I am a lover of craft beer, especially when it is made in my home state of North Carolina. I know I am not the only human in Cackalacky who avidly supports the more than 180 homegrown breweries and brewpubs of our state.
North Carolina is home to the largest number of craft breweries in the American South. The industry has an annual economic impact of $1.2 billion on the state and provides roughly 10,000 jobs paying $300 million in annual wages (North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild).
Wow. That’s huge.
With that being said, here are five gift ideas for the NC craft beer lover on your shopping list.
The Great N.C. Beer Map
This beautifully crafted map details every craft brewery and major beer festival in North Carolina. Made by EDIA Maps, a map-making team based in Charlotte, the beer map acts as a guidebook for anyone looking to explore new breweries and mark off places visited. Personally, I am using my beer map to plan my own brewery tour of the entire state. Once I have checked off each brewery, I plan to frame my map and hang it on my drink local wall where I display cans and bottles from breweries across NC. These maps make perfect stocking stuffers, but if you’re looking for something a little larger, EDIA also has beer posters. They are the same double-sided map, but unfolded and printed on heavier paper for framing and displaying.
Cost: Beer Map, $9.99 / Beer Poster, $29.99
Where to buy: EDIA
A Supply of their Favorite Seasonal Brew
This present will require a little extra research on your part and it might seem slightly unconventional, but gifting someone their favorite seasonal craft brew is a genius idea in my opinion. I would love it if I received a 12-pack of Highland Brewing’s coveted Cold Mountain Winter Ale (if you can find it). See, that’s what makes this gift extra special. Because many seasonal craft beers made in North Carolina are limited release, they can be difficult to locate. Some of my favorites are Cold Mountain (Highland Brewing Company), Milk & Cookies (Wicked Weed Brewing), and Hoppy Holidays (NoDa Brewing Company).
Cost: Varies depending on brew
Where to buy: For limited release beers, I suggest checking your local bottle shops, Total Wine, or purchasing directly from the brewery.
Drink Beer from Here Shirt
I am a huge fan of these shirts made by Hopcloth and sold on Etsy. It is such an easy way to show pride in our state. They are high-quality and made from soft cotton in a neutral midnight blue color. Others really seem to love these shirts as well because folks are raving about them in the reviews section.
Where to buy: Hopcloth on Etsy
Chances are, the person you are shopping for has established a favorite brewery or two.
Find out what spots they frequent (which shouldn’t be difficult if you look back at their social media check-ins or ask someone close to them), track those places down online or in-person, and see what kind of merchandise they offer. Most of the breweries I visit regularly have a great selection of t-shirts, hats, koozies, pint glasses, and more. It’s stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily purchase for myself, but I would still love to have. For example, NoDa Brewing in Charlotte recently posted on Instagram that they have socks for sale at their tap room. Talk about a great stocking stuffer. They also have a hat that my significant other has had his eye on for quite some time now. These two items will definitely be under my tree this year (sorry to spoil the surprise, Justin).
Cost: Varies depending on brewery and item
Where to buy: Some breweries have merchandise available for purchase on their websites, but your best bet is to visit the tap room in-person.
Beers of NC Word Map
This word map makes a great addition to your beer lover’s art collection. The unframed print measures 11×14 and features an outline of the old north state surrounded by favorite breweries from the mountains to the sea. Add it to a nice wooden frame and your gift is complete. I would love to unwrap this on Christmas morning (wink, wink).
Where to buy: For The Love of Maps on Etsy