Whatcha gifting? The best gifts for Pittsburgh beer lovers

We asked a handful of Pittsburgh beer enthusiasts and insiders (including a beer drinking Santa) what they plan to gift each other this holiday season.

by Aadam Soorma
December 1, 2021

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.


‘Tis the season for giving (and receiving) gifts.

In an effort to pull in some creativity, I decided to flip the script a bit for this gift guide. Obviously, I have my faves (and my blindspots) and there are things I’ll definitely scoop for my friends who love local beer.

But what about other Pittsburgh beer fans? What are they planning to gift their fellow beer peeps?

Read on to see what gifts a select handful of Pittsburgh beer people are giving one another during this quarantined holiday season.

Want to send along your own recommendation? Drop a note via social media (or email me). Love hearing from folks.

ABV, volume XCVII

Gift Card from a Local Brewery

Recommended by Debbie Steuber, Pittsburgh Beer Ladies and BREW: The Museum of Beer

Deb says: “I would purchase a gift card, because that will get the recipient to purchase from the brewery now (via curbside or delivery if that’s available) or in the future once we can all enjoy imbibing at breweries again.

I currently have two gift cards from local breweries that I haven’t yet used as I’m hoping to use them once they are fully open again and use my gift card toward a larger purchase when I’m there.”

Dancing Gnome Half-Pint Glass

Recommended by Nick Naretto, freelance photographer AKA @thetangleleg

Nick says: “I would get a fellow beer lover a Dancing Gnome Half Pint Glass. It’s a classic Willi Becher glass at half the size because sometimes less is more.

Not only is it the perfect glass shape and size, it also has the initial DG logo on the front in a classy gold ink. It will ensure that your beer is tasting great, your glass is always full and your photos are looking on point.”

Helltown Pint Glasses

Recommended by Melanie Dione, Writer and Fresh Fest Beer Fest project coordinator

Melanie says: “My favorite beer to gift is a little out the way, in Easton. People who are just getting into beer like Weyerbacher’s Merry Monks. I never get tired of giving (or drinking) it.

When I’m buying local glassware, love, Pittsburgh has the cutest pint glass. Helltown’s pint glasses are also aesthetically pleasing.

I’d most likely find out their favorite type of beer, get a four pack of something similar (but off their particular beaten path), and personalized mugs. I like when a gift is an experience.”

Heini’s Good Cheer from Roundabout Brewery

Recommended by Brooke Franus, Stewards of Beer

Brooke says: “Heini’s Good Cheer from Roundabout Brewery is, in my opinion, the best rare release beer anyone could gift to a fellow beer lover.

Brewed every year since they opened in 2013, and usually released around the holidays, this barrel-aged old ale has become synonymous with Christmas in the Pittsburgh beer scene.”

Beer

Recommended by Terry Wiles, Organizer of the annual Steel City Big Pour and he moonlights as the Real Beard Victorian Santa

Terry Says: Ho Ho Ho…. well. If I know someone’s “go-to” beer style and can find a particular release that they may not have yet had, that’s normally the way I head.

Additionally, I love gift cards – that way they can pick what they really want. And finally – if we are talking merch, then it has to be a “First Sip Brew Box” from one of Santa’s favorite elves – Dennis the Beer Guy and his wife Sammie!

The ‘Expedition Pack’ Monthly Beer Subscription from New Trail Brewing

Recommended by Jen Brilmyer, of Hello Brewtiful PGH

Jen Says: New Trail Brewing just announced their “Expedition Pack” which will feature four different breweries each month. Sharpsburg-based Dancing Gnome is set to be featured in the January installment. Also, more locally, Voodoo Brewery just released the “Voodoo to you can club” which is another Pennsylvania local monthly subscription box. Both of these would definitely be in my wish list.

Mixed 4-Packs from An Array of Pittsburgh Breweries

Recommended by Buzzy Torek, The Epicast Network

Buzzy Says: Mixed 4-packs are one of my favorite ways to gift during the holiday season, and Pittsburgh makes it easy to gather all of your selections within an hour.

My pro tip is to start with Cinderlands – they’ve been perfecting their “Dad Beer” offering a steady selection of the clean and crisp. Next, head down the road to Eleventh Hour to pick up some dark beer. With consistent barrel aged / blended stout releases,keep an eye out for Land Beast variants. Next, I’d stop at Grist House for sours or seltzers. Their Seltza Drip series is a serious upgrade from hard seltzer that blends the same real fruit used in their sour Shaman series. Both options are a no-brainer.

Finally, I’d make one last stop just up the Allegheny River at Dancing Gnome for something hoppy. Personally, I reach for their lighter offerings, like Lustra, Wishbone, or Aevum.

If you have a hankering for something specific, know that there’s 10 or so other breweries within arm’s reach!Looking for more holiday cheer?

Hunkering down for the holidays? Get local beer delivered to your doorstep. Our (updated) guide to local beer delivery can help you navigate what’s available and who is offering home delivery.

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

More Local Stories

Blind Kitchen: More Than a Feeling

In this episode, Mark Quiroz aka Estrada, chef at House of Blues, and Linda Green, The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, face off to see who can recreate each other’s mystery dish.

Maddy and Dixie Take Sactown: Haunted and Historic

In this episode of Maddy and Dixie Take Sactown, it’s time to dive into the history of Sacramento and get a little spooky. Maddy and Dixie learn about the city’s underground history, indulge in the best Chinese food around and do some ghost hunting of their own. Watch the full episode of “Maddy & Dixie…

13 of the Most Haunted Hotels in America

Interested in spending the night with a specter? Here are 13 of the most haunted hotels in America guaranteed to send shivers up your spine.

Crimes, Cons and Capers: Wild Captures

Two serial killers whose chilling crimes left their communities devastated.

Poms Poms in Orlando brings a unique twist to old favorites

The sandwich shop in the Milk District also offers authentic salads, a curated tea selection, sweet treats and innovative sake cocktails.

Sacramento Brew Bike Puts a Spin on Bar Hopping

Sacramento Brew Bike is essentially a bar crawl on wheels. The 15-passanger party bike provides bar tours in Sacramento.

Eat Play Stay: Capitola, CA

Tune into this episode of Eat Play Stay where we explore Capitola, California and show you our favorite spots to explore near Sacramento.

Blind Kitchen: Let’s Dance

n this episode of “Blind Kitchen,” Chef Nathaniel Zimet of Boucherie and Bourrée goes up against Chef Peter Kusiw of La Provence.

Maddy and Dixie Take Sactown: Treat Yo Self

In this episode of Maddy and Dixie Take Sactown, it’s time to slow things down and feel a little fancy. Maddy and Dixie find unique ways to zen out, indulge in sweet treats, craft artistic hand-painted nail art, and end up on cloud “wine.” Watch the full episode of “Maddy & Dixie Take Sactown” on…

What to do on a Friday Night in Sacramento

We surveyed a few locals to find out where they like to go on a Friday night in Sacramento. What’s your favorite thing to do in the city?

dog-friendly breweries

🐾 A guide to dog-friendly breweries in Pittsburgh

Our faithful four-legged friends rode out quarantine nestled next us, from the halcyon days of sourdough starters through the long, dark, interminable cold of Pittsburgh winter. And now that we’re vaccinated, the plan is to leave them, home alone, while we sip IPAs in the sun? Better yet, take Fido along: here’s a list of Pittsburgh breweries with dog-friendly outdoor spaces.

The East End Brewing Keg Ride: Pedaling for pale ale and a good cause

We rode along during this year’s Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride – an East End Brewing tradition. Watch for the surprise destination and hear from founder Scott Smith about how it all came to be.

Psyanky Ukrainian tradition of decorating Easter eggs

One Smart-Looking Egg: Pittsburgh and the Art of Pysanky

We chatted with Melissa Rogers to understand pysanky, an ancient Ukrainian tradition. Learn more about the history of this Easter tradition.

ed vidunas

Get to know Ed Vidunas, Pittsburgh’s Beer Historian

Since 1794, there have been well over 100 breweries in Allegheny County. Ed Vidunas is harnessing their stories online at PittsburghBrewers.com