First off, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I’m writing this before the holiday, so I’m going to be positive and say mine went well and hope that by the time this is posted I’ll be sufficiently recovered from the festivities to feel human again. Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, thoughts turn to holiday shopping. One of the true perks of my job is helping folks find the right beer to give to friends, family, and loved ones during the holiday season. It can also be one of the most difficult parts of my job.
A bit of advice for those shopping for beer geeks:
If you’re looking to wow someone with a special beer, you need some basic knowledge of what it is they like. This can be as simple as knowing what some of their go-to beers are or as complex as asking them to make a list of beers they’d like to receive as a gift. Yes, I know asking someone for a wish list doesn’t sound complex, but trust me here — ask a beer geek for one and it will become complex. That’s just our nature; we can’t help ourselves.
Because of the fact that buying a beer gift is literally a matter of taste, knowledge is power. The most important thing may be your level of knowledge regarding craft beer; the less you know, the more guidance you should seek from the gift’s recipient. I can say personally that I much prefer someone to ask me directly what I may like to get as a gift if they’re planning on gifting me beer or wine. This helps to alleviate confusion for the gift giver and lets the person getting the gift know how much “getting it right” means to them. That kind of regard is the real gift anyway.
This brings me to my bigger point, which is something I try to say as much as possible every holiday season to those shoppers who fret and over-think their gift purchases: If you’re getting a beer geek some beer as a gift, they shouldn’t care what it is as much as they should appreciate that someone went to the trouble in the first place. If someone gets me a sixer of something they know I haven’t had before and I happen to be intimately familiar with it, I don’t get disappointed — I have a couple beers with my friend and enjoy the moment. If anyone ever disapproves of your gift to them or makes you feel anything less than appreciated for it that should tell you as much about them as you need to know.
Enough preachy, I want to know what you all out there would like someone to get you as a gift this year. I’ve got a few beers I’d love to get as stocking stuffers and I bet a lot of you out there do too. Also, if you have any advice for those buying beer gifts let’s hear it. Until next time.