Barley's Blog

  • Give Thanks by Shopping Small

    We know a lot of you will be visiting family and friends for Thanksgiving so we figured we'd share our list of favorite goodies from small businesses that you might be able to give as host/hostess gifts this year.

    Why buy from small businesses? Well, there's the obvious reason that as small business owners we want to support other entrepreneurs. But another is that the gifts tend to be unique and/or are from local shops and your loved ones might not be able to find these items in their hometowns.

    For the beer lover:

    Every year, we do a beer tasting (more on that later) with our family. We pick up local beers that either we've never tried and want to or that we love and want others to taste. Here are a couple we're bringing this year:

    Olde Hickory Brewery 
    Event Horizon (limited annual release barrel aged imperial stout; Hickory, NC)

    My mama bought two bottles for my pappy when they were released early this year because her beer-loving boss at the time gave her a head's up that they were arriving at a local bottle shop (these puppies go FAST). Pappy drank one, savoring every last drop, and saved the other for Thanksgiving. You may not be able to get this particular beer in time for Thanksgiving, but if you're a beer nerd like my pappy, look through your beer cellar inventory (because we know you've got one) and see what unique brews you might be willing to share. Nothing says gratitude like sharing a hard-to-find beer with your loved ones.

    Fullsteam 
    Fearrington Fall (Heirloom Apple Rye IPA, Durham, NC)

    My humans haven't tried this one yet but are very excited to add it to the line-up for our Thanksgiving tasting. We're guessing it'll go quite well with a post-turkey-dinner dessert.

    For the beer and dog lover:

    Barley Labs
    (*Cough*Shameless plug*Cough*) 
    Dog & Beer Lover Gift Set (Durham, NC)

    Well, of course we've got a gift for the holidays. It's our Dog & Beer Lover gift box. Your human pal gets a pint glass. Their furry friend gets treats. Everybody wins!

    For the scent lover:

    Palo Santo Wood
    Bought at Porch Light (Portland, OR) but may be available elsewhere

    Between my brother and me, our humans are always trying to find things to help make our home smell less...furry. While we were in Portland for the pet expo, we stopped into this adorable gift shop called Porch Light after having beers and lunch at Deschutes Brewery. There, we found this small stack of tiny sticks of wood, and we were intrigued. Apparently, you can burn the ends and it fills this room with this warm, campfire-like, earthy smell. Four dollars may seem like a lot for a small bundle of tiny wood, but we're still burning off our first piece and the uniqueness of it all is worth it from a gift perspective.

    Milkhouse Creamery
    Soy and Beeswax Milkbottle Candle (Osage, IA)

    During a dog treat delivery to Mimosa Home & Gift in Wake Forest, NC, we were immediately drawn to these candles in classic milk bottles. Not only did it smell wonderful, but the aroma isn't overwhelming, and the milk bottle makes for a very cute addition to any table or mantle. It looks like they've discontinued the scent we bought (raspberry lemonade), but with 52 to choose from, we're guessing you'll find one you like.

    For the spice lover:

    Southern Spice Sweet & Hot Pepper Relish
    Original Recipe (Wilson, NC)

    We got to meet the owner of Southern Spice while doing a demo for our dog treats at a Harris Teeter. He was giving out samples of his relish, and of course my mama happily got in line. He asked which level of spice she wanted. Duh. As hot as you've got, sir. She sampled his original recipe--which uses habaneros--and was so happy because the spicy yet fruity flavor was delicious. She also was so sad because she did not have any water. We've eaten it with cheese and crackers and have used it as a condiment for burgers and chicken sandwiches. 

    Nello's Sauce 
    Hot Pepper Pasta Sauce (Raleigh, NC)

    We connected with Nello's Sauce through social media and finally picked up a bottle of their sauce while my mama was delivering dog treats to Weaver Street Market (Are you sensing a trend here? Mama seems to spend money for human goods while selling doggie goods...I think I need to check our financials.). She of course grabbed the Hot Pepper Pasta Sauce and served it on top of pasta with chicken wrapped in prosciutto. And it.was.glorious. The sauce was the perfect mix of spice and acidity to pair with the saltiness of the prosciutto. Noms.

    We hope this helps you build your host/hostess gift basket for Thanksgiving. Safe travels, pals!

    Woofs & Love,

    Barley

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