Raleigh, N.C. — So, another holiday gift buying season rolls around and you’re still hanging out with that same craft beer lover from last year. You want to get them something that relates to their interest and even enthusiasm about craft beer, but what? Never fear, the NCBeerGuys are here with our annual gift buying guide for the local craft beer lover in your life!
Previous lists have included beer itself, appropriate beer glassware, beer tours, beer carriers, homebrew equipment and books about craft beer. We’ve suggested Cheerwine as a mixer and maybe even started a new Cheershandy tradition -- the purchase of a NC Craft Brewers Guild membership and cooperative ownership in a brewery.
These ghosts-of-Christmas-past lists are still useful, so check them out at the links below.
Gift ideas for craft beer lovers
Anyway, on to the basket of possibilities for 2016 -- there's not a deplorable one in the bunch!
Beer map - The folks at Beer Cap Maps give the local craft beer fan a way to showcase state pride and celebrate favorite local craft beers with maps shaped like states and designed for displaying caps from beer bottles. They have all 50 states available and offer wood and metal versions. Beer Cap Maps display a beer cap collection on your wall.
Glassware - The NCBeerGuys always encourage drinkers to enjoy their craft beer from the proper glassware. You might consider gifting a nice pint glass to your craft beer buds who don’t already have cupboards overrun with pint glasses.
They can celebrate NC pride by drinking from Our State magazine’s exclusive 16-ounce pint glass, designed in NC, and which carries the DRINK LOCAL in North Carolina message. They also have “Drink Local” t-shirts and a bottle opener wall hanging that might be of interest.
T-shirts - The Green Monkey at Royal Mart on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh always offers interesting merchandise from local artisans, and this year we especially like their Drink Local bottle cap etched pint glass and North Carolina Drink Local shirt, both by Oak City Collective. The new shirt features a completely new roster of local breweries. And what a great set-up they have at Green Monkey -- it's a gift gallery with a “kinda/sorta craft beer bar!"
Beer box - Stepping up your gift giving game this year from pint glasses and t-shirts -- how about a wonderful North Carolina Beer Box shipped directly to the recipient from Durham’s own NC Made? NC Made was founded on the belief that local artisanal foods should be available in beautiful packages that you'd be proud to send as gifts.
These boxes contain pantry staples made with NC brew – although not the beer itself. They've collected our favorite beer-inflected condiments for our North Carolina Beer Gift Box which includes Bull City Burger & Brewery's Beer & Bacon BBQ Sauce, Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon's Spiced Apple Beer Jam, Crooked Condiments' Gaelic Ale Mustard and Hops & Nuts' Choco-Porter Nuts. Each box is beautifully hand-packed and includes an information sheet describing the handcrafted products and an optional handwritten greeting card.
Snacks - If your pulse quickened when you read about beer snacks, you’ve got to try the goodies from the ladies over at Hops & Nuts in Greensboro. Craft beer snacks and local sourcing are their passion, and they use only the finest and freshest ingredients to create craft beer snacks that “will fill your belly and warm your heart."
You can ask for them at your favorite brewery or growler shop or order your own and send them as gifts! These ladies have a great story too, and the one about how creating the unique beer flavored peanuts was born is worthy of your time!
Gear for dogs - We haven’t forgotten about the furry friends that might be on your gift list this year! Barley Labs is a Durham-based company that produces natural dog treats made from recycled grain from brewing beer. Their dog treats “contain limited, all-natural ingredients and are oven baked for that perfect crunch.”
Once founders learned that barley not only can be used to create delicious beer but also could be recycled into yummy snacks for our dogs, it was only natural to create this business. Let’s support them and our furry friends! Check out their Dog & Beer Lover Gift Box.
Quirky socks - We always like to support our friends over at the NC Craft Brewers Guild, so, if you have that sock gift-giving tradition going, how about beer pint socks? Hey, they’re warm and fun, and part of the purchase price goes to support the good works of the statewide brewer’s guild! “Sometimes even your feet deserve a pint!”?
Gift certificate - No beer itself on the list? Well, it goes without saying that the best gift for the craft beer lover in your life might be a gift certificate from their favorite local brewery or bottle shop. It's not the most unique or imaginative gift ever given, but it's one sure to be appreciated and not stuck in a drawer to never be used!
Spread some beer cheer this holiday season, and remember to save some great craft beer for yourself and to "Drink Local and Keep Your Beer Dollars in North Carolina."
Wishing you the very best of holidays from the NCBeerGuys!
Dave Tollefsen and Glenn Cutler are regular guys living in central North Carolina with their families who share a love for craft beer and homebrewing. They work together as the NCBeerGuys. On their website, they offer information about North Carolina Craft Beer with a variety of maps, videos, events, recipes and much more.