Father’s Day sneaks up on us every year, so we’re already used to the last-minute gift scramble.*
But this time, we came up with five great beer gift ideas to fit any budget, and most work on very short notice. Like that gift card rack at your supermarket, but way better.
So if you’re looking to toast the dad in your life with a craft beer this Father’s Day, these patriarchal-themed beer gifts will make for an extra special salute!
1. Make a Father’s Day Mixed Six-Pack
Hit your local craft shop and assemble your own mixed six-pack with dad-themed beers. Here are six fine beers to get you started, with a short description from each brewery.
Big Black VooDoo Daddy | VooDoo Brewing Co. | Meadville, PA
A big, viscous Russian imperial stout rich in notes of chocolate, vanilla, roasted coffee and dark fruits. BBVD is hopped with Chinook, Northern Brewer and Cascade to add a subtle bitterness to this robust ale.
Big Daddy IPA | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers | San Francisco, CA
Big Daddy IPA is a generously dry-hopped yet surprisingly drinkable American-style India pale ale. Poured into a standard American pint glass, the beer is a golden straw color, with tight carbonation and a slightly off-white head that leaves a lovely lacing. The aroma is floral, fresh grass, pine needles, grapefruit and subtle notes of fresh bread. Also available: Double Daddy.
Dad’s Little Helper | Rogue Ales | Newport, OR
Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA is deep mahogany in color with roasted malt and hop aromas and a dense creamy head. It enters the palate with intense hop flavor and coats the tongue with a rich maltiness.
Dad’s Oatmeal Stout | Geaghan Brothers Brewing | Bangor, ME
This oatmeal stout is full bodied and silky smooth with coffee-like aromas. Additions of Chinook and U.S. Goldings hops give balance and moderate bitterness to this rich, dark beer.
Hoosier Daddy | New Albanian Brewing Co. | New Albany, IN
Dubbed a “crimson & cream ale,” this seasonal is medium-bodied, with overall balance favoring malt, and a slightly sweet edge.
Hop Daddy IPA | Main Street Brewery | Corona, CA
This IPA was the winner of a bronze and silver medal in 2008 and 2000, respectively, at the Great American Beer Festival in the English-Style India Pale Ale category.
2. Give Him that Next-Level Growler Experience
Growlers have been around forever, but are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, with craft breweries popping up across the world.
The only problem is that these jugs allow the beer to go flat when left alone for a while. It’s not something we experience often, but it’s also not something we take lightly. Air = oxidation = foul flavors and aromas. Even in just an hour or so.
That’s where GrowlTap comes in. This combination stopper and CO2-powered tap not only gives you a nifty way to pump suds directly from the growler mouth, but it also preserves your beer for much longer than a cap alone. There are plenty of similar products out there, but we’ve had success with GrowlTap, and at $45 each, it’s worth a look for craft-loving dads living the growler life.
3. Take Dad on a Craft Beer Brewery Tour
You already know brewery tours are a fun, enjoyable way to sample new beers you might not otherwise have at your local store. Next time, instead of going with your usual hop squad, bring Dad along for the ride.
Many cities and tourist bureaus stepped up and put together some seriously cool day- and weekend-long tour packages. There are far too many to list here, but you can find a wealth of great brewery tour plans in just about every major city, and plenty of smaller cities, with a quick search.
Though your mileage may vary, guests can expect a day of beer sampling, education, free swag, beer sampling, some food, a lot of laughs, and beer sampling. Whether Dad is a dyed-in- the-wool hophead, or just a guy who wants to broaden his palate, a guided beer tour is a great way to spend a summer afternoon.
We can’t say we’ve hit them all (beer journalism isn’t as lucrative as one might think). But we can say with confidence that craft beer lovers near or visiting cities like Boston, San Diego, Philadelphia or Portland will have a LOT of options.
To find breweries and packages new you, check your local tourist bureau website or google “craft brewery tours” with your location enabled.
4. Baller Level: Book a Craft Beer Vacation
Let’s say you’re really looking to wow your Dad this year, and/or you owe him big time. More extensive beercations are now a premium option.
Much like those wine weekends your friends all pretend to like, these elaborate getaways take you further into the beer making process. Usually, the higher-end experiences include lodging, entertainment and meals, plus these trips offer unique views of the entire craft brewing process, from hop selection to aging to distribution. No stone is unturned, but every bottle is upturned.
To give you some idea of what to expect, check out these beer vacation examples:
- Woodstock Inn and Brewery, North Woodstock, New Hampshire
- Fredericksburg Brewing Company, Fredericksburg, Texas
- Applewood Manor, Asheville, North Carolina
Though they’re most prominent in northern New England and the Pacific Northwest, specialty brewery vacation packages are popping up across the United States. And if you’re really loaded, beer vacations to Belgium, Holland and France are a real thing, too. Proost!
5. Bring the Brewery to the Backyard
When the other gifts in this post have proven successful, Dad will want more. Guaranteed. And the fun doesn’t have to end once the growler’s empty and the brewery tour is over.
One way to recreate craft tap magic without a car ride is with a kegerator. Admittedly this is a higher-ticket proposition, but with costs and purchase options now accommodating the home enthusiast, around $1000, this could be the year to get Dad a gift that will serve him for many Father’s Days to come.
Kegerators are available in both indoor and all-weather design, have multiple-tap options, and can keep a 5-gallon keg of beer at a desired temperature regardless of outside conditions. Most models also come with LED lighting, easy keg replacement, and simple-to- maintain lines, making this a no-brainer for those who can afford one.
If you can’t justify such an elaborate cost, but happen to have an old fridge or freezer lying around, fret not – the beer community is there for you! Thanks to some really smart folks, home kegerator-conversion kits are available at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated unit. Dad won’t get all the bells and whistles of a shiny new EdgeStar, but he will get frosty cold pints of craft, just steps from the favorite lawn chair. Combine that with proper craft beer glassware and you’ve got a first-class setup.
So there you go, five brilliant ways to use beer to say, Thanks for everything, Dad — You’re the man. Cheers to all the craft beer-loving dads this Father’s Day and a special shout out to all of the craft brewers who find a way to balance fatherhood and brewing!
*Honestly, this last-minute gift scramble happens for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, even Christmas. Sound familiar?
We want your ideas, too. Any beer-related goodies for you Father’s Day (given or received)? Go ahead, brag about ’em here.