Do you have a beer loving loved one that seems to have it all? Are you worried about getting her or him the wrong kind of glassware for the holidays? Do you think they may already have all the beer you looked at getting them or are you afraid of getting the dreaded scoff at your beer choice for them?
Fear not! This short list will give you some great ideas for even the geekiest, snobbiest, or most selective beer lover in your life. The best part is even if they have one of these beers already they will be more than happy to receive it as a gift this year!
While some of these beers may be a little harder to come by, they are not impossible and don’t necessarily require you to have to trade any newborn children to receive them, especially if you get on the hunt for them now!
Goose Island- Bourbon County Stout: While many craft beer snobs complained about the buyout of Goose Island from AB- InBev they were all too happy to wait in long lines on Black Friday to receive bottles of this year’s bourbon county beer lineup. The Bourbon County Stout is by far your best choice with a wonderful array of flavors melting into hints of bourbon and coming in at 14.5 percent ABV. This is a perfect beer for the holiday season and is also a great beer to age.
Dogfish Head- Higher Math: Dogfish Head has a few beers in their lineup that reach into the double digits for ABV and the new newly released Higher Math falls perfectly in line with an ABV of 17 percent. This beer was brewed to celebrate Dogfish Head’s 20 years in business and is meant to replicate a chocolate cherry cake. Higher Math is a perfect beer to enjoy with any holiday dinners that has something for everyone. Definitely pick up a few bottles of this to have a few hanging around for aging.
Terrapin- Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake: Each year Terrapin releases its wonderful imperial coffee oatmeal stout, Wake-n-Bake, they also release a variant to coincide with the release. This year, the brewery brings back its delicious Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake. It kicks up the standard beer with the wonderful addition of cinnamon imparting a wonderful flavor that makes this a perfect beer for a holiday brunch.
Sam Adams- Utopias: While most definitely the priciest beer on this list, bottles range from $200-$250, it is definitely worth every penny and your beer lover will absolutely love this gift. The bottle itself is beautiful and is made from ceramic and resembles a copper brewing kettle. Utopias certainly push the boundaries on what is considered beer, with is 28 percent ABV and seems closer to being a decadent cognac than a beer, make no mistake this is beer in all its wonder. It also ages for years and develops an array of wonderful flavors and aromas. Utopias is the gift that keeps on giving for any true beer lover.
The Alchemist- Heady Topper (or trip to Vermont for beer hunting): Heady Topper is by far the most sought after beer in America and is a must try for all fans of IPAs. However it is not easy to come by and requires a lot of legwork, something we don’t tend to have around this time of year. So unless this is a viable option for you a better choice would be to buy a weekend getaway to Vermont and hit up a lot of the wonderful breweries in that area including Hill Farmstead, Fiddlehead Brewing, Lawsons Finest, and many many more. Plus you could get some skiing in too!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.