December has finally arrived, which means it’s time to look ahead to Christmas and the holiday season! And if you happen to have a craft beer fan in your life, picking that perfect gift can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you! Here are a few gift ideas that will ensure your craft beer afficionado will have a holiday season to remember:
Tickets to the Newmarket Craft Beer Winter Festival
We’re happy and excited to confirm that the Newmarket Craft Beet Winter Festival is officially ON, and Early Bird tickets are available now until January 1! Your ticket gives you admission to one of five 3-hour sessions taking place over the course of the weekend on March 4-6, 2022, with more than 15 craft breweries, cideries and craft spirits in attendance. Live music, games, activities, food vendors and more – you won’t want to miss this!
Deep 6 – Lake of the Woods Brewing Company
Any craft beer lover would be thrilled to be gifted this beer, though we should mention that it’s actually a pre-order, with pick-up/shipping commencing in June 2022. That being said, this is one of the more unique beers we’ve ever seen – the bottles are aged under ice for 6 months in Lake of the Woods, and this year’s beer is a Belgian Tripel finished with champagne yeast. Very, very cool (literally)!
Glassware of All Shapes and Sizes
Craft beer drinkers love their glassware, and we reckon that many of them have decent-sized collections. Why not help them add to it this holiday season? Here’s a few that we have our eyes on this year:
Monti-Pint Set 2-Pack – Blood Brothers Brewing, Toronto
Mystery Pack Vol. 2 Limited Edition IPA Glass – Nickel Brook Brewing, Burlington & Etobicoke
Boneshaker Gift Set with Ceramic Skull Stein – Amsterdam Brewery, Toronto
Style-Specific Glassware – Old Flame Brewery, Port Perry & Newmarket
Rainy Day Tumbler – Wellington Brewery, Guelph
Official Flying Monkeys Tap Handle
Whether you know a craft beer lover who enjoys drinking their beer from a keg, or you know a collector who loves to display their beer swag in their home, you can’t go wrong with a tap handle, and this one from Flying Monkeys is definitely the coolest we’ve seen!
Community Craft Beer Festival Holiday Box
Last but not least, you’ll be a holiday hero if you surprise the craft beer love in your life with our Holiday Box! This jam-packed box o’ glory comes filled 10 craft beers and spirits – 8 from Ontario and 2 imported – in addition to some cool swag and snacks.
The Best Stouts Available in Durham Region
We’re excited that November is here, because it also means that one of our favourite times of year has arrived: stout season!
Of course, there’s no rule that says you can’t drink one in the spring or summer, but there’s just something comforting about taking that first sip of a nice, cool, freshly-poured stout at your local craft brewery. And because our next in-person tasting event will be taking place at Falcon Brewing in Ajax, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the best stouts available in the Durham region. Read on to see our picks in no particular order.
Salem Stout – Falcon Brewing, Ajax
Of course, we had to start off our list with a stout from the site of our next in-person tasting! With an ABV of 4.7%, this easy-drinking stout is full-bodied with a toasty flavour, thanks to the black malts.
Dig Deep Imperial Stout – All or Nothing Brewhouse, Oshawa
This heavy-hitter has been aging in a fresh bourbon barrel since the start of the year, and now, it’s available for the Durham region (and beyond) to enjoy! At 10% ABV, this imperial stout will definitely keep you warm throughout the winter.
Milk Chocolate Stout – Brock St. Brewing, Whitby
While some stouts can be heavy and strong, this nifty little number has a dominant flavour of rich milk chocolate and is much more sweet than bitter.
The Machine – Manantler Craft Brewing, Bowmanville
We love a good Russian Imperial Stout, and The Machine is certainly that! Full-bodied, rich and smooth, you can expect to taste notes of dark coffee, dark chocolate, and even fried plum – and it’s perfect for aging!
Necessary Lifting – New Ritual Brewing, Oshawa
The spooky skeleton label might make it seem like this stout is only appropriate for Halloween, but we’ll be drinking it all winter long – it’s that good! With notes of dark chocolate and toffee throughout, there’s definitely more ‘treats’ than ‘tricks’ with this one.
Blak Katt – C’est What Durham Brewing, Pickering
This is a dry, Irish-style stout that is served in a nitro-infused cask-in-a-can – meaning that, for best results, you’ll want to shake, open, and pour. It’s as easy as it sounds, and it’s definitely worth it in the end, but click the link above if you want to see a demonstration.
Star Destroyer – Chronicle Brewing, Bowmanville
A French vanilla coffee stout? Sign us up! At 8.5%, this ‘Emperial’ stout is sure to keep you warm inside on even the chilliest of autumn days. Oh yeah, and the can art is absolutely fantastic, too, making this one an all-around winner.
Of course, this is just a brief taste of the stouts available at craft breweries in Durham, so be sure to get out there this fall and find some that you enjoy. And don’t forget about our upcoming in-person tasting at Falcon Brewing on November 25 – tickets are available now and going fast!