A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip to Vintner's Cellar to check out their wine-related goods for our off-beat gift guide. We felt it would only be fair to show some love for the beer-drinkers, too.
That's where Barb's Beer Emporium, 208 N. Main St., comes in. Barb's not only has approximately 300 varieties of beer to choose from, assorted snacks, chocolates and gifts for the beer lover - but they can throw all these things together into a basket or bucket and wrap it up all pretty-like. It's a step-up from just handing your buddy a six pack (not that there's anything wrong with that).
The baskets and buckets start at $11, plus the cost of contents, which are entirely up to you. Maybe you want to make a basket chock-full of products made in New England. Barb's carries a plethora of beers brewed right here in New England - two of our favorite brands are Shipyard (Portland, Maine) and Red Hook (Portsmouth). Throw in some Van Otis chocolates and a Barb's Beer Emporium beer glass and voila - a perfect gift for out-of-staters who want to bring a little bit of New England home with them. Do you know someone who is already itching for winter to be over? Select a few brews that remind you of summer such as Kona Brewing Co.'s Wailua Wheat Ale (a citrusy wheat ale with a hint of passion fruit), Sea Dog Brewing Co.'s Apricot Wheat Beer (so yummy!) and Belfast Bay Lobster Ale (no, it doesn't taste like lobster - it's a sweet, malty red ale), Red Sox hot or barbeque sauce and a bottle of a tropical fruit mixer of your choice, and your gift-recipient will thank you for the tropical staycation. No matter what your beer lover's tastes are, you'll find the perfect items to put in his or her basket.
Barb's sells wine and non-alcoholic beverages, too, (they even have a kit to make your own root beer), so it's still worth checking out for the non-beer drinkers in your life.
For more information about Barb's Beer Emporium, visit barbsbeeremporium.com or call 369-4501.