7 Holiday Gifts for the Beer-Obsessed
Everyone has that one relative or friend who absolutely loves beer—the one who reads beer message boards and can distinguish between any hop varietal known to man. If you’ve got a beer geek on your holiday shopping list, here are some gifts that will have them raising a pint to you:
1. Beer cellar: Oenophiles aren’t the only ones who cellar and age their favorite bottles. If your brew-loving pal is a fan of big, chewy imperial stouts or barrel-aged ales, give him or her the gift of temperature-controlled storage. If it’s a really special person, stock it full of Deschutes Abyss. EdgeStar’s beverage chiller has adjustable shelves that will accommodate bombers and a transparent glass door so that guests can ogle your collection.
2. Proper glassware: Make your buddy’s day by gifting him glassware as diverse as his palate. Never again will he have to drink saison from a dimple mug. Williams-Sonoma’s set of Spiegelau IPA glasses are perfect for the hophead on your list, but get him two snifters from Founders Brewing and maybe he’ll share some of that Kentucky Breakfast Stout he’s been hoarding.
3. The Craft Beer Revolution, by Steve Hindy: This isn’t another coffee-table book for your bookish beer friend. It’s no secret that American brewing has come a long way since the dark days following Prohibition, and Hindy’s new book tells the story of a small group of brewers and entrepreneurs who led the way. Hindy should know a thing or two about his subject; he’s the co-founder of New York’s pioneering Brooklyn Brewery.
4. A hop plant: If your beer geek lives in a warm climate, and has space to spare and a green thumb, he might just enjoy growing his own hops. Not only does Humulus lupulus impart delicious qualities to beer, it also smells wonderful on the vine.
5. Beer of the Month Club subscription: Who doesn’t like having new beers from around the world delivered to their doorstep? Make sure to find a reputable company that handles their product with care. The Bruery, a style-bending brewery in California, offers a quarterly beer club that gives members exclusive access to some of the most unique barrel-aged, sour and experimental beers in the country. This is the gift that keeps on giving.
6. Beer randall: Is your drinking buddy also a homebrewer? If so, he’ll love having a handy gadget through which he can create flavor-infused ales with everything from orange zest and chocolate to hickory or mint. Dogfish Head sells a high-end one with bells and whistles for the serious home brewer, but they also sell a “junior” version for single-serving pleasure.
7. A night out on your dime: At the end of the day, a good beer is always better with good company. Treat your pal to a beer (or several) at the bar or brewery of their choice.