When shopping for the espresso expert or hophead in your life this holiday season, skip the “But First, Coffee” tee and use this gift guide to get something they will actually enjoy (although those Christmas ornaments are kind of growing on me).
I’ll be the first to admit it, I was very difficult to shop for. I responded to every “what do you want for ____” question with a shrug. Then one magical Christmas, my wife found my perfect present, a basket of beers. It was just that simple all along. So if you have a curmudgeon like me in the family that is also a fan of beer or coffee, here are some gift ideas that are sure to win over even the surliest gift recipient.
Growler Filled with Seasonal Brew
Couldn’t resist the urge to purchase the “Most Wonderful Time for a Beer” growler at the Christmas Tree Shop? No worries, simply top it off at the nearest brewery before wrapping. Most places will have a holiday brew on tap that any beer enthusiast will be happy to try. If you’re confused by the crazy names or not sure whether to get an ale, lager, or sour, just ask for a suggestion. Despite their gruff, beardy exteriors, brewers are mostly jolly people (like Santa), who love to talk beer and help out the beer-selecting novice.
Extra Shot: Did you receive a kitschy (and sadly empty) growler? Don’t re-gift it just yet. Instead, stash it securely in the trunk of your car. It will be out of sight and mind, but readily available for when you stumble upon a tap room and need a large take-home vessel for that delicious DIPA you sampled!
Roasted Beans from Neighborhood Coffee Shop
If you’re traveling to see a coffee-loving family member, make sure to bring along a bag of whole beans from your local café. I always think it’s such a treat to sample a blend from a roaster in an area I don’t often get to visit. I’m sure your loved one will feel the same. Fun fact about coffee beans traveling in your checked baggage, it vacuum seals itself from the air pressure on the plane.
Extra Shot: Too swamped with holiday overtime hours or only have a Starbucks nearby (no knock on Starbucks, but anyone can grab that same bag of beans down the block)? Companies like Trade Co. will deliver freshly roasted beans from some of the best coffee shops across the country.
Coffee Delivery Membership
Want to give a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year? A coffee delivery membership like ones from Bean Box or LA Coffee Club, will make sure your loved one stays caffeinated without ever having to leave the house. Sadly, I have yet to find comparable memberships with beer (they’re usually a little too pricey and have a limited selection), but maybe next year some options will be perfected.
Extra Shot: Don’t want to spend the money on a many-month commitment (hey, you barely were going to give this person a present in the first place). Never fear, as most of these services offer a sample pack that makes for a great one-time gift.
Tried & True Gift Card
Gift cards were once thought to be the ultimate impersonal present, and they still kind of are. But, when those gift cards grant you access to some of the best breweries, they become elevated to top-notch status. That’s right, the little plastic card equals sudsy goodness and will make your beer lover feel like a kid in a candy store.
Extra Shot: When buying a gift card for your coffee lover, it works best when its personalized to the recipient. Find out where your fave person picks up their morning cup and purchase accordingly.
DIY Gift Basket
Add a little personal touch and creativity with a DIY gift basket filled with all the beers and coffees they love. This option is my favorite because it’s the perfect way to mix my two obsessions. I have received these gifts from friends and family alike on almost every occasion and I never had to fake a smile.
Extra Shot: If you really want to elevate your giving to expert level, you can incorporate all of these fantastic gift tips into one mega basket aka Best. Gift. Ever.