You’re a little bit behind on your holiday shopping, huh? That’s okay. This was one of those weird years when winter didn’t start until three days before Christmas, and what kind of overachieving neurotic worries about Christmas shopping in the fall? But now that the sun has done its official solsticial thing, the fact that in most of the United States it’s still 20 degrees warmer than it should be is no longer an excuse. It’s high time you start begging, borrowing, or stealing last-minute gifts for the beer lover in your life.
Pint glasses are durable and stackable and great at holding 16 ounces of draft beer in a bar. But most of us don’t technically live at a bar. Pint glasses are decidedly less useful at home, so consider getting the tasteful beer lover in your life a couple of snifters, tulips, or maybe these cool TeKu glasses. I’m not 100 percent sold on the science of glassware design, but I do know that some cups look cooler than others, and that’s reason enough.
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The Bruery’s Bottle Stopper
An honorable beer drinker always endeavors to finish what she starts, but sometimes circumstances conspire against even the most noble among us, which is why it’s nice to have a means of preserving the last few sips of a bottle for a later date. Any old wine-bottle stopper will do the job, but this little doohickey from The Bruery looks cooler than most.
“The Comic Book Story of Beer”
This fun and informative book was coauthored by Mike Smith, formerly of Back East Brewing Company, and it provides a concise, easy-to-digest history of the world’s most important food.
Membership in a Mug Club
Saturday afternoon I was lucky enough to stumble into the Abandoned Building Brewery in Easthampton, Massachusetts. I recommend the Hydra Pale Ale to anyone who passes through town, and I recommend the Mug Club to anyone who intends to stick around. A measly hundred bucks gets you a year’s worth of 20-ounce pours at the 16-ounce price. At $6 a pint, that’s a free $1.50 in beer, which means it only takes 66 rounds for the mug club to pay for itself, making it an excellent deal for anyone who might drink, say, 67 beers in a calendar year. (Plus you get a t-shirt.) See if the brewery closest to your beer-lover offers a similar program.
It’s messy and time-consuming and not nearly as cost-effective as you think it’s going to be, but every dedicated beer drinker should brew at least one batch of beer, if for no other reason then for the educational component. Plus, who knows, maybe your giftee will be one of those weirdoes who actually likes the process!
Randy Mosher’s book is an indispensable guide for the beer-lover who aspires to have any idea what he’s talking about.
They’re expensive and impractical and, when used as directed, they get you drunk! What’s not to love about a magnum (or more!) of fancy beer? I want to give someone a giant bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12. Any volunteers?
Running beer through a coffee press spiked with additives—commonly herbs and spices, but why not peanut butter cups?—is weird as hell and also highly recommended.
The easiest way to feel like a million bucks is to strap on a brand-new pair of socks. What does this have to do with beer? This is not the time for stupid questions, junior. This is the time to buy socks for someone you love.
Why pay for fancy craft IPA when you can get the same flavor by simply adding a few drops of grapefruit bitters to a can of Schlitz? (Note: This does not replicate the experience of drinking IPA in any appreciable sense, but it’s still fun and delicious!) Bitters make an ideal gift, because they’re sort of expensive but they also last forever and don’t take up much space. And for real, there’s no more effective way to class up an otherwise uninspiring beer.