So you need a gift idea for the craft beer drinker in your life, right? Look no further. I'm a massive beer nerd (seriously, I started a beer trading company and a limited edition beer glassware company), and when you have that reputation in your family or friend circle you inevitably find yourself on the receiving end of lots of well-intentioned but absolutely awful craft beer-related gifts. Here are 6 phenomenal gifts for craft beer lovers, along with the things you should never, ever, ever get them. Let's get started.
Gifts to definitely get them
A quality rolling cooler for BYO events
Price range: $75 - $500
There are no shortage of beer events - from beer releases to bottle shares - where people bring their own beer. A quality rolling cooler can go a long way. Whichever you go with, make sure it can cover the basics:
- Maintain temperature (duh)
- Can hold at least six, but ideally 12, 22 oz “bomber bottle" beers
- Can roll - Full beer bottles are heavy, and it’s a not easy carrying around a cooler when you’re hammered)
- Can be drained easily
- That has a smooth exterior - Beer people like to add stickers to their coolers
Unique glassware that will make their friends jealous
Price range: $15 - $35
Beer drinkers geek out on glassware as much as beer. However chances are the beer drinker in your life has too many glasses already, and they don’t want more basic stuff. That means just say no to pint glasses and skip those glassware sets you can buy online that have the specialized glass for every beer style.
They want something unique, something that ill make other beer drinker jealous. Our glasses are perfect for that, but so are limited glasses from their favorite breweries (not the regular logo ones, they probably already have them).
Quality bottle opener (especially for waxed bottles)
Price range: $20 - $75
Again, quality. I personally own a Fulcro credit card opener which is perfect to always have on you. I also suggest looking into openers that are able to open wax bottles. Those are a bitch to open and a fun opener like these will be a welcome to any beer nerds collection.
Hydration backpack for festivals and outdoor events
Price range: $75 - $250
Craft beer people attend a lot of outdoor events and festivals. Sometimes water is available, sometimes it’s not. A hiking-style hydration backpack is the perfect tool to stay hydrated while also holding other things like snacks or swag.
Beer briefcase or transportation device for travel
Price range: $75 - $400
Beer folk are always on the lookout to try new beers. Sometimes we travel specifically to attend a beer event or brewery bottle release, and other times we just try or find some beer we really want to bring back from our vacation. Having some luggage or a beer briefcase to safely transport (usually expensive or rare) beer from Point A to Point B is a godsend. Side note, often these are marketed specifically for wine, but they often work well for beer.
Kegerator for on-tap beer at home
Price range: $350 - $750
This is an expensive gift but depending on who you're gifting, can be one of the coolest things they've ever received. Keep in mind a kegerator requires a decent amount of space, as well as upkeep (cleaning) and ongoing expenses (refilling the beer and the CO2). I recommend making sure they person you're getting it for has at least mentioned or shown interest in getting one, and more importantly, has access to a place to buy kegs and CO2. If the person is a homebrewer a kegerator may also be useful for that hobby as well. You can get either a single or dual-tap version, I personally own a dual-tap one and recommend it.
Gifts to avoid
Unless you know exactly the beer they want, this doesn't usually end well. Too often people who mean well have gifted me beer they think is good, but turns out to be something just awful.
Gimmicky crap like beer soap or brew candles
Trust me, no one actually wants this stuff. There is no shortage of gimmicky gifts like hop-scented bear oil, beer candles, and the like. Just no.
Table top beer dispensers
This was a trend a while ago. Entrepreneurs who jumped on the craft beer trend and pushed out all these table top beer dispensing apparatuses thinking it was a good idea. No beer lover wants to be locked into some expensive device that has a limited number of beers available.
Physical beer review books
Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I don't feel like carrying a small booklet around with me everywhere I go. Most beer people use apps like Untappd to check in and rate or review beers, so having it in physical form just doesn't make sense. It's also super pretentious.
Things that are also fair game
Cash for beer
Some people don't like giving cash as gifts, but I promise the beer lover in yor life spends a lot of money on beer. Way more than you think. They also probably spend money on shipping beer and going to events. Sending some cash their way is a nice way of saying "I know you love beer, so go buy something you've really wanted to try on me." Also chances are they'll share it with you.
Clothing / swag from their favorite breweries
If you know someone has a favorite brewery, feel free to get them some cool clothes or swag form there. Beer people love reppin' breweries, just make sure to get them something they'll actually wear.
Offer to be a designated driver
This goes a long way, especially for out of town beer events or trips to breweries that require a longer drive but aren't overnight.
I hope this helps proves useful, and remember the best gifts are ones that show you put thought into it. Feel free to check out some of our glasses if you think that's something that will tickle their fancy. Cheers!