treat the beer lover in your life with a homemade beer gift basket this holiday season with the plays well with butter holiday gift basket series! pair a few great bottles of craft beer with a couple of festive beer glasses & a few handmade bar snacks & you’ll totally knock the socks off of any beer nerd!
’tis the season for holiday parties at work, secret santas, family gatherings, & one-too-many wintery cocktails with friends.
& along with these many joyous reasons to get together & celebrate with friends & loved ones during the holiday season comes the need to pull together thoughtful gifts to show gratitude & appreciation for the special people in your life.
i am SO very excited to help ease away some of the gift-giving stress this holiday season with a plays well with butter holiday gift basket series, which continues today with a italian gift basket that’s chock full of beer-inspired treats & will knock the socks off any beer lover in your life!
in case you missed the first post in this series, “how to build the ultimate holiday gift basket for your favorite foodie”, you should totally check it out here. i talk about some of my gift basket essentials, as well as the overall approach i take to building a gift basket – which can be boiled down into four simple components:
#1. think about your gift basket recipient: what does your recipient LOVE? you don’t have to know their life story, but think about some of the things you know that they appreciate & really hone in on them as a theme central to your gift basket.
#2. start with something store-bought: it’s the holidays, we’re all busy, & we definitely don’t need to over-complicate our lives by setting out to diy everything. think about your gift basket’s theme & choose a couple of things that you know you can simply grab at the store. the key here is choosing a couple of easy things that will tie into the theme perfectly. keep it simple!
#3. add in something with local or artisanal flare: think about your favorite local treats & how they could tie into your gift basket’s theme. a couple of hand-selected favorites from your favorite local spots will not only be a great conversation starter when you give your gift basket to your recipient, but will also give your favorite small businesses some great business this holiday season.
#4. & finish with a homemade touch or two: what can YOU add to the mix? make a small batch of something that you know will kick ass. add it to your gift basket (& be sure to include the recipe as well!). the time & effort you take to include an extra handmade touch will totally knock the socks off of your giftee & make them feel absolutely spoiled.
today we’re talking a beer gift basket – the ultimate holiday gift for any beer dork in your life.
while i am admittedly not a beer dork, i happen to be married to the king of beer dorks. chris seriously loves beer & he reminds me, on a pretty regular basis, of his approach to beer, which he adopted from his granddad: “no beer is bad beer, but some beer is better than others.”
is your brother-in-law a total beer junkie? does your best friend geek out over the craft beer list whenever you’re at a bar or restaurant together? does your boss make a point to stop at every local brewery they can find?
using chris as my inspiration, & with his help for some great recommendations for great, versatile beers, this beer gift basket came together beautifully & is absolutely sure to please any beer lover in your life!
& because this is a beer gift basket, we started by choosing some great beers:
ok, so maybe you don’t know a ton about beer. i’ll be the first to admit that neither do i.
buying beer as a gift, for me, has always been a terrifying experience. i don’t have a taste for the heavy, ultra-hoppy ipas that are so trendy in the beer world right now. & beyond the midwest breweries i’ve had the opportunity to tour, i’m also not too familiar with craft beers, or the styles & strengths of different breweries.
so if you’re in the same boat, fear not. you can still gift a beautiful & tasty beer gift basket. this post was developed with you in mind.
i took chris to our favorite local liquor store & asked him to select a few really good options for gifting beer. beer that is good enough to impress any beer dork, but also beer that is versatile enough to gift to someone even if you don’t necessarily know their beer tastes & preferences. tough gig for a beer lover, huh? chris happily agreed & totally rose to the challenge.
here’s what we’ve got:
first, a bourbon-barrel aged stout from one of chris’ favorite micro breweries, new holland brewing.
stouts are heavier beers, making them great for the colder winter months. because a bourbon-barrel stout is aged in a barrel previously used to make bourbon, bourbon stouts are sweeter than a traditional stout, but don’t let the sweetness scare you away; chris chose new holland’s bourbon-barrel stout because it’s got a balanced sweetness that doesn’t overpower the flavor of the stout.
next, a double ipa for the hop-head from clown shoes beer.
super hoppy beers are having a serious moment in the beer world right now. you’ll find at least one on almost every craft brewery’s catalog. clown shoes beer makes a great ipa. as a bonus, clown shoes also specializes in large format bottles with clever names & colorful label art, making them great to gift. not only will your beer lover appreciate the real-deal ipa, you’ll also have a fun conversation starter.
& finally, to balance out the richness of the bourbon stout & the boldness of the double ipa, a saison is a great option to round out your beer gift basket beers. saisons are lighter & crisper in style. saisons are is just plain easy to enjoy.
as an added bonus, saisons are making a major comeback in the beer world right now. they’re providing relief from the heavy, hop-centric beers that have dominated the industry for the past five years.
now that you’ve got a few great giftable beers, next up is some festive barware to tie into the beer gift basket theme.
grabbing some great glassware from the store is the perfect store-bought element for a beer gift basket.
i couldn’t stop myself when i saw these festive steins with metallic gold lettering.
beer & puns? i can’t even.
these may, admittedly, be a little too cutesy for a beer-loving manly man. you can always also pick up some glassware for style of the beers you bought. similar to wine, beer’s flavor is very much experienced through smell. different shapes of glassware can accentuate the aromas of the beer & any beer lover would be happy to stock up on some glassware that helps them better enjoy their favorite brews.
(they’d also be hoppy to, too, i’m sure. tee hee!)
& finally, no beer gift basket would be complete without some bar snacks.
a couple of great bar snacks is the absolute perfect way to tie a homemade touch into your beer gift basket. beer is like wine in that it naturally pairs so well with food, & there’s nothing better than munching on a couple of salty-sweet snacks while you enjoy a cold one.
my spicy candied nuts with bacon are a must-have. they’ve got that salty-sweet thing down to a tee & everyone i’ve ever made them for goes crazy for them. spicy bacon nuts? what more could you want?
here i have also paired the candied nuts with some spicy store-bought salami, repackaged a cello bag for a cohesive & beautiful gift basket.
pull all of the elements together for the ultimate beer gift basket.
are you a beer lover? what recommendations would you make for a beer gift basket for the beer lover in your life? let me know in the comments below – i’d LOVE to chat!!
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