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Holiday gifts for the beer snob

Christmas Cold Ones

There can be little doubt that we have become a society of instant gratification. We want it, we want it now, and we will get it now. Because we have little patience, and supply is so high that demand is almost always met, it can be very difficult to find a gift that your loved one wants, much less needs. Further to the point, there are Korean dictators who are less fickle than a craft beer drinker. Not only do they want what they want, they want ONLY what they want, and nothing else. Gift buying for the craft beer enthusiast is one of the greatest exercises in frustration and futility. Thankfully, all is not lost. Compiled here is a comprehensive guide for unique gifts that are sure to satisfy even the most demanding of loved ones, and the list covers a comprehensive range of costs to best fit your needs.

Stocking Stuffers: It is widely known that it’s the little things that count the most, so fill your beer lover’s stocking with little things they’ll love.

$2.00 Brewery Stickers—All of the local and national breweries have stickers, and they are a great way to let the world know the beer you love most! These are available online, and also in taprooms throughout the city.

$5.00 World Beer Tour—Drinking great beer is a reward all on its own, but this one-time fee gives your beer lover the opportunity to earn extra rewards. Cardholders can take mini-tours to earn brewer-specific rewards, and after 100 beers, earn the coveted World Beer Tour jacket! Sign up at any Consumer’s Beverage location, and more information is available here:

$5.99 Beer Soap—There is nothing better than that first sip of beer after a long day of work. You bring the glass to your mouth and the wafting scents hit your nose, telling the tale of the deliciousness to come. Now, your beer lover can carry that scent with them all day. SOAPtini carries several beer scents, such as Cedarwood & Guinness, Mint Double Chocolate Stout, & Oatmeal Stout! Check their website,, or they’re having an open house on December 14th—details are on their facebook page.

$12.00 Resurgence Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Sponge Candy Stout—Last week, we covered the making of Resurgence’s flagship beer, their Sponge Candy Stout—made with real sponge candy from Watson’s here in WNY. The brewers have taken this deliciousness to another level, barrel aging the sweet stout. Starting December 13th, Resurgence will carry 22oz bottles of this seasonal treat. There is a limited supply, and customers will be limited to six bottles each, so be sure to stop by the brewery early, or you’ll miss your chance.

The Next Level: One of the greatest things about beery gifts is that there is always something new—a new gadget or a new brewery—something that can help your beer lover to stand out from the rest.

$20-$40 Local Brewery Gear—Buffalo has a proud tradition of brewing, and though we’ve skipped a couple of generations, there is no doubt that Buffalo brewing is back with a vengeance. There is no better way to show your support for local brewers than sporting their logo on nearly everything you can think of. The breweries here all have glasses, hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and more, and they’d all be elated to see their metaphoric flag flown on the streets, leaving their name on the tips of the tongues of those passing by. All of the local breweries have great beers, and great gear.

$28.00 DadandDaughter Growler Carrier—Craft beer drinkers may know joy more than the average person, but often, their joy comes at a price: beer that is best served on tap is best distributed in growlers for quick consumption, and these bulky containers are difficult to carry. Leave it to inventive artisans such as this company to craft handy carriers with quality that matches the beer it carries.

$30.00 Bottle Opener Coasters—What is the point of beautifully finished wood furniture if it’s constantly going to be stained with condensation from bottles? It is distinctly possible that the only thing worse is the search for the church key when you’re handed a fresh bottle, but your keys are in your jacket pocket. These coasters with a built-in bottle opener keep your furniture looking brand new, and eliminate the need to sheepishly ask everyone in the room if they’ve got a bottle opener.

$30.49 Beer In a Bag Homebrewing Kit—Available at Niagara Tradition Homebrew Supplies, KegWorks & Buffalo Beer & Wine, these easy-to-make homebrew kits take all of the guesswork out of brewing. All the brewer needs is some well-sanitized equipment and a bit of patience, and the step-by-step instructions included with these ingredient kits will take care of the rest.

$34.95 Custom Tap Handle—It stands to reason that people who are very particular about the beer they drink are also particular about their hardware, and so there are several services, locally and online, where one can have their own tap handles designed. The sky is the limit as far as creativity and originality, so this is a great and unique way to capture the full essence of your beer lover.

$40.00 Buffalo Beer League Membership—Membership does indeed have its privileges. BBL members receive a stainless steel pint glass, which is their one-way ticket to greatness. Fill this pint with a NYS beer at local establishments such as Mr. Goodbar, and you’ll save a dollar every time. The cup will also get you discounts on pints at taprooms of local breweries (Resurgence Brewing, Hamburg Brewing). The club holds several events throughout the year at which members are offered exclusive VIP access to tours and limited one-off beers. With all of these offers, the membership pays for itself. Full details:

Take it up a notch: ‘Tis the season to give, and truthfully, there is nothing better than the look on their face when you know you’ve nailed it with one of these killer gifts.

$50.00 Hamburg Brewing Stainless Steel Growler—Available in Silver Stainless and Matte Black, and bearing the rustic green and white Hamburg Brewing Company logo, this 64oz growler is the next evolution in craft beer conveyance.

$50 Big Ditch Growler Punch Card—For only $50, you can buy your beer lover five growler fills of Big Ditch’s amazing beers. The card saves $2 per fill, or $10 overall, and the fills will ensure your success at all of the New Year’s Eve parties. Cards can be purchased on-site at the Big Ditch taproom.

$52.00 Magnetic Bottle Opener—Few things are as frustrating as popping the top on a great beer, and that cap tumbles to the ground and under the stove. Now you’ve got to put the beer down, move the stove, grab the cap and all of the legos that have collected under there, and push the stove back. With this tool, your cap will stay off the ground for easy disposal.

$79.00 uKeg Pressurized Growler System—Perhaps one of the most innovative devices on the market today, this system has gained popularity while they are still in the kickstarter phase. The product is a must see at their website, A pledge of $79.00 for their campaign will get your beer lover into elite company as one of the first owners of this unique growler. The uKeg 64 Early Bird Includes additional custom tap handle. A gift brochure will ship for the holidays. U.S. shipping included. Estimated delivery: May 2015

$95.00 Hockey Puck Bottle Opener—What hockey fan doesn’t love beer? What beer fan doesn’t love hockey? These game-used pucks have been transformed into functional souvenirs; each is marked with the date and the teams that played, and is scuffed and scraped from 60 minutes of action. A great gift for anyone in the WNY area.

Mind: Blown: What follows are those special, once-in-a-lifetime gifts that will make all others green with envy.

$100 Community Beer Works Growler Punch Card—Ten growler fills for the price of eight! This is almost a year’s supply of growlers, and the boys at CBW have a constant flow of innovative and great beers rotating through their taps. The card saves $20 overall, so it’s not just a great gift, it’s a frugal one. Punch cards are available at the CBW taproom.

$149.99 Super Deluxe Homebrewing Startup Kit with Better Bottle—If your beer lover would like to try their hand at brewing their own beer, this kit has the equipment necessary to get started. The kit includes a bottling system, but does not include bottles. These are available at all of the homebrewing supply stores locally, as well as some Consumer’s Beverage locations.

$249.99 All Grain Homebrew Startup Kit—If your homebrew is ready to step its game up, this kit is a set of the equipment required for such an endeavor. This great hobby takes time and patience—but also support from family, and this great gift is definitely a step in the right direction. These are available at all of the homebrewing supply stores locally.

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