It just hit me that we’re well into the 12 days of Christmas and I have figured out exactly zero of my gift giving plans. I love the holidays and while waiting till the last minute doesn’t make me a humbug, I’ll be the first to admit, it does produce a bit of self-inflicted stress. Essentially, it limits options and so forces me to become more creative and resourceful as the ‘will arrive by Christmas’ shipping dates slip away one by one. Ultimately, I am left with either exorbitant shipping rates or local shopping options. The latter, I contend, is actually a good thing after all. I get to support our local shops and enterprises and my friends and family get some unique gifts and experiences that a mega shopping site just couldn’t deliver. So, in the spirit of shopping (and drinking) local, here are some of the ideas I’m entertaining this year for the beer lovers in my life.

Swag from your favorite breweries equals the perfect stocking stuffers.
Swag from your favorite breweries equals the perfect stocking stuffers.

Large Formats, Limited Releases and Swag: What’s in Your Stocking?

Who doesn’t want something delicious in their stocking or under the tree? Our local breweries are producing some really great large formats that just happen to be a perfect fit for hanging by the fire (with care of course!). A limited release like 3rd Wave’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Quad is a perfectly decadent drink to sip on a chilly night. Or what about a unique treat such as Evolution’s Nouveau Rouge? A perfect entre into the world of sours which would pair perfectly with a holiday brunch. And seriously, who doesn’t like swag? From stickers to bottle openers, tee shirts to beanies check out the goodies at your favorite brewery and start stuffing those stockings.

A gift to be shared. Build memories and a flight together like this one from 3rd Wave Brewery in Delmar, Delaware.
A gift to be shared. Build memories and a flight together like this one from 3rd Wave Brewery in Delmar, Delaware.

The Beer Gifts that Keep on Giving

One of the coolest gifts to give or receive, I think, is one that is perpetual. Either an experience that creates a lasting memory or something that is useful time and again. The Shore is full of unique beer experiences that can be shared and remembered fondly for years to come. Start a new holiday tradition by surprising your loved one with a road trip to a brewery tour or tasting room to sample new beers (Note: many are open on Christmas Eve). You could even make a date to go to a homebrew workshop to start experimenting on your own.

Likewise, filling a growler with a warming winter ale is a scrumptious and practical gift and the growler will be used, and appreciated, over and over. Check with your favorite breweries and bars, many local spots offer discount pricing on their growler or pint nights.

However you celebrate, thank you for supporting your Shore craft breweries this holiday season and may your holidays be merry and bright.

Cheers!

Kate Parkinson
Author: Kate Parkinson

Kate Parkinson currently resides in Salisbury, Maryland and is a come-here from another mecca of craft breweries, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She is a professional cook, a mom, keeps a zombie apocalypse go-bag, loves her cowgirl boots, and a big, interesting beer. She lives with her best guy, Skeeks the Australian Shepherd.

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