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Community Beer Co.’s Snickerdoodle Ale, available November through January, uses English Marris Otter malted barley to lend a distinctly bready and crackery malt-forward flavor and is infused with freshly pureed vanilla beans and whole cinnamon sticks.
Christmas is right around the corner, and if you haven’t found that perfect gift for the beer lover on your list, don’t fear, as I’ve got a bunch of great ideas to put under the tree (or in the fridge) that are sure to make them happy.
First of all — beer! (It’s not that hard, really.) Get them a couple of six-packs of their favorite brews or, better yet, create your own unique six- or 12-pack from the single beers now available at most grocery stores (Rouses probably has the best selection).
If they like local beer, Serda Brewing is running a “cans for Xmas sale” — $20 for a case of Serda beer, mix and match the six-packs — available at the taproom only. If they like draft beer, get a growler they can have filled at Serda’s or one of our other local breweries, or even at some grocery stores, including Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods.
If you (or the gift-getter on your list) are really into the holiday spirit, there’s a wide variety of holiday-themed beers and beer collections. The Boston Beer Co. always puts out a host of winter styles, including its White Christmas, a nicely balanced white ale. If you like spiced ales or witbiers, it is good — not too strong or heavy, but with some noticeable spice notes. Sam Adams also puts out a seasonal variety pack with a “holiday” porter, a chocolate bock, a malty winter lager, its Old Fezziwig Ale (a malty fruit and spice beer), its Sam ’76 light ale (just named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the 25 best beers of 2018) and its flagship Boston Lager.
A number of other craft breweries also put out seasonal winter or holiday brews, including Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Co., which has a special dark Christmas Ale this year, and Texas’ Community Beer Co.’s Snickerdoodle Ale, with cinnamon and vanilla flavors.
Locally, Fairhope Brewing Co. has two holiday-themed beers on tap and for sale to-go in crowlers — the There’s Something About Merry imperial stout as well as a gingerbread stout. Fairhope Brewing also has special holiday T-shirts for sale in the taproom — wishing everyone “Hoppy Holidays.”
Beer swag is, of course, another great gift idea for the beer lover on your list. All our local breweries sell T-shirts, hats, pint glasses and other paraphernalia emblazoned with their logos. Send your brother-in-law in Portland, who thinks only the Northwest has good craft beer, some gear from one of our lower Alabama breweries. If you can’t decide, most also offer gift cards.
But what if they already have their Fairhope, Serda, Haint Blue and Big Beach T-shirts, hats and glasses? Well, then, check the internet and order a shirt from that brewery you visited in Nashville or, if you’re more adventurous, sign them up with Shirts on Tap, where (for $18 a month) they would get a shirt from a different craft brewery each month. (Info at shirtsontap.com.)
Finally, there is the beer of the month club — it’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. There are actually a bunch of them, geared to different tastes and budgets. Most send a dozen beers a month, usually along with tasting guides or newsletters. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club (beermonthclub.com) has five different membership levels, ranging from $43 to $53 a month, based on the types of beers selected, while The Original Craft Beer Club (craftbeerclub.com), which focuses on small, independent brewers, is $42 per month.