I love Valentine’s Day.
When I was single, my girlfriends and I went out every year for copious amounts of steak and red wine.
And then, over a decade ago, I went on a first date with my now-husband on Valentines Day. To this day, it’s still the best date we’ve ever had and I think he slightly regrets putting so much effort in as it’s impossible to top.
We often do something special to mark the occasion, maybe timing it with a weekend away, theatre visit or meal out (although we’ve always avoided the places with set menus and heart shaped balloons).
I’m a big fan of the traditional gifts – flowers (something a bit more original than red roses), fancy chocolates and something fun or thoughtful always goes down well. It’s harder to buy for men though, which is why many of my Valentine’s gifts over the years have had a connection to beer.
I’ve shared some of my tried and tested gifts below, as well as a few I have in mind for future years – and have asked Mr Bacchanalian to share his thoughts on receiving them.
Happy reading – and happy Valentine’s!
Scratch Off UK Brewery Map
I bought this as a wedding anniversary (for the paper year) rather than a Valentine’s gift, but think it works well for either. It’s a map that the beer lover in your life can update whenever he or she visits a new brewery across the UK.
I was pretty impressed with myself for buying this gift and the reaction from the recipient was great as well, and it was immediately put onto a backing board and hung up in the kitchen. However, 2 years on, only a couple of breweries have been scratched off. I think this is more to do with our lives over the past couple of years (house renovations that curtailed much travel in year 1, and pandemic / lockdown in year 2) so hope more progress is made soon.
At £10.99, and with free delivery on Amazon Prime, it suits all budgets and makes a fun and thoughtful Valentines gift.
Beer lover says: Maybe I should scratch breweries off the map when I’ve drunk their beers instead of just visiting!
Monthly Beer Subscription
What’s better than beer for Valentine’s Day? A beer subscription for every month of the year!
You can subscribe to receive almost any product you like these days, and beer subscriptions are a rightly popular way for beer lovers to taste lots of different beers over a few weeks, months or years.
We’ve reviewed a few here at Bacchanalian. A favourite was Brewdog’s Fanzine, which gave the recipient the chance to try 3 new Brewdog beers each month – but unfortunately it looks like they’ve suspended all their subscriptions for the moment.
I’d be tempted to go with Beer 52’s offering – 8 beers, a magazine and snack each month for £24, including delivery. The magazine is full of really good, unique content, and the beers are themed each month, giving the drinker the chance to really get to know a particular country or style.
It’s a great gift that keeps giving month after month, and of course you can choose how long you do it for, depending on your Valentines budget.
Beer lover says: There’s more subscriptions than ever out there, so check your partners favourite brewery first, then maybe look at a subscription like Beerbods.
Brewery Tour / Visit
Brewery tours these days are properly interesting, even if you aren’t a beer fanatic, with well-informed guides taking pride in their breweries and beers and sharing their secrets with guests.
I’ve found the beer lover in my life particularly grateful when, as well as gifting the brewery tour, I have also volunteered to go along, bought a few beers in the shop afterwards, and most importantly, been the designated driver.
Particularly memorable tours that we’ve done together include the Windsor & Eton Brewery, and our local, Westerham Brewery. There are also great options from some of the big brewers – Fullers in London and Adnams in Suffolk, for example (links).
This handy site lists options all over the country, so you can find something local, or maybe tie a brewery tour into a weekend away.
Beer lover says: I’m always up for a brewery tour. They’re usually quite varied, and the best feature copious amounts of beer. Even Heineken’s turned out to be worth it!
Ridiculously Expensive Craft Beers
I’m very supportive of Mr Bacchanalian’s beer interest (read: obsession) but do struggle to understand paying over a tenner for a single beer. However, some of the best and most interesting beers can apparently cost double this and make good presents as most people would struggle to spend that themselves.
If the beer lover in your life has a wishlist or maybe an Untappd account, see if you can sneakily find out the fancy beers they are yearning for.
I recently bought Mr Bacchanalian this Chimay Grand Reserve Trappist Double Ale, at £13.99.
I see he is also keen to try this Deus Brut Beer, at a whopping £24.99, so that could be V-day sorted for 2021.
Beer lover says: Cheap lager has its place, but I often want something a bit special, either to share or to enjoy all to myself!
Vouchers have a reputation for not being the most romantic of gifts, but if you’ve left things to the last minute, they are a great option for Valentines Day, especially if you get them for somewhere unique.
I’ve bought vouchers for our local bottleshop, HopStop in Oxted, for both an anniversary and a birthday, and they’ve gone down really well, allowing Mr Bacchanalian to choose what he wants, when he wants it, without feeling guilty about spending ridiculous amounts of money on weird and wonderful beers.
If you don’t have a local bottle shop, then online beer retailers often have vouchers:
Beer lover says: Vouchers are a great way to support your local bottle shop.
So that’s my round up of a few gifts at all price points that your beer loving lover is sure to love this Valentine’s Day. Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments.