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There’s plenty of pressure to get the perfect present for Christmas or Hanukkah, leading to panicked purchases that miss the target. Instead, look to the one gift guaranteed to deliver joy and seasonal cheer: beer. But don’t just slide a random six-pack beneath the tree. Invest in a beer-filled Advent calendar, the gift that keeps giving day after day. You can buy an Advent calendar that comes filled with bottles or cans, or snag a personalized Advent calendar and fill it with a custom selection of beer. Ahead, the beer Advent calendars money can buy.
The next best thing to a gift certificate from City Brew Tours for a behind-the-scenes brewery visit? The 12 Days of Christmas Craft Beer Box from the tourism company, which runs events in Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and elsewhere. The Advent-style gift package delivers drinkers a dozen distinct craft beers, running the stylistic gamut from strong Belgian ales to richly luscious stouts and, naturally, hazy IPAs as well.
Each box comes with extra bells and whistles, including candy canes, bottle openers, and surprise brewery swag. Additionally, City Brew Tours includes an interactive component. When you crack each beer during the 12 days of Christmas, you can also join the City Brew Tours team online to discuss the daily selection.
Embrace winter’s seasonal spirit with this smiling birch wood snowman that stands 2 feet tall and can hold up to a dozen 12-ounce bottles of beer. You don’t need tools or glue to snappily assemble the snowman, which you can personalize with a custom saying or the recipient’s name. Fill the numbered Advent calendar with 12 of your favorite beers.
For the beer buff who celebrates the festival of lights, you’ll want to buy this box that’s good for eight crazy nights of drinking aromatic New England IPAs, chocolaty stouts, and other winter-friendly ales. The City Brew Tours team sources the beers from across the country, complementing the selections with extra goodies such as bottle openers, brewery merchandise (stickers, coasters, etc.), and plenty of chocolate gelt wrapped in foil like golden coins.
While simultaneously lighting the Hanukkah candles and drinking eight nights of unique beer is a blast, City Brew Tours sweetens the gift box with an educational component. Every night during Hanukkah, the company’s beer experts lead a live stream on social media that revolves around that day’s beer selection. Here’s a question you can ask them: What beers go best with traditional Jewish foods such as kugel, slowly braised brisket, and latkes, a.k.a. potato pancakes?
Most beer Advent calendars come in single-use cardboard boxes. Once the beers are emptied, the box is destined for the trash can or recycling bin. Instead, why not buy a customizable crate that’s reusable throughout the year?
Hauser Daddy Company is run by an engineer and homebrewer in Wilmington, North Carolina, who spends his nights crafting wooden crates suited for holding liquor, wine, beer, and other bottled beverages. We like his sturdy pine crates because of their customizability. You can get a crate finished with walnut stain, as well as hand-stenciled sayings such “24 Days of Cheer” or “Dreaming of a Beer Christmas.”
We like the crate that can hold two dozen 12-ounce bottles, topped with a chalkboard or dry-erase lid for numbering the beers. You’ll need to fill the crate yourself, but there are some great options out there for sour ales, IPAs, stouts, and other terrific beers. After the holidays end, you can remove the bottle dividers and use the crate for storage—or just fill it up with beer, again and again.
If you’re looking for 12 beers for the 12 days of Christmas, try out a shipment from the Craft Beer Club. We know that it’s not exactly an Advent calendar, but the Craft Beer Club offers plenty of extras to make ordering a no-brainer. For starters, each shipment features four different styles of beers from two different top-notch craft breweries, such as Alewerks, in Virginia, or Atlanta Brewing.
Craft Beer Club ships the package, free of charge, to all 48 states in the continental U.S., and the gift box includes a newsletter that lets you dig deeper into each beer and discover proper food pairings. Additionally, there’s no need to commit to a monthly membership, and the gift comes with a one-year subscription to The Beer Connoisseur, an online magazine. P.S. You can also upgrade to 24 bottles of beer, which you can hide inside this yuletide-appropriate package featuring Santa reclining by a fire.
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Joshua M. Bernstein, the author of this piece, knows beer. He's penned five books on the subject, as well as articles for The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, Men’s Journal, and Imbibe.