Unique Gifts for Craft Beer Lovers (And What To Never Buy Them)

This post was update¬†for the 2022 holiday shopping season! ūüéĀ ūüéĄ

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 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 a few 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

Cooler

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 ‚Äúbomber bottle" beers¬†
  • Can roll - Full beer bottles are heavy, and it‚Äôs a not easy carrying around a cooler when you‚Äôre hammered)
  • Can be drained easily¬†
  • That has a smooth exterior - Beer people like to add stickers to their coolers

A smaller, insulated tote bag cooler

Price range: $20 - $35

Since I initially made this post, I've found myself using this insulated tote bag cooler from The Bruery pretty often. It's perfect for bringing a few bottles to a friends place for dinner or some cans to the park. They'll keep stuff cold just long enough, and are easy to keep in the car or your closet for easy access. 

You can get something pricey (ex: Yeti) but for these more casual coolers, I don't recommended breaking the bank. 

Unique glassware that will make their friends jealous

Price range: $13 - $35

Beer drinkers geek out on glassware as much as beer, however chances are the beer drinker in your life has way too many "basic" or "boring" glasses in their collection. Here's what they don't need:

  1. Don't buy those glassware sets you see on Amazon where they include one glass for each "style" of beer. Not only are they overpriced, but most beer drinkers don't match a glass to a style of beer 1:1.
  2. Don't buy glassware with cliche phrases on them like "Free beer tomorrow" or "It's 5 o-clock somewhere." It's lame and will never get used. 

What do they want? Something unique that will stand out and 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).

A nice matching tasting glass set

Price range: $35 - $50

Just about every beer drinker could use some nice tasting glasses. They may have some from various beer events or breweries, but most likely don't have a "matching set." These are one of our most popular items at SBG, and one of the most common we see purchased as gifts. They're perfect for casual tasting, bottle shares, and dinners. We've got two sets for you to check out!

Outdoor cups or glassware 

Price range: $12 - $15

If you know a beer drinker who spends a lot of time outside - whether it's on the patio in the backyard, on the lake, or hiking in the mountains - they'll love our unbreakable, outdoor plastic cup. They're lightweight, perfect for any style of beer, and impossible to break. 

Quality bottle opener (especially for waxed bottles)

Price range: $20 - $75

Opener

Again, quality. I personally own a number of steel credit card-style openers which last ages. They're also easy to leave around the house or toss into different bags so you always have one handy.

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

Camelbak

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 Luggage

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

Dual-tap kegerator

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

Beer

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. 

 

Wrap Up

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!