beers (and merchandise) are hand selected or are limited releases, sometimes including rare or cellared beers. Some even offer discounts on food and events.
Here are a few gift card promos
- Andina Brewing ~ Buy a $30, $50, or $100 gift card and receive a gift card promo for yourself or someone else
- Brookswood Brewing ~ Get a $10 gift card with every $100 gift card you purchase
- BIA Bucks ~ Support local! Spend $20 or more at Callister Brewing and get a $10 gift card to use at any East Van Village participating businesses. Limited quantities!
- Four Winds Brewing – Buy a $100 gift card and receive a $20 gift card
- Lakesider Brewing – Buy a $100 gift card and receive a $15 gift card
Winter is the season when many breweries release barrel-aged or cellarable beers. BC breweries have put together some cool sets — you may even want to buy one for yourself! There are gift sets for those that are just getting into the craft beer scene and extra special sets for the beer nerds! And, of course, you can create your own! Head over to your local and get them to help you out!
And more limited-release gift sets:
- Driftwood Brewery/Distillery has some gin sets available for the first time
- Category 12 Brewing has not one but two boxed releases this year: Continuum & Quantum
- Parallel 49 Brewery has its Naughty & Nice Holiday pack with four new beers specifically brewed for this pack. Available at most BC liquor stores.
- Phillips Brewing & Malting ~ Limited Edition Space Case 12 pack
- Old Yale Brewing has pre-wrapped presents that are ready to give, which come with beer, a growler, a toque, an ornament, and some fun extras!
Advent Calendar-Style Boxes
While advent calendars started off as small calendars with chocolates or tiny toys behind them every day, they are truly becoming an adult treat. Chances are any brewery you visit will have its own rendition of one, so check out your local brewery, or make your own. Don’t know where to get the box to DIY? Check out Craftmasbox!
DIY: Craftmas Box
For those of us with definitive tastes and choosey palates, or if you want to choose specific beers but can never quite get the look right, there are Craftmas boxes to the rescue. There are three patterns to choose from and include spaces and inserts. The box will take short and tall cans as well as small bottles. You can even roll up a t-shirt, add some fun swag and you have created your own one-of-a-kind calendar. This is Year One for the Richmond-based small business, so here’s another great way to support a local and budding entrepreneur.
Vessel Liquor in Victoria has created its own Advent Calendar Craft Beer Box, which sells for $129.99 and features 24 different craft beers curated by Vessel staff.
Bad Tattoo Brewing (Penticton) has a 24-pack with a mix of light and strong beers to suit anyone’s palate.
The Mother Lode by Quesnel’s Barkerville Brewing is a mixture of special beers, exclusive merch, and some tasty treats!
Who doesn’t like to get something from their favourite brewery, there are so many options to choose from. And with all this selection, you might just need to treat yourself too!
- beer chutneys, jams, and jellies (Cannery Brewing)
- beer koozies (a variety of locations)
- beer soaps (a variety of locations)
- bottle openers & bottle opener keychains
- camp mugs
- cooler bags
- growlers and glassware
- hats of all styles
- jigsaw puzzles
- scarves & gaiters (Hoyne Brewing)
- t-shirts and hoodies (everywhere)
- tote bags
Let’s not forget the doggies
With so many dog-friendly breweries it only makes sense to have some dog gift options as well.
Dog collars, bandanas, leashes, tops, and treats are available at several breweries including Cannery Brewing, Coast Mountain Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Neighbourhood Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Unleashed Brewing, and Yellow Dog Brewing.
Gifting an Experience
Looking to share a holiday experience but also a social get-together? Here are a couple of ways to bring everyone together.
This is the fifth year that A-FRAME Brewing is hosting their gingerbread cabin building. The event started December 1 and runs through December 21. The kits, made locally at Sunflower Bakery in Squamish, are only $25. You can enjoy a pint and build a gingerbread cabin to bring home.
The very popular “Dine in the Cellar” event is back for the winter on Saturdays at Old Yale Brewing. You can book a table for up to 6 people, set right in the brewery. Spaces are filling up fast, so best get booking your table here.
Wanting to give something you created yourself? Why not book yourself, a friend, or both, a space at this wreath workshop held at Barnside Brewing? The cost includes all the materials to make a wreath and have a beer, and, you can either choose to give the finished piece as a gift or treat yourself. Book HERE
BEER & COOKIES? YES PLEASE! Eat holiday cookies from four Victoria bakeries paired with four craft beers from Island breweries. Beer and treats are hand-selected and the event is hosted by Bonnie Todd (Off The Eaten Track) and Joe Wiebe (The Thirsty Writer). There is enough beer and cookies for two, so it’s a great sharing experience as well as an opportunity to learn a bit more about beer and food pairing. Book HERE for the virtual tasting event. And, if you act fast, you can even get the Beer & Cookie Box delivered to your door.
And, last but not least, the beer!
It goes without saying, but you can never go wrong with the gift of beer, and with all the great beers (and ciders) that BC has to offer, the bigger problem will be choosing. Not sure what beers to get? Ask the folks at any brewery you visit. They will always guide you to the best sellers or the newest releases.
And for more beer ideas check out Joe Wiebe’s Annual Holiday beer guide coming on December 5th.
Happy sipping and shopping!