Not sure what gift to get for the person who has everything? Whether that person has been naughty or nice, here’s a list to check twice. There are fifteen local breweries you can visit to select the ideal gift for any beer enthusiast. And because shopping is hard work, you might as well treat yourself to a beer, too.
You’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree after tasting some of these locally crafted holiday brews. Western New York has seen a number of new breweries open this year. Scattered throughout Western New York, these breweries provide opportunity for purchasing a heartfelt gift without the hassle of waiting in a long line or parking far away. Consider this your holiday guide to beer and gift pairings being offered this holiday season.
42 North Brewing Company
25 Pine St., East Aurora (805-7500)
The Gift: Bath Soap, Bottle Opener, and Can: $20
Right around the corner from Vidler’s 5 & 10, Southtown gifters can visit recently opened 42 North Brewing Company. For the naughty or nice gift recipient, this gift box features a bar of organic goat milk soap made by Alpine Made in South Wales.
Also included is a logoed bar quality bottle opener and a souvenir 42 North can. These items normally retail for $23.50, but the gift box is on sale over the holidays for $20.
Beer Pairing: Asylum Porter
This beer is named in honor of one of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings, the Richardson Complex. Asylum Porter contains strong dark malt flavors, including chocolate and coffee, which are complemented by a soft hop bitterness. A pint of Asylum Porter can be purchased at the bar for $5.
Big Ditch Brewing Company
55 E. Huron St. (854-5050)
The Gift: Glassware and Gift Card Box: $50
Big Ditch Brewing Company is offering a holiday gift box that includes two limited edition Munique-style logoed glasses, a 64-ounce growler, and a $25 gift card. The price of this gift box is $50.
Beer Pairing: Fresh Baked
Big Ditch’s seasonal ale named Fresh Baked brings seasonal baking aromas and flavors to a pint glass. Fresh Baked is a spiced brown ale incorporating brown and chocolate malts, toasted flaked oats, cinnamon, and vanilla. This beer was also brewed in collaboration with the recently opened The Pub by Wegmans.
Fresh Baked can be purchased for consumption at the tap room, or take a growler home. A 16-ounce pint of Fresh Baked costs $5 at the brewery, growler fills cost $9 for a 32-ounces or $14 for a 64-ounces.
6861 Main St., Williamsville (632-0552)
The Gift: Swing-Top Growler: $21.99
New York’s oldest brewpub, Buffalo Brewpub opened on Halloween night in 1986. For the Christmas holiday, Buffalo Brewpub is offering a logoed swing-top growler for $21.99. Also available for purchase is a 16-ounce logoed beer mug for $9.99.
Beer Pairing: Kringle
For $16, fill your swing-top growler with Kringle, a holiday spiced ale. Kringle is made with Nugget and Chinook hops, which impart pine and floral flavors to the beer and balance the cinnamon and orange spice.
Even the present-deliverer this beer is named after would appreciate this gift on a long sleigh ride.
Community Beer Works
15 Lafayette Ave. (759-4677)
The Gift: Buffalo Beer history book: $20
A present for the bookworm on your list, co-founder of Community Beer Works Ethan Cox’s book titled “Buffalo Beer: The History of Brewing in the Nickel City” is available for purchase at the brewery for $20.
Co-authored by Buffalo historian Michael Rizzo, this book takes the reader through a chronological journey of breweries in Buffalo. Drink in the history of Buffalo brewing with Cox’s book.
Beer Pairing: Oh Snap!
While reading about Buffalo brewery history, sip on Community Beer Works’ holiday beer named Oh Snap! This winter seasonal beer is made with chocolate and roasted malt, and flaked oats and barely. And as its name implies, Oh Snap! is brewed with ginger and cinnamon.
At the brewery, a pint of Oh Snap! costs $5, a growler costs $13, and high-fives are free. You can also take home a logoed pint glass for an additional $5.
Ellicottville Brewing Company
28-30 Monroe St., Ellicottville (699-2537)
The Gift: Beer Drinkware Gift Pack: $75
Ellicottville Brewing Company has compiled a comprehensive gift pack containing a 64-ounce stainless steel mini keg, a bottle opener, two koozies, logo sunglasses, an Ellicottville sticker, two imperial pint glasses, a cap, and a $10 gift card. Valued at $130, this gift pack is on sale over the holidays for $75.
Beer Pairing: Lloyd’s Christmas Ale
Brewed in the “Aspen of the East," this brown ale is made with chocolate malt, organic figs, ginger and yeast. Pick up a pint of this beer at the brewery for $6.
Although the weather has been warm recently, this beer is sure to remind your gift recipient of fun times on the white slopes.
Flying Bison Brewing Company
840 Seneca St. (873-1557)
The Gift: Sweater or Gift Pack: $25 or $40
Be the envy of the sweater party this year, as Flying Bison is offering Bison Warmer sweatshirts for $25. A pint of Bison Warmer beer is included with purchase of the sweatshirt.
Additionally, Flying Bison has gift boxes on sale. The gift boxes are $40 and include a Flying Bison golf towel, empty 64-ounce growler jug, a certificate good for one growler fill, a pint glass, bartender’s bottle opener, keychains, barmats and stickers. The mustachioed manikin is not for sale; sorry.
Beer Pairing: Bison Warmer
You may choose to exchange your growler fill certificate at the brewery for Bison Warmer, Flying Bison’s seasonal ale. Winter Warmer incorporates clove, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. These spices balance the sweet malt character of the beer.
The Gift: T-Shirt, Pint Glass or Growler: various prices
One of Buffalo most authentic Irish brewpubs, Gene McCarthy’s is located in the Old First Ward (OFW) on Hamburg Street. For the Irish giftee, Gene McCarthy’s sells men’s and women’s T-shirts for $15 in various colors, including green.
OFW growlers can be purchased filled with beer for $17. Or, take home a logoed OFW pint glass for $5. You can also fill your pint glass with beer for $8 and then take the glass home afterward.
The Beer: This Not a Pale Ale
This Gene’s/OFW staple beer known as “Nota” to regulars is an aggressively hopped American Pale Ale brewed with four types of malt and six types of hops.
Hop aromas such as grapefruit and pine complement a sweet bready malt backbone. Don’t be afraid to add a drop of green food coloring for added holiday effect.
Gordon Biersch – Walden Galleria
P102 Galleria Dr., Cheektowaga (683-0050)
The Gift: Growler free with fill: $12.50
Gordon Biersch is offering a holiday sale through January 3, 2016. If you purchase a growler fill of any beer brewed onsite for $12.50, you will receive the growler jug for free. Two different style growlers are available for purchase.
Beer Pairing: Winterbock
Winterbock is a strong creamy bock that comes in at 7.5-percent alcohol by volume. This beer is a full-bodied lager that contains caramel, toffee, and holiday spice flavors. This style of beer was used by eleventh century monks to help sustain them through fasts during the winter months.
You may not be fasting, but Winterbock is sure to keep you warm and toasty over the holidays.
Hamburg Brewing Company
6553 Boston State Road, Hamburg (649-3249)
The Gift: Bottle Cap Chocolates: $15
For the sweet tooth on your list, stop by Hamburg Brewing Company to purchase a pint glass filled with bottle cap shaped chocolates made by Highland House Candies in Hamburg. The pint glass plus chocolate bottle caps can be purchased for $15.
Beer Pairing: Oatmeal Milk Stout
Once the chocolates have been cleared out, fill the pint glass with Hamburg’s Oatmeal Milk Stout (OMS). OMS is a dark roasty stout made with chocolate malt, flaked oats, and roasted barley. Milk sugar imparts sweetness to balance the chocolate malt. A six-pack of OMS can be purchased at the brewery to go for $8.99.
New York Beer Project
6933 S. Transit Road, Lockport (743-6927)
The Gift: Ninkasi Bracelet: $27.99
Here’s your chance to purchase a gift for your favorite female beer enthusiast. New York Beer Project is selling Ninkasi copper bracelets for $27.95. Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian goddess of brewing and beer. This bracelet celebrates the strength, passion and beauty of women.
Beer Pairing: Stay tuned
Recently opened New York Beer Project is currently brewing numerous beers, including Lockport Lager, Destination IPA, Buckleberry Wheat, and Coffee Milk Stout. Look for these beers in early 2016. In the meantime, guest taps are currently pouring beer from other local breweries.
The Gift: Growler Gift Pack: $27.99
Pan-American Grill &Brewery and Pearl Street Grill & Brewery are selling a growler gift pack that contains four logoed pint glasses and a growler that can be filled when purchased or filled later with a credit. The cost of the gift pack is $27.99. Both locations also sell a variety of T-shirts for $20.
Beer Pairing: Lord Stanley Scotch Ale or Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale
At Pearl Street, two holiday beers are on tap: Lord Stanley Scotch Ale and Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale. Lord Stanley contains rich candy malt character with a little smokiness and alcohol on the palate.
Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale is a classic English Brown ale with added ginger, allspice and cloves. The beer is then finished with vanilla beans. The beer's aroma is reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie.
Resurgence Brewing Company
1250 Niagara St., Buffalo (381-9868)
The Gift: Beer and Glassware Gift Pack: $18
Resurgence Brewing Company is featuring its Imperial Sponge Candy Stout gift pack. This gift pack contains a bottle of Imperial Sponge Candy Stout, a logoed pint glass, and a bag of Watson’s sponge candy, all for $18.
Will beer and sponge candy replace milk and cookies on Santa’s plate under the tree this year?
Beer Pairing: Imperial Sponge Candy Stout
Self-contained, the gift pack comes packaged with the beer pairing of choice: Imperial Sponge Candy Stout.
Made with real Watson’s sponge candy clippings, this stout tastes like chocolate, caramel, dark malt, and toffee. The burnt sugar taste of the sponge provides added sweetness to the beer.
Rusty Nickel Brewing Company
4350 Seneca St., West Seneca, NY (608-6155)
The Gift: Clothing and Glassware Gift Packs: $35
Many different holiday gift packs are available for purchase at Rusty Nickel Brewing Company, including two sets each priced at $35. One gift pack includes a hoodie, growler jug and two pint glasses. The second gift pack includes a T-shirt or tank top, growler, pint glass and a $10 gift card.
Beer Pairing: Christmas at Tiffany’s
Christmas at Tiffany’s is a full-bodied amber hued ale with hints of citrus and spices. This holiday ale comes in at a winter warming eight-percent alcohol by volume.
Woodcock Brothers Brewing Company
638 Lake St., Wilson (333-4000)
The Gift: Clothing and Glassware: various prices
Niagara County shoppers can visit Woodcock Brothers. The Wilson brewery offers a wide range of gift possibilities, including T-shirts, beanies, hoodies, gift certificates and growlers.
They also feature a gift package consisting of a logoed growler and two glasses plus a coupon for a growler fill.
The growler and two glass package is valued at $30 but is on sale for $25 for the holidays. T-shirts are $19.99, long-sleeved shirts are $24.95, hoodies are $35, and beanies are $14.95.
Beer Pairing: Stiff Mitten
Woodcock Brothers winter warmer called Stiff Mitten contains holiday spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. These spices yield sweet malt character and a warming effect from this 7.2-percent alcohol by volume beer.
This beer is sure to thaw out that frozen mitten after shoveling or a snowball fight.