Alcohol has long played a big role in cultures around the world, from its first documentation in 7000 BC to the emergence of craft breweries in the 1970s. You can learn more about the history of alcohol in Hampton Roads in our exhibit, “Rum to the Rescue.”

Today, alcohol-producing business are an important part of our local economy and community. There are at least 14 breweries, 3 wineries, and 2 distilleries in Virginia Beach, and even more throughout Hampton Roads. Locals and tourists help these businesses thrive. Because alcohol is such a big part of American culture, it can make a great gift theme this holiday season (for recipients ages 21 and up, of course).

The craft beer lover in your life would probably love a brewery gift basket. To create this basket, you could combine a stein, bottle opener, and koozie from our museum gift shop with a gift card to a local brewery. Smartmouth, who brewed our Lifeguard Lager this summer, might make a good choice! Some of the other local breweries, like Back Bay and Home Republic, also offer growlers or cases of your favorite beer that you could add into the gift as well.

For beer and wine lovers looking for a new hobby, you could purchase a beer brewing kit or a wine making kit at one of the brewing supply stores in the area. Then add a Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum stein or set of pint glasses and one of our coaster sets. It is the perfect way to help your loved one create the beer or wine just right for their taste buds.

Not only do the breweries and wineries in the area have great tasting drinks, but some of them are also restaurants! You could create a date night gift basket with a gift card to places such as Wasserhund or Mermaid Winery, along with a stein or pint glasses! You could also mix it up and add in one of our seahorse bottle openers, coasters, and a bottle of wine for that extra flare.

Another cool gift basket would include items from a local distillery like Chesapeake Bay Distillery, or an ABC store gift card. Just add in a couple Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum shot glasses and a deck of cards or the fun Ring Game sold in our gift shop.

Any of these would make a fun gift for your loved ones over 21. So come by the museum store today and grab a few of these items to start making your gift baskets!