Sunday, December 10, 2017

What to Get the Beer Drinker in Your Life

The short answer is: beer.

You could get a funny t-shirt or a mug with something clever on it but if you're wondering what to get the beer lover in your life, consider getting them beer. That's what they really want. If you're traveling, bring cans, bottles or crowlers of your favorite local craft beer, especially if it's something that haven't had before. If you or your beer drinking recipient are not yet into craft beer, head to a bottle shop for advice on what to try. You could buy a six pack of their favorite beer but it's Christmas, after all; try something new and different. Your local bottle shop, and even larger places such as Total Wine and BevMo!, have experts who can guide you. (But I'm for keeping it local whenever possible.)

If you're flying, check whether your airport has a brewery - right there in the airport! If you find something they like, they will look forward to the annual treat. (For my friends in Phoenix, please bring Morning Brew from O.H.S.O. Brewery!)

If you're long distance but can't travel, look into whether your beer drinker's local brewery or tap house offers gift cards. They're easy to mail and fit nicely in a stocking. You might also consider beer making kits which are available online. You can find a good selection on Uncommon Goods. You might be able to locate a local home brewing supply shop such as Bader Beer and Wine Supply (Vancouver WA). A starter kit there runs $40 and makes one gallon of home brew. (Refills are $16-$19.) Or check into a beer making class for $25.

At $450-$2,000 a PicoBrew will make beer and virtually clean up after itself. As an added feature, it can also cook your food when it's not brewing beer, sous vide style. (That's what we used to call boil-in-bag.)

Learning more about beer is always good. A subscription to a regional brewing news source can be found at Brewing News Store where a one-year subscription is $20. I also like Sip Northwest which also covers wine, spirits, and travel, in addition to beer. That subscription is $19 or free with a subscription to Washington Beer Lovers (WABL) which is an excellent gift in itself at $30. Another excellent publication is BeerAdvocate for $30. The ultimate beer resource may be The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth. You can get that on Amazon for $15.

Glassware that helps you enjoy the beer does not require a logo. The official glass for beer judging competitions is actually a plastic cup. But in your living room, you can use a glass. Glassware that leaves room for a tall head, allows you to swirl the beer, and allows you to smell the aroma without inhaling the beer is what to look for. A Bordeaux glass works just fine.

BeerAdvocate offers advice on different styles of glassware specific to different styles of beer which you can find online at a variety of sources (Amazon, KegWorks, Crate & Barrel, etc.) Reidel offers a few choices but if you want to boil it down to a single, all-around glass, consider this one from Teku available from True Beer.

For glassware that keeps on giving, find a local brewery that still has openings in their mug club. Prices vary but can be as high as $100 (or more). Mug club benefits include discounts on beers, growler fills, and/or merchandise as well as invitations to private events. Check into your beer drinkers favorite local brewery for details and availability.

There's nothing wrong with funny t-shirts but if you really want to score this Christmas, buy your friend a beer or something that allows them to enjoy it more. Drink, be merry, and be of good beer.

1 comment:

best decanter designs said...

Thank you so much! guess it’s not the worst scenario lol! A Designated driver is mandatory if you’re going to drink alot 🙂