Stuck for an office Secret Santa present? Want to surprise someone but don’t know where to start? Want to share your passion with neighbours and friends?
The answer to all of these Christmas questions is of course Beer!
In the lead up to Christmas workplaces, neighbours, friends and family will be in the Christmas spirit by sharing gifts with each other. I thought about my own practice of sharing interesting but approachable beers with family, friends and colleagues whenever there is reason to celebrate.
With this in mind I thought I’d ask some of Perth’s best Beer retailers what they would put in a $30 Kris-Kringle (Secret Santa) beer box present.
The only suggestion was that the beers had to be approachable enough to share in a random Christmas draw. With a $30 limit it’s probably going to rule out any 15% ABV Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stouts anyway!
Over the past few weeks this became an insider’s guide to approachable beer gift giving and Goodtimes has also included a few suggestions as a seasonal bonus!
There are plenty options for a beery yuletide gift. Whether you want to buy a pre-made beer box or get one of the experienced retailers to help you, this really couldn’t be easier. Most of these suggestions are freely available from big-box liquor retailers like Dan Murphy’s to the independent operators featured below. You may even find yourself a Christmas treat!
With over a thousand beers in store and the title of the Ratebeer Best Beer Store in Australia you could easily get lost looking for a gift at Mane Liquor. Luckily the owners of the Ascot store, Elliot Moore and Josh Daly, both agreed on the Feral Brewing Boar Pack as the perfect gift. At $24 a box this is excellent value and comes with a Feral glass.
The team at Mane Liquor are always happy to help more adventurous shoppers buy individual beers for a very interesting beer box.
Mane Liquor also stock a large range of local and imported hot sauces. Goodtimes is happy to recommend anything by local chilli fiend Dr Paul’s Hot Sauces, in particular the ‘Devil’s BBQ’.
CELLARBRATIONS AT CARLISLE
Joel Beresford and the Cellarbrations at Carlisle team have been building an impressive range of over a thousand different beers in the Belmont / Carlisle area.
Joel suggests the bespoke approach in gift selection. His picks for an approachable mixed pack include:
• Two Birds Brewing – Bantam IPA
• Mash Brewing – Grasscutter
• Nail Brewing – Wombat Hefeweizen
• Victory Brewing – Prima Pils
He recommends talking through what the receiver would normally drink with staff. If you are not sure, help from staff will ensure the recipient finds something they enjoy.
Cellarbrations at Carlisle has a range of glassware that compliments the recent Belgian beer shipment. A classic beer with matching glass is a very stylish yet affordable gift.
Another suggestion is for a refillable Squealer or Growler, a refillable bottle used for draught beer, that the receiver can use all year long.
RE STORE LEEDERVILLE
Aside from beer, the ReStore Leederville is a den of delicacies for gift giving. Be warned, you may end up with many more presents for yourself than anyone else!
True to the ReStore’s eclectic mix of goods, beverage guru Nick Odell recommends:
• Bootleg Brewing – Speakeasy IPA
• Stillwater Artisinaal – Classique Saision
• Rodenbach – Rosso Fruit Beer
• Six String Brewing – Golden Ale
• Trappistes Rochefort – 10
• Moo Brew – Pilsner
For those who want to splurge there is a bottle three litre of 14% ABV Austrian ‘Samichclaus’ beer for sale. This beer is brewed on the 6th of December each year and then conditioned for ten months before release. At over $200 this bottle will find a very special home this year!
DEVINE CELLARS INGLEWOOD
The team at DeVine Cellars has just won the WA Liquor Retailer of the Year award again this year. As such they are well placed to help with a beer based present.
Manager Steve Colangelo recommends the Duval 750ml and Glass gift pack or the Innis & Gunn gift pack of oak aged beers as a point of difference for festive gift giving.
Also available is Rogue’s Santa’s Private Reserve Ale 650ml and a range of over 300 beers to choose from.
Goodtimes recently tried the Holgate ‘Double Trouble’ Dubbel Ale from DeVine and would recommend this for gifting.
Also for sale at DeVine Cellars are sets of vintage beer glassware. This would be perfect for the beer expert who has everything.
AUBIN GROVE LIQUOR
Gary Fletcher at Aubin Grove Liquor south of Perth also suggests the Feral Christmas gift pack for about $25. Gary is also more than happy to help select a tailored beer pack for a novice or seasoned beer connoisseur.
For the more adventurous Gary is passionate about hoppy beers including those from New Zealand brewery Garage Project.
BIG BREWS WARNBRO
Further South, Big Brews in Warnbro has a range of gift packs and 300 individual beers to select from.
A great Christmas offer from the Big Brews team is two for $20 offer on the La Trappe range of authentic Trappist beers. These come in a beautifully presented 750ml bottle and are made in the Netherlands by Trappist monks.
Big Brews also recommends the Trappist monks at Chimay. The Chimay monastic beer box includes three Trappist beers and a glass chalice for around $25.
GOODTIMES CHRISTMAS SUGGESTIONS
These suggestions are based around the $30 present limit. Each bottle is about $5 and most retailers will apply a 10% discount for purchasing six individual beers.
Goodtimes has suggested a few themed beer boxes but really the combinations are endless. The key with these selections is that each of the beers is approachable enough to be enjoyed by someone new to the world of beer.
WA Beer Box
• Eagle Bay – Pale Ale
• Bootleg – One-off’s ‘The Coconut One’
• Feral Brewing – Hop Hog
• Nail Brewing – Red Ale
• Mash – Grasscutter Lawnmower Ale
Australian Beer Box
• Mountain Goat – Summer Ale
• Stone & Wood – Pacific Ale
• La Sirene – Saison
• Bridge Road – Bling IPA
• Knappstien – Reserve Lager
• Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 2014
International Beer Box
• BrewDog – Hoppy Christmas Festive Pale Ale
• BrewDog – Santa Paws – Scotch Ale
• Camden Brewing– Gentleman’s Wit
• Brooklyn Brewing – Pre-prohibition Lager
• Rodenbach – Classic
• Sierra Nevada – Pale Ale
EUROPEAN PRESENTATION BEERS
Some of the great international beers come in wonderfully presented 750ml bottles that are perfect for gift giving. Most of these options are under $20 and the key is to check with staff the style of beer that’s in them.
In simple terms these beers could be separated into the following categories:
Rich or Dark
• Chimay – Blue
• St Bernardus Abt 12
• La Chouffe
• Saison DuPont
• Estrella- Inedit
• Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre – 3 Monts
With so many options there should be some very satisfied recipients this Christmas. They may even find a new favourite.