The spirit of giving
It’s the holiday season, and there’s no better time to get into the spirit. If you have a loved one, friend, or colleague who loves to get festively lit at San Antonio-area breweries and distilleries, you’re in luck, as plenty of comfort and joy (and spirited gifts) are flowing at local establishments, just in time for the gift-giving season.
Tusculum Brewing Co.
In downtown Boerne, pop into the Tusculum Brewery on Thursday, December 16 for a fun Christmas paint and sip event. The event includes a free drink and all the supplies you need to create a hand-painted masterpiece. Or find less-boozy products from Lillian Jaxx, a local family-owned home fragrance company, which has a pop-up tent filled with candles, wax melts, room sprays, and reed diffusers located in front of the brewery 11 am-3 pm Monday through Wednesday, Thursday 4-8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-9 pm, and noon-6 pm on Sunday.
Freetail Brewing Co.
Freetail is among a growing number of breweries that sell merchandise promoting their high-flying brand. In the case of Freetail, one of San Antonio’s older brewpubs, the range of merchandise includes caps ($25), beanies ($20-$25), stickers ($3), tin tacker signs ($12-$25), T-shirts ($18-$35), socks ($15/pair), hoodies ($45), and perhaps the best gift ever for a beer lover: a $25 gift card to use at the pub.
Weathered Souls Brewing Co.
This independent local brew shop sells gift cards to use in the pub as well, in addition to cool T-shirts ($21) and caps ($20). The biz also offers a Black is Beautiful mousepad ($12) and a 15-ounce glass ($20), both named after the brewpub’s acclaimed stout that’s designed to raise awareness of and funds for police-reform efforts.
Roadmap Brewing Co.
Roadmap has a few openings left for its 2022 Beer Club, which provides members with early access to the downtown brewer’s biggest and most anticipated releases. The $200 membership also includes $4 pints all day, any day, and 15 percent off all other purchases. It’s a great value and an even greater gift, especially for imbibers who believe, as they say at the brewery, “all roads lead to beer.”
Gift ideas at this charming distillery include recent boozy releases, such as the limited-edition barrel-proof straight bourbon, which was aged at least two years in new charred white-oak barrels, and non-chill filtered, then hand-bottled at cask strength. Maverick also offers gift cards at just about any amount that are good to use at the downtown spot, as well as stocking stuffers and customizable gift bags.
This craft beer taproom has some gift-wrapped, unlabeled single beers, perfect for tucking into a lonely stocking or leaving out for Santa. And don’t forget to take a photo or video of your loved one’s just-unwrapped beer and tag Growler Exchange on social media.
Second Pitch Beer Co.
This community-focused spot will celebrate the holidays with its 12 Days of Krampus, which will feature a series of discounts and specials throughout the month. Second Pitch also is offering gift boxes containing bottles of the beer company’s popular Krampus Belgian-style quadrupel.
Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling
Ranger Creek is serving up a gift box containing two select award-winning whiskeys and a branded logo glass. Other gift ideas at the Northeast Side establishment include a travel decanter ($62), a Laguna Madre Yeti rambler ($30), gift cards ($20), bourbon chocolates ($10), caps ($25), shirts ($25), and a sure-to-be-coveted whiskey club membership ($55-$100).
Guadalupe Brewing Co.
This New Braunfels beer biz is brewing up some fun gift offerings this year, from sweatshirts and T-shirts to beanies, stickers, and gift cards to fill up your loved one’s stocking. Swing by on Friday, December 17 from 6-7 pm for festive performance from Beethoven Mannerchor Choir, one of the oldest German singing societies in Texas, who’ll be belting out everyone’s favorite Christmas carols.
Texas has just welcomed Takamine 8-year-old Koji Whiskey from Shinozaki Distillery. Established in the 19th century in Japan, Shinozaki Distillery honors Jokichi Takamine, who was the first to apply koji fermentation typically used to saccharify rice to barley. Takamine whiskey is double-distilled, aged in virgin oak and ex-bourbon barrels. It’s the perfect gift for a whiskey lover. Takamine is part of the Honkaku Spirits company led by Christopher Pellegrini, author of The Shochu Handbook, and ambassador Stephen Lyman, author of the James Beard Award-nominated Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, which also make great holiday gifts. Locally, Takamine is available at all Spec’s locations ($99 per bottle).