10 best Christmas gifts every beer lover needs
From a home-brew garden kit to a book on how to cook with it these presents will delight any hop head
You know why you’re here and so do we: an over-18-year-old dear to your heart has expressed more than a passing interest in beer. This creates easy inroads when it comes to Christmas shopping.
To make this list, we searched for gifts that go beyond what you’ll find on the high street to bring fresh flavours, experiences and producers to that special person, then put them to the test for quality, value, ease of use and, most importantly, taste (within reason: we didn’t taste the soap).
The obvious choice is the stuff itself, and we’ve got brews for you, no doubt about it.
The selection cases in our list far surpass the craft beer deal you’ll find at your local supermarket, remove all the hassle of choosing (and indeed leaving the house) and will keep your loved one hopped up into the new year and beyond.
From high-rolling to eco-friendly, there’s a gift here to quench their thirst.
We’ve also thought outside the box, so you can avoid scraping the barrel.
If barley, yeast, hops and water don’t just constitute a favourite drink but a lifestyle for the lucky recipient of your gift, you’ll find something here for them too; as brewing meets the kitchen, garden and beyond.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Honest Brew party box: £59.90, Honest Brew
What does this carefully curated case of 24 craft beers say? It says “no messing about”. It says “it’s party time” – as the name suggests. It says “I love you, possibly as much as you love beer”. Because Honest Brew keeps things fresh there’s no telling exactly what you’ll receive in this rolling selection, but with featured breweries like Northern Monk, Verdant and Wild Beer Co, you can rest assured they’ll be some of the best brews around. The one-stop shop has a plethora of other gift options too, at different price points, including alcohol-free and vegan cases, and a beer advent calendar (not strictly speaking a Christmas gift, but well worth a mention).
The Gluttonous Gardener beer garden: £30, The Gluttonous Gardener
If the beer lover for whom you seek is also a dab hand in the garden, a home brewer, or both, this “grow your own beer” kit is a great way for them to indulge in their interests from the ground up. Their beer garden, grown from seeds, will contain hops, naturally, as well and coriander and meadowsweet, and be crowned with the all-important personalised slate. There’s information about each botanical within, along with a brewing recipe. Home brewing experience is desirable when going ahead with these, but the growing is a joy in itself, and there are plenty of other ways for the beer gardener to get creative with the fruits of their labours.
Toast mixed case: £30, Toast
We waste an awful lot of bread in the UK: 44 per cent of it, according to Toast, which is on a mission to rescue bakery surplus and turn it into beer. The bread reduces the amount of barley used in the brewing process, giving those unwanted crusts a new lease of life and cutting down on CO2 emissions; and the company donates its profits to charities fixing the food system. The 12-can mixed case contains three each of Toast’s core range – our favourite was the pilsner-style lager – and makes a refreshingly conscious gift. Toast also makes its recipes available online so home brewers can get on board with its waste-busting approach.
‘The Beer Kitchen’ by Melissa Cole, published by Hardie Grant: £14, Amazon
We can’t recommend this cookbook enough for those who want to merge brewing and culinary passions. Recipes calling simply for “beer” didn’t cut the mustard for award-winning writer Melissa Cole, so she took things further… much further. In her engaging style, she breaks down the science of why you should cook and pair your food with beer, and gives numerous suggestions for just that alongside each of the 70+ inventive recipes. Gift this book and reader, you never know, in their gratitude the recipient might one day serve you up a beer-laced feast.
Brew Day at Devon’s Salcombe Brewery: £80pp, Salcombe Brewery
For the serious enthusiast that’s not afraid to get hands-on, you can’t beat an experience like this one at Salcombe Brewery in the Devon countryside. They’ll spend the day learning the art of brewing with Sam and Chris, make their very own beer, enjoy a pint and pasty for lunch and of course, samples in the bar. The unique brewhouse sits on a decommissioned reservoir and prides itself in energy efficiency; it also happens to be right on South Devon’s area of outstanding natural beauty. With a maximum “class size” of two on each brew day it’s ideal for friends or couples. Perhaps you’re a beer fan yourself. We’ll just leave this here.
Sudski shower beer holder: £13.99, Packing Sorted
You may or may not know that an in-shower beer is one of the best things in the universe. Water glancing gently off the can; the perfect contrast of hot and cold; flavours enhanced by the heightened humidity… it’s poetry, and this silicone caddy makes the process seamless. Clinging securely to tiles and shower screens, it keeps the open container clear of wayward jets and right within arm’s reach. This is the experience your loved one deserves as they get ready for the New Year’s Eve soiree.
Fierce x Singularity Sauce Co hot sauce: £7.50 each, Fierce Beer
Baby it’s cold outside… but it needn’t be in the kitchen with this collaboration between two Aberdeenshire producers that’s fierce by name and nature. Mark MacAulay, aka Singularity Sauce Co, makes his unique sauces with more fruit juice and less vinegar, so you get all of the flavour with lower acidity – and these three also contain lashings of beer from Fierce brewery. We loved the fruity kick of scary berry, made with raspberry and blackcurrant sour ale, blackberries and Carolina reaper chillies. You’ll also find smokin’ sanchez online, with monzana del fuego expected to drop soon. If the hophead in your life likes a bit of fire, this makes a super stocking filler.
Fourpure expedition pack: £29.50, Fourpure Brewing Company
Comprising of a T-shirt, tote bag, a rather attractive glass and six beers – one each of Bermondsey brewery Fourpure’s core range – the expedition pack is “everything you need to kit yourself out for an adventure”… on the couch perhaps, or maybe just to the shop. Ideal for the chasm between Christmas and new year when no one knows what day it is. And from the zesty orange goodness of Juicebox IPA to the coffee-chocolate comfort of last train oatmeal stout, it’ll be a flavour journey your loved one remembers, with the merch to prove it.
Beer and food pairing tea towel: £11, Stuart Gardiner Design
Mover over, tacky holiday tea towel: there’s a new kid in town. Beer and food pairing is where it’s at these days, but with so many flavour combinations to remember, the budding beer sommelier in could do with a little help. British husband and wife duo Stuart Gardiner Design have the solution. This at-a-glance guide, printed on organic cotton, pitches 40 beer styles against 61 food entries, resulting in a dizzying 2,440 combinations, accompanied by handy “great”, “good” or “avoid” rankings. And if the Christmas pouring gets a little over-zealous, it’ll be there to mop up the spills.
Spartisan beer soap solid bars: £6, Spartisan
Beer can benefit you as much outside as in: it’s anti-bacterial and loaded with nutrients, with hops providing skin-softening amino acids. To help your loved one reap said benefits on Christmas morn, grab them one of family-run soaperie Spartisan’s beautiful solid bars, handmade from scratch in Cheshire. The top-quality ingredients list – including, you’ve guessed it, beer – can be found on Spartisan’s website, and reads like a who’s who of treats for the skin. We loved the rich, fluffy bubbles, as well as the wide range of breweries to choose from. Our pick is elf for lather, a festive, Hobgoblin beer-laced bar with a refreshing pine-forest scent. These are nifty stocking fillers but Spartisan also has some gorgeous gift packs on its website.
The Verdict: Christmas gifts for beer lovers
Honest Brew’s party box is a gift that means business: we loved the variety within and the strong chance the recipient will be able to try something new. For an unforgettable experience, big spenders should opt for Salcombe’s brew day. The Sudski shower beer holder is great for a bit of fun, and Spartisan’s soaps are a delightfully different option for Christmas smellies, that ticks the beer box too
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