PORTLAND, Ore. (MainStreet) – When you're putting together a holiday shopping list for a beer lover beer, it starts with beer and ends with just about anything else.
We've already provided some suggestions for holiday beer presents this year. We've espoused the virtues of the varied and relatively inexpensive holiday variety 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've traveled across the country and waited in line for a pack of The Alchemist's Heady Topper, a pint (or growler) of Russian River Brewing's Pliny The Younger, or a bottle of Cigar City's Hunaphu's Imperial Stout, your beer presents aren't going to amount to much other than a nice little drinking session. Some of the more potent picks may linger in the cellar for a year or so, but beer's seasonal cheer is fleeting.
Still, there are a lot of folks out there putting beer on their wish lists. 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 $105 this year, judging by figures from the National Retail Association. For brewers at one of their lowest points in the season, it's a holiday miracle.
But there are better ways to enjoy that beer and items that will help in that endeavor. The following are just five options still available late in the holiday season: