PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The best gift a beer lover can get on Christmas is beer. It just may not stick around to see another Christmas.
We've gone into great depth about the merits of holiday beer giving already this year. We've espoused the virtues of the varied and relatively inexpensive holiday 12-pack and we've offered enough holiday beer picks over the past three years to put together the best holiday beer case any recipient could ask for.
The only problem is that unless you traveled the country this year picking up high-alcohol Russian Imperial Stouts such as Portsmouth Brewing's Kate The Great, Three Floyds' Dark Lord and Deschutes Brewing's The Abyss, those beers won't be in your friend or loved one's possession for very long. While we're big fans of cellaring some of the more high-octane varieties and seeing how they develop, there's something to be said for enjoying beers in the moment as the brewer often intends.
It's not that we're opposed to the instant gratification that comes with that approach. Why shouldn't a beer lover get to spend the holiday and the long winter that follows enjoying the beer he or she holds dear? Besides, U.S. shoppers are already spending 15% to 25% more on seasonal beers in recent years, according to Symphony IRI, and have increased holiday food and drink spending from $86 in 2008 to $110 this year, judging by figures from the National Retail Association. Why not help out brewers at what's typically one of their lowest points in the season?Because there are beer gifts out there that will not only be around for multiple seasons, but can help beer lovers enjoy their brews all the more -- conceivably resulting in more beer spending all around. While we typically reserve gift lists for the homebrewers out there who've turned beer appreciation into a hobby or side business, this year we have recommendations for folks who may never make a pint of their own. Here are just five options available late in the holiday season: