The holidays are fast approaching! Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa start less than a week away and do you have all of your presents for your beer loving, foodie, wine adoring friends? We have some great last minute gift ideas.
Unlike many holiday gift guides, all of our holiday beer, food and wine gift suggestions have been personally tested and approved by one or more Wine Beer Washington writers! In a hurry and don’t want to read through all of our great gift ideas? We made it easier for you by color-coding so you can just scan the list for BEER, FOOD, SPIRIT or WINE lover ideas.
Last minute book gift ideas
Ron Holden’s book Forking Seattle: Tales of Local Food & Drink • From Farm to Table to Landfill is getting a lot of great buzz. Ron has been writing about the local food and beverage scene for over 40 years. His blog, Cornichon.org was one named one of the top ten food blogs. Ron knows how to write with humor and insight. His book has something for beer, food and wine lovers! Check out Nancy’s review of Forking Seattle. For less than $20, Forking Seattle: Tales of Local Food & Drink From Farm to Table to Landfill is a great gift for someone who cares as much about the eco-system as taste.
A Tainted Finish is a murder mystery situated in Washington wine country. In fact, I can say it is centered in a winery without giving away the plot! If you want to know more about what happens in a winery around harvest or your intended gift recipient just likes a mystery to curl up with, this might be just what you are looking for. Rachel Horn, owner and winemaker of AniChe Cellars is the author, explaining the winemaking and vineyard details in the plot and book. A Tainted Finish is available for under $15 for your wine loving mystery lover.
Special Limited Releases
A bottle of Fremont Brewing B-Bomb is a beloved seasonal favorite that will be a welcome surprise in a beer lover’s stocking. B-Bomb stands for Bourbon barrel aged Abominable Winter Ale. It is a holiday tradition that we have Fremont B-Bomb Floats as dessert every year at our holiday blogger dinner. The trick is to find it. We are big believers in supporting our local bottle shops but two days after the B-Bomb was released, I went to three of my favorites and they were sold out. The trick to finding the Fremont Brewing B-Bomb is going to stores where people shop that don’t know what it is. As of 12/19 Northgate and Ballard Bev-Mos had a good supply of it, limiting sales to 2, DeLaurentis at Pike Place, Mountlake Thriftway had a few and Shoreline Central Market had a few if you asked for it. Thats another clue, ask for it if you don’t see it. Some shops keep it in the back for beer geeks that ask.
Beardslee Pub Bottle Gift Pack is another present that a beer lover would be welcome on a Hanukkah night or under the tree. The two bottle gift pack contains the award winner Sidewinder Stout. The second beer is a revised version of their triple IPA Timber Beast. Now called Timber Demon. The Everett Herald just compared it to Pliny the Elder. Head Brewer Drew Cluley states:
Timber Demon: “A beast of an imperial IPA that is a step above a Double IPA in intensity and flavor. Lingering bitterness and abundant hop aroma takes your palate over the edge of hop sensibility, yet throws you a life line bringing you back for a much desired next sip.” Sidewinder: “Appearance is deep black with a thick, creamy tan head. On the palate, this ale is roasty, with notes of coffee and a hint of dark chocolate.”
The Beardslee Pub Bottle Gift Pack is available at the Beardslee Public House in Bothell.
Event Tickets Make Last Minute Christmas Gifts
The Washington Beer Commission puts on a number of fine beer festivals. The next one coming up is the 8th Annual Belgian Fest. The Belgian Beer Fest is one of favorites, we have gone almost every year. You can check out some Ed and Bean’s earlier Belgian Fest reviews here, here and here. Tickets are now available for the 2017 Belgian Fest, which takes place on January 28, 2017. All of the beers served at the Belgian Fest are made with Belgian yeast which makes this beer fest unique and exciting to beer lovers. Belgian Fest has two different sessions: an afternoon and an evening session. The afternoon session tends to attract the beer geek while the evening session gets a louder and rowdier beer loving crowd. Pick your ticket session to fit your beer loving friend or family.
Eat Seattle Classes and Tours offers a variety of opportunities to learn about different foods and beverages. Nancy really enjoyed her Eat Seattle Tour with Chef Wayne Johnson. Eat Seattle offers gift certificates that you can gift your food or wine lover and they can choose a later class/tour. In January, Eat Seattle Tour has a Mixology Class at Indi Chocolate. Tickets are available now for the Chocolate Mixology class on January 14, 2017, for the food and/or spirits lover on your list.
Pike Chocofest is about chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Pike Brewing Company has been heralding Valentine’s Day with their Chocofest celebrating chocolate and beer for years. This is a well loved event by Wine Beer Washington. You can read one of Nancy’s early Chocofest reviews here.
Pike Chocofest started out as a small event in Charles and Rose Ann Finkel’s beer museum. Chocofest is now the Pike Brewing’s largest event, taking over the entire brewery and pub. Chocolate will always be the star but some savory bites and cheeses have been added for your culinary delight. In addition to beer, participants will also be able to sample cider, wine and spirits. Pike Chocofest tickets will bring a big smile to the beer, food, spirit, and/or wine lover on your holiday shopping list. Now if they are also a chocolate lover… you may have just found their favorite gift! Tickets are now available for the Pike Chocofest February 12, 2017.
Taste Washington is celebrating it’s 20th year! In celebration, it has 4 days of exciting and exquisite experiences lined up for the food and wine lover. In addition to the ever popular Taste Washington Grand Tasting, featuring over 235 wineries and 65 top restaurants, Taste Washington has a number of activities to explore from rustic to elegant. Taste Washington ticket prices vary widely but many range from $48-95. (Wine Beer Washington writers have done the Grand Tasting, the seminars for many years and the Farm tour once. We did the “old” version of the New Vintage Party several times, however we have not attended/tested the other Taste Washington events listed.)
Taste Washington On The Farm is the Friday and literally takes you to the farm, orchard or vineyard where you tour the land with wine glass in hand. You will meet a wine maker who will pour their wines for you during the tour. After meeting the farmer. After the tour, you will meet the chef who has prepared your lunch from the bounty of the land you just toured. I did this two years ago at Willie Greens Organic Farm and had a wonderful time! Taste and Savor Tours are new this year and take place the mornings before the Grand Tastings. Partnering with Savor Seattle you will enjoy 1:1 time with 8 market vendors and discover little known delicacies, that even most locals don’t know about. Both of these tours would be a prize for the foodie on your gift list.
Taste Washington Red & White VIP party is for those who really know and love their wine. Some of the best Washington Winemakers will be pouring their wines at this elegant party. In addition to wines from their regular line up, they will be bringing out their very special library aged wines and special reserve wines as well. El Gaucho Aqua provides the sumptuous appetizers for this fashionable and fun party. Taste Washington The New Vintage is the updated version of 20 Something. The New Vintage is held downtown and is targeted for the 20 something crowd, with dancing and a happening vibe. Both of these are appropriate for the wine lover on your list but at different ends of the spectrum.
Membership makes a great last minute holiday gift
WAshington Beer Lovers membership is a great gift for your beer lover any time of year. It doesn’t have to be Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. A WABL membership makes a great birthday, anniversary or “I love you” gift. WABL, short for WAshington Beer Lovers is part of the Washington Beer Commission to show pride and support in Washington beer. In exchange, WABL members get gifts for supporting Washington brew pubs that sell Washington beer. Members get a passport that gets stamped, once they get enough stamps they get a prize. In addition, they get extra beer tokens at Washington Beer Commission and Washington Brewers Guild beer festivals. They get a cool T-shirt with the Washington breweries on it. Also, each month they get a newsletter each month listing breweries/brewpubs that have specials for WABL members. A great deal for only $30 a year and it is easy to gift a membership for your beer lover!