Alright, let’s be honest here: We all love Michigan beer! With the number of breweries growing at a faster rate than ever, it’s hard to choose the perfect beer, especially for this winter giving season.
Michigan has got its craft brew going on, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than by gifting some Michigan beer, or gear!
Top Michigan Beer to Gift at the Holidays
- Arbor Brewing FIGJAM – Oh bring me some figgy pudding…enjoy a Christmas classic, in a glass! Available now in bottles.
- Arbor Brewing Michael Faricy’s Stout – “Arbor Brewing Company’s Michael Faricy’s Stout is a lighter take on what is commonly perceived to be a chocolate stout. This brew holds its own, though, with lots of deep, rich flavors including chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, and licorice.”
- Bell’s Expedition Stout – “Bell’s Expedition Stout is a doozie — plenty of bourbon, raisin, vanilla, chocolate, and even some fruit with each taste.”
- Bell’s Christmas Ale – You can’t have a list of holiday beers without mentioning Bell’s. This, along with Bell’s Winter White Ale, is listed on several top Christmas beer lists. You can’t go wrong — this is an easy-drinking, spiced up holiday brew.
- Blackrocks North Third Stout – Marquette-based Blackrocks Brewery clearly knows what winter truly means. Its North Third Stout highlights roasty, malty chocolate flavors throughout. Available now in cans.
- Brewery Vivant Escoffier – “Brewery Vivant’s collaboration brew with New Belgium Brewing, Escoffier, is a wild ale with malt, dried fruit and a bit of sourness”
- Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Warmer – This winter warmer is certainly a treat. Featuring highlights of fruit and spice, this beer screams cold weather and the winter season. If you can find it on tap, it’s just that much better!
- Founders Big Lushious – The latest beer in Founders’ ever-popular Backstage Series, Big Lushious is a dark chocolate and raspberry brew. Expect a rich, flavorful taste that will go perfect after that big Christmas dinner. Available Nov. 24 in 750mL bottles.
- Founders Bolt Cutter – (15th-anniversary barleywine) “This is a beer that can only get better with age, so if you happen to see one in stores, definitely snatch it up.”
- Founders Furniture City Stock Ale – “It’s very malty, what you’d expect from a stock ale, and follows through with a slight bitterness on the backend. Simply put, the beer makes you feel as though you’re working in a furniture factory in the 1890s.”
- Founders Sweet Repute – Another one of Founders’ Backstage Series beers, Sweet Repute is a wheat wine aged in maple syrup barrels. If you’ve liked Founders’ other maple syrup brew offerings — like CBS or Curmudgeon’s Better Half — this one is sure to please as well. Available in bomber bottles the week of Dec. 2.
- Frankenmuth Christmas Town Ale – This commemorative brew was released Nov. 1, celebrating Frankenmuth and Christmas extravaganza store, Bronner’s. Subtle spices make for a great uniqueness to this winter warmer.
- Griffin Claw 3 Scrooges – Honey, orange peel and seasonal spices make this a winter warmer that will help get you through the cold and snow. Available now in cans.
- Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza – “Whether you’re enjoying with family and friends around the holiday table or fireplace or putting a bottle or two in your cellar to age for later consumption, it’s among the most interesting holiday beers you’ll come across and, for my money, one of the best.”
- Kuhnhenn Stollen Christmas Ale – Available at the brewery’s Winter Solstice party in December, Stollen Christmas is a brew that reminds you of all the best things of Christmas. Cranberry, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel, and other fruits and spices make this brew a special treat.
- New Holland Dragon’s Milk – ” This brew showcases oak aging with each small sip as well as bourbon accents.”
- North Peak Brewing Blitzen – “With 55 IBUs and 6.8% ABV, the well-balanced Blitzen warms the palate and soul, awakening memories of holidays past. As with the other North Peak beers, it is brewed incorporating locally-grown hops on the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City.”
- Odd Side Ales’ Merry Elf – Odd Side is becoming increasingly known for its wacky, unheard of beers. This one certainly hits home to the Christmas spirit — combining a favorite winter candy with beer. Merry Elf – a dark ale with candi sugar and orange peel — just hit the bottling line and should be available soon.
- Perrin Brewing Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter – Like chocolate? This specialty from Comstock Park-based Perrin has quickly become the talk of the West Michigan beer scene. It’s luscious, rich and full of chocolate flavors.
- Right Brain CEO Stout – This beer was the first bottle release ever by Right Brain!
- Saugatuck Brewing Barrel-Aged Neapolitan Milk Stout – Saugatuck’s tried and true milk stout spends a little time in barrels. This is a limited release though, available only at its pub on December 6, so make sure to put that on your calendar!
- Short’s Gingersnap – Only available through the brewery’s variety packs, Short’s Gingersnap is just what you’d expect. Relinquish in the feeling of a ginger cookie by the fire this holiday season, with cinnamon, molasses, and ginger flavor. For those looking for something a bit more hoppy, Short’s releases its Juicy Tree in December — an experimental IPA with blue spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries.
- Wolverine State Brewing Co. Winter Lager
Other Michigan Beer Gifts for the Beer Snob:
Let’s be honest here; drinking isn’t the only part of being “into” beer. Books, glassware, and more are becoming increasingly more available from breweries and big-name stores.
Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing – Written by David Bardallis, this book dives into the history of Ann Arbor beer, and shows you how breweries like Arbor, Wolverine, and more came about, and what came before them.
Tickets to the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival – Arguably the best beer festival in the state, Fifth-Third Ballpark gives host to nearly 500 beers from Michigan. There’s only one way to warm up in February — a nice, dark stout. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at mibeer.com — but be quick — last year, tickets sold out in less than 13 hours.
The Michigan Beer Film – Created by Rhino Media, this new film digs into Michigan beer — hops, breweries, beer lovers, and more. If you are even the slightest bit interested in craft beer, you’ve gotta watch this! You can purchase the DVD at mibeerfilm.com.
Blackout Boards Growler Carrier – With the snow and cold already upon us, we can’t risk dropping a growler with our gloves on! Blackout Boards’ growler carrier features a etch of the state of Michigan, and is super heavy-duty, being able to hold two growlers.
#MichiganBeer Clothing – This has gotta be some of the coolest clothing in Michigan for beer. There are a few different t-shirt designs, available in various colors.
Founders Brewing Co. Education Classes – Founders offers two classes — Beer 101 and Sensory Evaluation — alternating each week at the brewery’s Centennial Room.
Michigan Mitten Beer Bottle Opener from Michigan Brew Supply – Let’s face it. Michigan has the best looking curves in the union. Who wouldn’t want to open a local craft beer with an opener this handsome? Every opener comes tucked in a hand-stamped, recycled paper credit card sleeve. Made of 100% stainless steel and manufactured right here in Michigan.
Bell’s Inspired Brewing® Bar Gift Set – Have a friend who is looking to spruce up their home bar? This gift set comes with several different types of glasses, bar mat, bar towel, coasters, and more!
Brewed In Michigan Sticker – In love with all of Michigan’s breweries? Then this is the vinyl sticker for you!
Bell’s Plush Can Dog Toy – Got a pup who wants in on the action? This plush can dog toy is perfect for the Michigan Beer lover’s best friend.
With that, I give you your perfect Michigan Beer Christmas. Don’t forget to stay tuned to MittenBrew.com for all the latest in Michigan craft beer!
~Bryan Esler: Web designer by day, beer nerd by night. A lover of dark and sour beers, Bryan is a co-founder of MittenBrew and a freelance photographer. During the day, Bryan works at Mindutopia, a full-service web development firm, as partner and creative director.