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The Last-Minute Vancouver Island Gift Guide for the Beer Lover, Coffee Addict, and Amateur Bartender In Your Life

The Last-Minute Vancouver Island Gift Guide for the Beer Lover, Coffee Addict, and Amateur Bartender In Your Life

Liquid gifts tend to be a last-minute, grab-and-dash item, but the items in this gift guide will have even the most discerning person in your life fooled. Sure, you can’t go wrong with an Okanagan Valley rose under the tree, but this year there are so many thoughtful options for sourcing local spirits, coffees, holiday drinks and imbibing accessories that you’re bound to dominate the secret santa gift exchange. From craft beer to drinking chocolate to the sustainable coffee cup solution the world has been longing for—it’s all inside this Vancouver Island beverage gift guide. 

Find all of our 2019 gift guides here.

Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing Co.

This is both for the craft beer lover and the grinch in your life. The limited-run Gratitude Winter Warmer Ale (9%) is practically a taste of Christmas with notes of nutmeg, vanilla and all-spice. Even better, Hoyne is selling this popular holiday brew as a package complete with two engraved beer glasses. The best part of the gift though, is the secret ‘gratitude’ wrapping—once the exterior wrapping is torn away, your giftee will find inspirational words about gratitude written on the label that, during this season of giving, is sure to help their heart grow three sizes, too. 

Where to buy it: Gratitude Winter Warmer by Hoyne Brewing, $20 | 01-2740 Bridge St, Victoria

Lumette! Alt Gin by Sheringham Distillery

This award-winning Sooke-based distillery has made quite a name for itself—this year the distillery took home top honours at the World Gin Awards for their Seaside Gin. Made using the finest regional ingredients, Sheringham’s latest entry into the market is also causing a stir: Lumette is a zero-proof gin—the first to be produced in Canada. It uses seven botanicals, from juniper and orange to mint, grapefruit, grand fir and rose. This way everyone can enjoy Christmas cocktails without having to shell out $50 for a Christmas cab. 

Where to buy it: Lumette! Alt Gin by Sheringham Distillery | Select liquor stores

Esquimalt Rosso Vermouth by Esquimalt Wine Company

This is a great addition to any beverage fan’s liquor cabinet—if you can get your hands on it. The Esquimalt couple behind Rootside Soda started Esquimalt Wine Company this year, which focuses on aperitif-style wines (three cheers for Quinn and Michela). Their Rosso Vermouth is lightly sweet and bright, with notes of orange peel, mulled wine, gingerbread, and yet you could easily imagine it being a refreshing Pimm’s cup stand-in over ice in warmer months. During Christmas though, it’s the perfect note to end any cozy fireside holiday meal—this is one bottle to rule them all, folks. 

Where to buy it: Rosso Vermouth by Esquimalt Wine Company | Select liquor stores, or contact to purchase

Drinking Chocolate by Cacao 70

This is not chocolate sauce, nor is it anything like the scorching uber-sweet watery powder hot cocoa that most of us have grown up on. This drinking chocolate is made from bits of origin-sourced chocolate that is melted very slowly and mixed carefully with milk or cream. This Mexicocoa from Cacao 70 is a premium mix of chocolate and spicy cocoa powder and a delectable gift for the sweet-loving person in your life.  

Where to buy it: Drinking Chocolate by Cacao 70, $17 | Cacao 70 Eatery 611 Fort St, Victoria

Empress Gin Cocktail Essentials Gift Basket by Victoria Distillers

A bottle of gin is nice, but a whole package of craft cocktail essentials and accessories? Now that’s a gift. The Empress and Tonic Gift Basket by perennial favourite Victoria Distillers includes a 750-ml bottle of locally-made Empress 1908 Gin, a four-pack of Fever-Tree tonic water, a copper jigger, a copper bar blade, Copa glass and some signature Empress blend tea for good measure. Is this gift set for dad? They have Victoria Distillers socks you can add in, too. 

Where to buy it: Empress and Tonic Gift Basket by Victoria Distillers | 9891 Seaport Pl, Sidney

Driftwood Insulated Growler by Driftwood Beer

Give the gift of a cold brew with DrinkTanks 64-ounce insulated growler from Driftwood. The specs on this thing are pretty impressive: it keeps cold liquids cold for 24-plus hours and hot things hot for 12 or more. It’s stainless steel, BPA-free, leak-proof, drop-proof, dishwasher safe, has a lifetime warranty, and comes in multiple colours, from Santa red to Gatsby copper to Pacific Ocean blue. 

Where to buy it: DrinkTanks 64-ounce insulated growler | Online or at the brewery, 102-450 Hillside Ave, Victoria


Lift the dark plastic burden that’s been weighing down your loved one’s soul by gifting them a sustainable, reusable, to-go coffee cup. HuskeeCup is made from coffee production cast-offs (specifically the husk of the bean), and the design is so smart. Its sleek-looking ridges helps insulate, so not only will the cup be safe to touch (goodbye, cardboard sleeves!), it also keeps your coffee warmer, longer. They’re dishwasher safe, built to last, come in two sizes (six ounce and 12 ounce) and come with a one-size-fits-all lid. Hide and Seek co-owner Jamie Owens loves them and you can go get one from her tomorrow.

Where to buy it: HuskeeCup To-Go Coffee Mugs| Hide and Seek at 2207 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria

Dog Beer by Moon Under Water

Not only has Victoria’s Moon Under Water been busy running night school classes, opening its own distillery and launching a fleet of citrus gins and espresso vodka, but they’ve also created Dog Beer, which is absolutely what it sounds like: a non-alcoholic beer for your pup. Now you can pour your fur bestie a can of Beef and Barley Dunkle or Chicken and Peanut Butter Pilsner—just don’t mix them up in your fridge. 

Where to buy it: Dog Beer by Moon Under Water | Available at the brewery, 350 Bay St, Victoria

French Press by Yield

Every coffee drinker needs a French press, and this dusty pink ceramic number from Yield is going to be the most Instagram-worthy thing on a breakfast table. The stoneware material keeps the heat consistent throughout the brewing process and the sophisticated copper pull lid attaches to a fine mesh steel filter below. It’s glazed and 100 percent food safe, but it’s so pretty that in a pinch it could also be a flower vase, making it the perfect gift for the person in your life who especially loves to entertain.

Where to buy it: French Press by Yield | Lore General Store, 1322 Government St, Victoria

Herbal Tea Advent Calendar  by Westholme Tea Company

Yes, we know December is already well upon us, but the Tea Lover Advent Calendar from the Cowichan Valley’s Westholme Tea Company is a gift that can be enjoyed well into the new year. It’s a 24-day tasting journey of hand-crafted artisan blends that’s going to make the cold winter months exponentially more cozy.

Where to buy it: Herbal Tea Advent Calendar  by Westholme Tea Company | 8350 Richards Trail, Duncan

Buying for a foodie, an outdoor adventurer, or your most stylish friend? See the rest of our gift guides here.

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