Maybe you’ve run out of time this holiday season, or maybe you’re stumped on what to get a few people.
An easy fix would be to grab a six-pack of some beer, but you might not know what the person normally drinks. You don’t want to grab your favorite, because what if they have different tastes.
So now you’re in the same situation you were before - an idea but you might not be sure how to make it work before that holiday party or Santa’s arrival down the chimney.
We checked in with some local knowledgeable beer folks - from distributors to managers and festival organizers - to get their suggestions for six beers to throw into a create your own pack in a beer cafe at your local Giant Food Stores or Weis Market.
A mix-your-own pack usually runs around $11. Larger bottles and other singles are also available there, as well as six- and 12-packs.
For Nate Fochtman of Beer Ace Distributing, rattling off the list of six was something he did in seconds.
In this line of work, he joked he should have an answer pretty quick this holiday season.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter: A rich, creamy mouthfeel complements a layered depth, revealing distinctive chocolate and coffee notes.
New Belgium Accumulation: A white IPA with a strong hop aroma that displays all of our hop varieties: tropical fruits, bright citrus, spicy/herbal from the heavy dry hopping.
Jack's Fireside Cider: Subtly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla, this hard cider is well balanced with our sweet and tart apples.
Dogfish Head Piercing Pilsner: A Perry-Pils hybrid, Piercing Pils is a Czech Style Pilsner brewed with a White Pear Tea and Pear juice.
Ithaca Embrr: A smooth rye porter with a rich chocolaty body and hint of spice.
Lancaster Double Chocolate Milk Stout: Subtle sweetness and velvety chocolate goodness of our 2X Chocolate Milk Stout.
If you’re feeling generous, Fochtman suggests that you roll in a keg of Troegs Mad Elf: A ruby red creation reminiscent of ripened cherries, raw honey and cocoa with notes of cinnamon, clove and allspice. But make sure you invite him along.
Matthew Davis, co-founder and president of Crocodile Marketing - the group behind area beer and wine festivals Hibrewnation, Taste of Pennsylvania and Yorktoberfest, wanted to get a mix of things he would drink himself and give to anyone he knows.
Founder's Mosaic Promise: Highlighting a single malt — Golden Promise — and a single hop — Mosaic.
Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale: Brewed with natural long-grain rice for a creamy texture to complement flavors of cinnamon
Burley Oak Sorry Chicky: A dry hopped sour ale.
Sierra Nevada Narwhal: A depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke.
Free Will Black Friday: A limited release barrel aged Belgian quad with notes of dark fruit and caramel supported by yeast driven apricot and pear flavors, and the oaky flavor of the brandy barrels it was aged in.
Aldus Red Rye Revival: Available at the Hanover brewery, it’s big bottle but if you like anything barrel aged it's really good.
Tiffany Snedegar, manager at Queensgate Beer Barn took a stroll around the store’s holiday brew setup recently and shared some available picks.
Shiner Cheer: A dunkelweizen with hints of Texas peaches, pecans and caramelized malt.
Leinenkugel Snowdrift Vanilla Porter: A fuller-bodied brew with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel brought out by roasted malts and aged on real vanilla.
Shocktop Twisted Pretzel: This new beer delivers the delicious taste and aroma of bakery-fresh pretzels in a Belgian-style, unfiltered wheat ale.
Blue Moon Gingerbread Spiced Ale: Tastes of ginger, cinnamon, and molasses.
Sierra Nevada Celebration: An American-style IPA famous for its intense citrus and pine aromas.
Bells Winter White Ale: Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley and wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas.