Life

The Best Bottles Of Beer To Give As Gifts In 2021

Giving the gift of beer is a good way to tell the beer fan in your life that you care about them. That being said, you want to give a beer that goes beyond the average sixer you can grab in any grocery store or even liquor store. The beer needs to be special. Flavorful, eye-catching, or, ideally, both.

That narrows down the selection considerably. But with seemingly endless options out there, it can still be daunting finding that perfect gift beer. Unless, of course, you have our team to help out (lucky you!).

Below, we’ve compiled a list of ten beers that make perfect stocking stuffers this time of year. The throughline here is that each of these beers comes in a big bottle (mostly champagne bottles) and they’re all unique. It might take a little extra effort to find some of these picks but that’s kind of the point of a great gift — effort. The brews themselves range from American craft one-of-a-kind bottles to bucket list beers from Europe.

Let’s dig in!

AleSmith Grand Cru

AleSmith Grand Cru
AleSmith

ABV: 10%

Average Price: $15, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

This Belgian-Style ale from San Diego is the jewel in the crown of the brewery. The Belgian ale yeast and caramel malts are brewed into a beer that spends a year aging in American and French red wine barrels before it’s blended and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The beer draws you in with hints of sugar plums and spicy tea-soaked dates that lead to a light note of sticky toffee pudding with a hint of brandy butter cut with rich vanilla. Those notes are present on the palate as hints of pear and apple cores mingle with raisins, more plums, and plenty of wintry spice with a caramel malty base and touch of bitter chocolate on the backend.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those beers that’s perfect for sharing but also a great bottle to open up and enjoy on your own. It’s wonderfully nuanced while still feeling like something that’s approachable. It looks cool and tastes great — i.e. the perfect gift beer.

3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze

3 Fonteinen

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $27, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

The beer is a blend of well-aged lambics that are married and then bottled and cellared for additional fermentation and aging. It’s kind of a masterclass in what great beer can be when you take your time making it, making it a great gift for anyone looking to expand their beer knowledge and palate.

Tasting Notes:

The beer greets you with a slight, earthy funk next to mild grassiness, orchard ripe apples, and a hint of citrus tartness. The palate leans into the dry grass and tart fruits with a real sour underbelly next to a slight funk. The sourness, tartness, sweet fruits, and grass balance each other out while a dry nature takes you towards a Champagne-esque final note.

Bottom Line:

This was an “ah-ha” beer for me. I liked sours and lambic perfectly well before this beer. I loved them after I drank this. So, if you know someone who’s into the sour and funky end of things, this is your play for a great gift this year.

Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

Brasserie Dupont

ABV: 9.5%

Average Price: $12, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

Brasserie Dupont is one of the most heralded Belgian breweries, full stop. Their Saison Dupont is beloved by beer aficionados the world over. This expression is a special holiday release that used to only go to family and friends of the brewery. It leaked out to the public and became so popular that it got a wide release and is now considered one of the best holiday beers there is.

Tasting Notes:

The beer is richly aromatic from the moment it nears your nose with hints of clove, green banana, black pepper, and lemon curd. The malts are bold, sweet, and creamy as the grassy tart nature of the lemon mingles with a distant spiciness and fruitiness. The sip ends dry while still feeling full-bodied and very silky.

Bottom Line:

This is the ultimate beer for celebrations and gift-giving. It’s also a great sharing beer and can be treated like champagne when poured out (it’s really that good). Prechill this one before you give it as a gift so everyone can enjoy it right away.

Cantillon Fou’Foune

Cantillon Fou Foune
Cantillon

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $34, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

Cantillon masterfully blends the best lambics in the world and this is a highwater mark for the Trappist brewery. The beer in this bottle is a blend of 18 to 20-month-old lambics that have been steeped with Bergeron apricots. And they don’t just drop some apricot into the mix — every liter of beer is loaded with 300 grams (nearly a pound) of the fruit for the long rest in the barrel.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is all about the old library leather next to hints of barnyard straw, pear orchards, and a very distinct vibe of apricot compote. That apricot nature drives the taste as rich malts, more dry straw, a touch of apple cider vinegar, and maybe even a little peach pit dance through your senses. The finish is sweet, malty, and just the right amount of funky to keep you going back for more.

Bottom Line:

A bottle of Cantillon (any one of them) will always wow a beer nerd as a gift. That’s just a fact. This is a personal favorite and very accessible for the brand’s wild line of funky beers.

Sierra Nevada Brux 2012 Vintage

Sierra Nevada Brux
Sierra Nevada

ABV: 8.6%

Average Price: $20, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

This is a one-off beer brewed back in 2012. The Belgian-style ale is a collab between California’s Sierra Nevada and the famed Russian River Brewing. The brew is re-fermented in the bottle as it ages thanks to the addition of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis yeast, hence the name “Brux.”

Tasting Notes:

This is like walking through a fruit orchard on a sunny day with just a hint of sour yogurt sneaking on the backside of the nose with sweet woods and candied orange blossoms lurking in there too. The taste has a green vinous edge that leads back to that fruit orchard with tons of pear and apple with wood, stems, cores, and flowers all making an appearance. The sour nature is tied to the yeast and adds a nice layer of depth to the fruits and florals with an acidic white wine vibe.

Bottom Line:

This is a very unique beer that’s aged really well over the last nine years. It’s also a great gift in that it can be savored right now or it can go back in a cellar to age a little more.

Alaskan Limited Edition 2021 Smoked Porter

Alaskan Smoked Porter
Alaskan Brewing

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $10, 22-oz. bottle

The Beer:

While this beer is a “limited edition,” it is produced every year and dropped for the winter season. This classic beer from up in Juneau, Alaska, embraces the iconic “rauchbier” from Germany’s premier beer-brewing city, Bamberg. The alder smoked malts used in the initial fermentation are what give this beer its distinct smokiness. The rest is pure Alaskan water and Pacific Northwest hops.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a subtle campfire smoke up top with a nod to a fatty smoked salmon or bacon (depending on the age of the brew). The bitterness is mild with an echo of hops lingering far in the background. There’s a hint of molasses sweetness in the smoky malts that has touches of a smoked gouda with an ashen edge.

Bottom Line:

These are always stellar when they drop and make for the perfect gift for any beer lover looking for something completely different yet deeply traditional. Moreover, these age amazingly well. So, if you get, say, a six-pack, your giftee can age them and then pull a bottle every year for the next five years. That’s the gift that keeps on giving.

N’ice Chouffe

N'ice Chouffe
Brasserie Au Chouffe

ABV: 10%

Average Price: $13, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

Nothing says winter more than a .75l bottle of N’ice Choufee in the fridge. The beer kicks ten percent ABVs worth of winter spice into every single bottle with a deep Belgian tradition of craftsmanship and flavor.

Tasting Notes:

This dark Belgian winter sipper has a mild hop bitterness with hints of fresh thyme, wheat spice, and curaçao. The spiciness really shines with notes of cloves, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. There’s a slight dried plum fattiness with a sweet edge to cut through all those spices. A mild acidic — almost tart — edge brings about a dry, rich finish.

Bottom Line:

This might well be the perfect winter beer. The big bottle is made for sharing (trust us, this beer will catch up with you fast if you drink it too quickly). In the end, this is just a great Belgian beer that speaks to the season and any beer lover’s desire to drink amazing beer.

Samuel Adams Utopias

Samuel Adams Utopias
Boston Beer Company

ABV: 28%

Average Price: $250, 24-oz. bottle

The Beer:

This yearly release from Samuel Adams is for hardcore beer fans. The beer is a long-aged ale. This year’s release included Michigan-grown Balaton cherries in the barrel for the aging process along with the first use of Sauternes French wine casks for aging as well (which is popular in the world single malt Scotch whisky aging). All those barrels were then blended into this year’s very limited release.

Tasting Notes:

This tastes more like a brandy than a beer. The nose comes through as a bright cherry counterpointed by dark plums, prunes, and dates with holiday spices pinging in the background. The taste sweetens with woody maple syrup over pecan waffles with plenty of vanilla in the batter. The dark cherries and fruits really drive the end of the sip towards a long finish that ends on a honey note with another whisper of cherry and maple syrup.

Bottom Line:

This is a big swing. There are a lot of beer aficionados out there that don’t even like this incredibly high ABV brew. It’s an acquired taste but you can’t acquire that taste until you try it a few times. At the very least, it’s also a great investment bottle worth putting in a cellar for a rainy day.

×