The Brewing Shed The Veg Plot

Ding Dong! It’s our digging and swigging Christmas gift guide 2017

We know how Christmas gift buying works these days. You vow to get started early, making considered choices for all your friends and family, then realise you can’t be bothered with all that brain-sapping thought and ask Google Claus to do the work for you. So, for our loyal readers and those of you who have hit the search button on ‘Christmas + Gift + Booze + Garden’, here are some suggestions.

You’ll find a mix of things we’ve discovered throughout the year along with some superb treats from some of our digging and swigging chums.

And if this lot doesn’t fully satisfy you, then we’ll be adding some more in the run up to Christmas, so come back later and have another goosey-goosey- ganders.

Box of London brewery beers

Craft Metropolis Box of 12 Beers

Price £36
A trip to London is always a treat as it gives us the opportunity to sneak off to the pub and guzzle a load of the latest London beers. Which might be why we like Craft Metropolis beer boxes so much – they only contain beers sourced from the capital, meaning each selection contains otherwise hard-to-find beers, rather than the more common nationwide brews filling other boxes. Their Christmas dozen includes bottles and cans from personal favourites Kew Brewery, Signature Brew and Anspach & Hobday with an impressive range of styles to savour. Turn your living room into a great London boozer…

SAVE MONEY! Christmas bonus!
Because Craft Metropolis like us so much they’ve agreed to knock £4 off the price of their Christmas box. It’s £40 for most people. Click the link below and use the code ‘GARDENERS’ and you’ll be able to get it for £36. Bargain!
Available from CraftMetropolis

Valentine Warners Hepple Gin Bottle

Hepple Gin

Price £36.55
A few years ago we interviewed top chef Valentine Warner for this site, in which he revealed his plans for a new gin distillery in Northumberland. Hepple distillery is now up and running, producing one of the best new gins on the market. The local juniper shines like few other gins, showing off their complex bitter and fruity flavours, and the drink is lifted with a few refreshing flourishes of citrus. Hepple is also doing good things through a sustainable juniper propagation programme, so if you know a gin fan this is a product well worth investigating.

Available from The Whisky Exchange

scotch malt whisky society membership

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Membership

Price from £65
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society like whisky. They’ve assembled the world’s biggest collection of single barrel whiskies, containing some of the highest quality boozes you could wish for, and nurtured them in their vaults before popping them into bottles and sharing the goods with their members. Not many people get to taste these special treats, so the gift of membership opens up a whole world of taste exclusivity for you gleeful recipient (and if you don’t know what their whisky taste might be, they’ve even worked out a way to discover everyone’s taste profile).

Available from SMWS. Membership starts at £65, with other options available that include special gift-worthy extras (such as the membership and taster box for £95). 

Gtech torch and worklight combination

Gtech Work Light

Price £129.99
Rich often tends his allotment at night, but his tiny pencil torch is inadequate when fumbling around with a hoe in the dark, and now he has leek-mess everywhere. Top of his Christmas wish list is this powerful work light. Charge up the battery (a four hour task) and by flicking the switch you can operate three modes: a single beam torch-light; a low ambient glow, perfect for illuminating the shed during late cider drinking sessions; or a high ambient beam, providing floodlit brightness to light up the whole allotment. It’s comfortable to hold or can be fixed to a wall – an all-round winner that will have Rich digging and swigging until sunrise.

Available from Gtech

Brew It Yourself Book

It’s our digging and swigging home made booze book!

For the ultimate digging and swigging gift there’s always our book, Brew it Yourself. It’s rammed full with ace booze recipes – from beers, ciders and wines to more curious cocktails and infusions – many of them using home grown ingredients. And don’t just take our word for its goodness – take a look at the five star reviews on Amazon for authentic tales of boozy glee.

Available from Amazon



Somerset Cider Apple Poster

And whilst we’re on an undignified, egotistic roll of self promotion, allow us to recommend this splendid apple poster, designed by Nick’s very own gnarled mouse-hand. It’s a typographic apple, beautifully constructed using the names of Somerset cider varieties. Ideal for bathrooms, sheds, kitchens and outhouses and just the ticket for covering up unsightly stains on walls.

It costs a mere £10 (including postage) and you can buy it from our newly opened Etsy shop, right HERE.


Bosch EasyCut 12

Price £130

Here’s a sight for saw eyes – the ideal prezzie for folks who like to saw stuff up via the power of lithium-ion batteries. Use it like a cordless jigsaw for sawing sheets of wood, or wield it like a powerful mini-chainsaw and prune branches like a boss. Gift it for Christmas – its first task will be to dismember the sad, threadbare branches of a post-Christmas spruce.

Available from Amazon

Tamdhu 10 Year Old

Price £34.95

Whisky galore! We’re big fans of Tamdhu’s malty mashups here at Thirsty HQ – it’s difficult to choose our fave, but if we had our arms twisted (and faces pushed aggressively against the shed door) we’d like to find Tamdhu’s sherry casked 10 year old dangling in our festive stocking on Christmas morn. It’s everything you’d want from a Speyside – fresh oak and cinnamon on the nose and bursting with fruits and spices. Go grab a bottle, Christmas elves…

Bag one here…

Burgon and Ball planters

Price from £7.99

Houseplants are HOT SHIZZ at the moment, so go bag yourselves one of these handsome Burgon and Ball pots and get wrapping. Dangle the ropey one (pictured left) from a bathroom ceiling and lob in a nepenthes ventrata, (which we have been reliably informed will thrive in humid, steamy conditions) or cram a classic Aloe succulent into the terracotta pot (pictured right) and place it for all to see. For the purposes of producing suitably festive photographs, we stuffed ours with fairy lights.

Available from Burgon and Ball 

RHS Annual Membership

Nothing says ‘ I haven’t given much thought to your Christmas gift’ as a papery voucher stuffed into an envelope. However, watch initial disappointment evaporate from their face as they rip open a splendid RHS Membership. Offering up RHS garden entry, access to shows and expert plant advice, it’s a no-brainer gift for the hort lover in your life.

A one year gift membership costs £59 and includes six luxury postcards, two packets of seeds (EU only) and vouchers for a free RHS tote bag and £5 to spend at RHS Gardens.

Order here. Now.

St Austell Proper Job Knitted Jumper

Proper Job Christmas Jumper

Price £21.95
In recent years the Christmas jumper has gone from naff gift no-one wants to must have fashion accessory. The naffer the better. This year, with your generosity, your best beer drinking buddy can not only parade around in one of the cheesiest jumpers we’ve ever seen, they can also earn beer-nous creds courtesy of the ‘Proper Job’ logo emblazened within the festive graphics. It’s one of the greatest beers money can buy (we’ve featured it as a beer of the week), from Cornish brewing stars St Austell, which we’re certain will be accompanying many Christmas dinners.

Available from St Austell Brewery


Heat Holders Ultimate Thermal Sock

Price £8.99

If you are planning to give the gift of socks this Christmas, you might as well make them the WARMEST socks, right? This fine pair hail from Heat Holders and – according lab tests – are a steaming 7x warmer than your everyday average, common or garden cotton sock. Nick swears by them. “Where the bloody hell have I put my thick, warm socks?” He’s often heard cry.

Available from: The Sock Shop

Labi Beers

Available from The Eusebi Deli

Here’s a bellissimo beer selection, exclusively available from Eusebi Deli, Glasgow’s premier pick-up joint for hampers, antipasto and fine Italian boozes. The pack we’ve trussed up with fairy lights contains a selection of tasty Italian brews in a variety of styles. There’s a Belgian strong ale, a less potent Belgian ale, a German ale, an IPA, a gluten free ale and an alcohol free ale (which I’m giving to Nick). Glaswegians should Vespa their way to Park Road IMMEDIATELY. For those not within scootering distance, Eusebi Deli have a mail order service where you can order a variety of splendid Italian food hampers.



  • Tried a few of the beers in the article, loved them! Every Christmas I always get a few beers that I have not tried before, I wouldnt consider it Christmas if I didnt actually!! Always nice to try new drinks and what better time of the year to do so.

    • Yep, there are some cracking brews in there and I’m glad we’ve helped you to discover them. Have a great beery Christmas

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