The holidays are here, so if there’s a craft beer fan or an amateur craft brewer on your holiday gift list that you need to shop for, you can’t wait any longer to make the purchase of that perfect gift. You can’t put a price on happiness, but low and behold, the search is over! Listed here are our own choices and recommendations for beer-themed gifts that every craft beer fan and amateur craft brewer are certain to appreciate and enjoy. These are the best gifts for beer lovers, they just happen to be made by beer nerds, made for beer nerds, and are now recommended to you by beer nerds:
1. HOME BREW KITS
Brewer’s Best® offers approximately fifty home brew kits that make five gallons of craft beer, with recipes for everything from “IPA” to “American Pale Ale” to “Weizenbier.” Many of the same varieties are also available from the company in one-gallon kits. Brewer’s Best® also offers equipment kits that contain everything a beginning craft brewer needs to make beer at home except a stainless steel boiling pot, the bottles, and the caps. A Brewer’s Best® kit is the ideal gift for that friend who loves beer and likes to experiment, and you’ll avoid the popular but dreaded “Mr. Beer” kits that are now being sold everywhere.
2. BOOKS ON BEER HISTORY AND BEER CULTURE
People who love their beer also love to learn more about it. If there’s a craft beer lover on your gift list, give that person John J. Palmer’s How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time. It’s a great gift idea for the rookie home brewer. Experienced home brewers treat Palmer’s book as the Bible of home brewing. Some other volumes currently available that beer lovers and amateur brewers will enjoy include:
• Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels
• The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer by William Bostwick
• Beer in America: The Early Years 1587-1840 by Gregg Smith
• The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution by Tom Acitelli
• Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher
• Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer by Pete Brown
• Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle
• The Craft Beer Revolution by Steve Hindy
• So You Want to Start a Brewery? by Tony Magee
3. A BREWERY TOUR
Beer lovers will always enjoy the gift of a tour of the local brewery. In 2014, an estimated ten million people toured the more than 4,000 craft breweries that now operate in the United States. When the Brewers Association completed its most recent yearly survey of U.S. breweries, 92.8 percent responded that they offer brewery tours. In a number of cities, you can even spend the day on a “brew bus” and tour several area breweries or charter a brew bus and create your own craft beer adventure. Another good thing about brewery tours is that both men and women will enjoy this gift.
4. HOP RHIZOMES
Hop rhizomes will be deeply appreciated by the home brewer who wants to grow his or her own hops. Technically, hop rhizomes are not in season until March, but you can find them online out of season and purchase them as gifts to be stored until spring. There’s a wide variety of top hop rhizomes available for online purchase. Hop plants are easy to grow from hop rhizomes, and they can be cultivated in almost any climate.
5. CRAFT BEER OF THE MONTH CLUB
Who wouldn’t want a gift membership in the U.S. Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club? The website of the Club says, “You or your gift recipient will enjoy” award-winning, hard-to-find craft beers, selections by a panel of brewmasters, international variety, detailed tasting notes and brewery profiles, and flexible gift ordering. Members receive “quality, exciting, and innovative craft beers” each month – a dozen 12-ounce hand-crafted beers or up to six 750-milliliter bottles, along with the Club’s informative monthly newsletter.
6. SEASONAL AND RARE BEER COLLECTIONS
GiveThemBeer.com delivers exceptional and unique beer gifts to beer lovers, shipping across the United States. Their beer gift baskets provide a genuine craft beer experience featuring top-rated craft beer from the nation’s most popular craft breweries. Most baskets for order include a dozen bottles. You might also want to consider a beer bouquet or Seasonal Beer Bundle from Craved In London, a delicious selection of seasonal specials rolled out just for the holidays. The U.S. Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club (above) also offers some special seasonal and rare beer collections to members.
7. BEER STEINS, MUGS, AND GLASS SETS
Beer lovers always appreciate sturdy and attractive beer steins, mugs, and glass sets. GermanSteins.com offers a wide variety of unique designs and in hundreds of German beer steins, hand-painted and carefully crafted. Their selection includes Oktoberfest beer steins, Christmas, military, historical, German heritage, sports, castle, and nautical-themed designs featuring lively characters.
TrueBeer.com offers a wide selection of beer mugs in a number of sizes and designs for everyday use – excellent for serving craft beers of every style and kind. Beer mugs are designed to keep the beer cold longer than other glassware. Thick glass keeps beer cold, and a good handle on a mug keeps you from warming the beer with your hand. Consider buying your beer-loving friend a stein or mug this season that he or she will use and enjoy for years to come.
8. ODDS AND ENDS
If you haven’t seen anything here that’s right for a friend – or if your beer-loving friend is also slightly eccentric – check out these odd and obscure beer-related gift items:
• The Lager Logger from Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing is a beer geek’s dream journal to help beer lovers track the newest beers and alcohol they’re trying.
• A bar of Allagash Beer Soap from the Allagash Brewing Company will remind your friends of their favorite beverage even when they take a shower.
• How about a bottle of Smoked Porter BBQ Sauce from the Stone Brewing Company? Stone Brewing’s Smoked Porter is a great beer, and now it’s a great BBQ sauce too. This gift is family friendly too.
• Finally, the Shmaltz Funky Bottle Opener from the Shmaltz Brewing Company is a hefty and reliable bottle opener that also puts instant smiles on everyone’s face.
Along with the gift recommendations and ideas that we’ve listed here, there’s one more important suggestion this holiday season: Please drink responsibly. We very much want you to enjoy craft beers, and especially our own products, and we want you to continue enjoying them throughout the holidays and into the new year. Happy gift shopping and Happy Holidays!