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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 8, 2020

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.”

The Upcoming Necromancer x Allegheny City Coffee Porter collaboration

Recommended by Lauren Hughes, Head Brewer at Necromancer Brewing

Lauren says: “Support any local craft brewery through buying gift cards and beer to go; it’s tough out there right now and I am sure they would all appreciate the support! As far as merch is concerned – I always love a good hat.

Separately – Necromancer just brewed a collab with Allegheny City Brewing – a coffee porter called Fresh Grounds. If all goes well, it should be out at the end of December.”

We caught up with Lauren earlier this year to learn more about the plans for Necromancer Brewing, check out our Q&A here

Inner Groove Brewing’s blanket

Recommended by Dennis Guy, founder of First Sip Brew Box

Dennis says: “There are so many great brews out right now from local breweries. You can support a new-to-you brewery or go to one of your favorites. An awesome piece of merch I cannot wait to snag is Inner Groove Brewing’s branded blankets. My wife Sammie loves the snuggles on a cold winter night!”

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?

Head to Fir Junction – a socially-distanced, holiday pop-up bar that offers a unique selection of hard-to-find beers.

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.

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