Think you’ve left your Christmas shopping late? Pah! Never fear, you’ve still got plenty of time. But just to help you on your way, we’ve picked out some of our favourite gifts from some of Birmingham’s finest independent designers, brands, shops and food and drink producers for a Christmas gift guide with a Brummie twist…
Broker’s Gin (70cl), £19.15
Though Langley’s is the gin most commonly associated with Birmingham, the multi-award winning Broker’s “London” Gin also hails, surprisingly, from the mighty West Midlands. If you need any more reason to buy it than deliciousness and provenance, it’s still made in a big old copper pot called ‘Constance’. Cute.
Buy Broker’s and Langley’s gins from Loki Wine in the Great Western Arcade, Birmigham city centre. Broker’s is also available to order online from The Whisky Exchange.
Pip’s Hot Sauce, from £3.50
Found at Provide Shop, the Hare & Hounds in King’s Heath and food events across the city, Pip’s hot sauces are about as Brummie a gift as it gets. Choose the smoky, cockle-warming La Barbacoa or blow loved ones’ Christmas stockings off with the ominously-named La Boca Del Diablo. Either way, there’s great flavour underneath the heat – add to sauces, transform an unsure midweek meal or just put it on your chips.
Sauces start from £3.50. Order online at www.pipshotsauce.co.uk or pick up from Provide Shop (Great Western Arcade) or the Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath.
Two Towers Brewery three-bottle gift pack, £8.50
Rooted in both nostalgic affection for Tolkien’s Edgbaston and respect for the Jewellery Quarter’s industrial past, Two Towers beer tastes of the city’s diverse and complex influences. They’ve made a rich porter specially for Christmas, and even deliver for free if you spend over £17. Presentation packs also make an ideal gift for £8.50.
Two Towers ales are available at Stirchley Wines & Spirits, Pershore Road, or visit the the Two Towers Brewery website for a list of local stockists. You can also order by phone direct from the brewery on 0121 439 7253.
Independent Birmingham Card, from £12
Quite literally the gift that keeps on giving, the Independent Birmingham card earns you ongoing discounts at many of the city’s best independent bars, eateries, shops and venues.
And if you get in quick and order yours before December 12 then you can enjoy a tasty discount, with the special pre-Chrimbo prices of £12 (usually £15) or two for £18 (usually £20) for a year of discounts.
Available to buy at Peel & Stone, Six Eight Kafe and Urban Coffee Company (Church Street), or order online.
P&Co Winter Essentials Gift Set, £76
One of Birmingham’s most exciting fashion and lifestyle brands, P&Co have marked an impressive year with the opening of their first retail shop in Great Western Arcade. As well as offering their uber-stylish range of industrial inspired clothing, P&Co also design a variety of lifestyle accessories, which make perfect gifts for those with taste.
The Winter Essentials Gift Set (£76) includes a comb, tan leather card holder, beanie, notebook and leather key fob – a veritable host of British-made treats for well groomed gentlemen, worth £126 if bought separately. They also stock a Coffee Gift Set (£35), including coffee roasted and ground right here in Birmingham, along with a distinctive skull design travel mug.
Available from P&Co Number 18, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham city centre, or online at www.pand.co.
Milque & Muhle t-shirt, £18
We’re all for supporting Birmingham’s record stores. Of course, popping in and buying some records is the best way to do this, but you can also show off your love for Digbeth-based vinyl specialists Milque & Muhle with this natty black t-shirt. Just don’t forget to pick up some vinyl while you’re there.
Available from Milque & Muhle, The Custard Factory, or online at the Milque & Muhle website.
Working Clasp jewellery, from £5
Wear your Brummie or YamYam heritage with pride, with one of these iconic local phrases emblazoned across your person. The distinctive ‘taraabit’ and ‘alrightbab’ necklaces are lasercut and made by Birmingham-based jewellery makers Working Clasp. Also check out the more subtle exclamation mark and question mark necklaces (£15/£14) full stop earrings (£5) and the seasonal snowflake necklace (£14).
Working Clasp jewellery is available from the Ikon Gallery shop in Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, or online at the Working Clasp website.
Positively Birmingham (5th edition), £20
The unveiling of the sparking new New Street Station and Grand Central shopping centre has capped another year of dramatic change for Birmingham. And Jonathan Berg – a scientist by day and photographer by night – has captured some of the city’s most eye-catching views in a brand new coffee table book. Now in its fifth edition, Positively Birmingham includes striking images of architecture, people, places and hidden spaces, spanning the 25 years since the first edition was produced.
Positively Birmingham is available from various stockists in Birmingham, including Foyles, John Lewis, the Library of Birmingham and Ikon Gallery.
Words by Kitty Sadler and Chris Moriarty