Canada Craft Club
Shipments come in two, four, six, or 12-bottle boxes, packed in Styrofoam bottle packing and unbranded boxes (in case you’d rather the mail carrier not know you’re receiving 2 litres of beer).
If you order before Dec. 20, the first shipment should arrive in early January. Canada Craft Club even has an e-card option you can add to gift purchases, so your recipient will know you bought them a present, it’s just not here yet. canadacraftclub.ca $49.95–$179.95
For those on your list with refined taste, Nova Scotian Crystal’s new stemmed tulip beer glass hits the ticket. Stefan Gagliardi, a cicerone and Alexander Keith’s small-batch brewmaster, advised on the design. Most of what we perceive as taste is actually smell, so this glass’s wide base and tapered neck concentrate delicate aromas, so you can get your nose right in there and add extra enjoyment to every sip. novascotiancrystal.com $98
For the person who loves a range of styles, the Boxing Rock Beer Appreciation Set features six glasses: Classic, tulip, craft master, pilsner, Belgian snifter, and Becher. Drinking beer out of the right glass shape can enhance the taste and aroma. Plus, drinkers will enjoy the glowing feeling of knowing they’re doing it right.
East Coast Crafted (Nimbus Publishing) by Christopher Reynolds and Whitney Moran
Released a little over a year ago, this book may be missing a few new breweries, but it’s the most comprehensive (and only) book about beer in Atlantic Canada. Within its pages are the stories of how our favourite breweries started and the people behind them, plus recommendations for what to try while you’re visiting each brewery. This book offers a look behind the brewhouse wall with writing accessible enough to pull anyone into the story. Available at most local bookstores. $39.95
The Complete Beer Course (Sterling Publishing) by Joshua M. Bernstein
Take your favourite beer fan from novice to expert through the 12-tasting classes in this book by long-standing beer journalist Joshua M. Bernstein. In addition to learning about the dizzying array of beer styles and what to look for while drinking them, the book offers advice on tasting international beers and starting a home beer cellar. For an even better gift, pair this book with a couple of local beers.
Order online: indiebound.org $32.65
Both Noble Grape (with locations across the city) and Everwood Avenue Brew Shop (in Lower Sackville) offer starter kits for those ready to brew their own. Inside your recipient will find all of the gear needed to brew their first batch and, depending on the kit, the ingredients. Kits come in different sizes and levels, from a simple one-gallon starter kit (which makes about 4 L) to deluxe sets that come with a brewing pot and all the add-ons.
Not sure where to start? Staff at both stores will be happy to guide you through the process or sell you a gift certificate so your recipient can make her own selections.
everwoodavebrewshop.com noblegrape.ca $24.99–$195.99
Must try beers: NYE edition
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a special bottle
Share This O.C. (imperial stout)
If you enjoy beer and Terry’s Chocolate Orange, then you might have a hard time holding on to this bottle until the end of the month. Orange zest, vanilla and TCHO cacao nibs lend it a distinct flavour that blends well with the stout’s dark malts. Thanks to its high alcohol content, this beer will warm your throat as you sip. Let it sit out of the fridge for a time to warm to 13–16°C for the best experience. Available at Bishop’s Cellar.
Brasserie de Rochefort
While anyone can make a dark, sweet abbey-style ale, only 12 breweries in the world can call themselves Trappist. The monks at Rochefort Abbey started brewing around 1595 using water from the well inside the monastery walls. This dark beer is one of the beer world’s all-time classics, known for its dark fruit notes of plum, raisin and black currant, with a wine-like finish. Available at non-NSLC liquor stores in Halifax.