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Food & Drink » Beer & Drink

Do Not Buy!

A guide for what not to buy for beer lovers this season, and what to consider instead

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Holiday gift guides are so ubiquitous this time of year the last thing you need is another listicle screaming at you to spend your hard-earned cash on the latest, greatest beer gadget. With only a few shopping days left in the holiday season, I thought it would be better to provide a DO NOT BUY guide for the beer lover in your life.

All of these holiday gift ideas would be a no, according to this writer. - ZACH BECKWITH
  • Zach Beckwith
  • All of these holiday gift ideas would be a no, according to this writer.

DO NOT BUY that pre-packaged set of plain beer glasses you find at any big box retailer. Chances are, if someone is enough of a beer lover that you thought about buying them a beer gift, they have plenty of glassware. Not many people need another plain, cheaply made 18-ounce "weizen" glass taking up shelf space. Instead, consider a single quality glass from a local brewery or even a vintage glass you find at a local thrift store. Either option supports local businesses and helps reduce unwanted clutter. Plus, the person may actually use it and think of you when they do.

DO NOT BUY any generic beer t-shirts, signs or refrigerator magnets with unfunny clichés or images. Sure, beer may help white people dance, but no one is wearing that t-shirt in public. Instead buy a shirt, hat, tin tacker or magnet from the beer lover's favorite brewery.

DO NOT BUY any of those "beer bread" mixes or any other generic "beer" foodstuffs you find in sporting goods stores. Chances are that box of beer bread mix will live in the back of your friend's cupboard until they move again. Instead buy one of the many great beer cookbooks available—or better yet, a gift certificate to a great beer centric restaurant.

DO NOT BUY one of those plain brown glass growlers with some inane beer messaging on it. A growler can be a great gift if it's full, but just as with glassware, an empty generic glass growler is going to sit on a shelf unused. Buy instead one of the many styles of insulated stainless-steel growlers such as those made by Hydroflask or DrinkTanks. Insulated growlers make great gifts because they won't break and can be used for more than beer.

ZACH BECKWITH
  • Zach Beckwith

Despite the onslaught of beer trinkets and gadgets available to holiday shoppers these days, the best gift you can give the beer lover in your life is... beer. Splurge on that wax-dipped bottle of barrel-aged imperial stout or that four-pack of local IPA or buy a gift card from a local brewery. Beer, like the holidays themselves, is about bringing people together and taking a moment to step back and enjoy the company of the people we love—not about pawning off cheaply made crap onto them. When it comes to gifts, it truly is the thought that counts, so when looking for that last minute gift for the beer lover in your life, don't be afraid to put a little thought into it.

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