The holidays are upon us, and many of us have started thinking about gift buying. One great thing about enjoying craft beer is that so many of my friends do, too. And that makes them easier to shop for. I also like shopping for beer-based holiday gifts, especially when I can do it online and miss the crowds.
Beer of the Month Club—Now with Mendocino Brewing!
Beer of the Month clubs are a great way to easily send samplers of beer to someone, and Mendocino Brewing just found out that The Beer of the Month Club, from Great Clubs, will be featuring Red Tail Ale and Blue Heron Pale in their sampler packs. Now they’ve made my list, and I’m thinking of signing up my dad.
Jim, the Great Clubs guy who reached out to Mendocino Brewing, said they chose Red Tail and Blue Heron based on the evaluations of the company’s Tasting Panel, who taste all the beers before they are considered for admission. The Beer of the Month Club has long been the company’s most popular club, and has been growing alongside the surge in craft beer.
My other favorite gift this year is the uKeg, a pressurized growler that will keep beer properly carbonated from the first pour to the last. The uKeg uses the same small CO2 cartridges found at bakery supply shops, and the guys from GrowlerWerks say just one will keep a growler of beer fresh for up to a month. It has already vastly exceeded its funding goal on Kickstarter, so it’s a safe buy, and the campaign is still running for a few more days—plenty of time to get on board at the inside price. Only one drawback: It won’t actually ship until May.
Beer Advent Calendar
I just came across this idea, and I’ve already bought all the beers and stashed them in the closet. An advent calendar is used to count down the days until Christmas by revealing a hidden image or a small gift each day. My small gifts are a selection of nice beers, each one wrapped individually and numbered with the day to be opened, and I also added some tasting notes. I think this is a great gift, and could be given at any time of the year to count down to a special occasion. (I took my inspiration from here.)
There’s been a recent surge in books about craft beer lately, but I think one of the best all-around is still Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher. It’s a great first book on beer, and it covers everything from styles to sanitation to serving. The book is also really nice to look at, with lots of diagrams and illustrations, and is much more engaging as a print book than an eBook.
Michael Jackson’s books are worthy books, too, but perhaps now more as a classic addition to an already established beer library. More recent, well-received releases include The Audacity of Hops, about the history of the craft beer movement, and The American Craft Beer Cookbook. From my own gift list, I’d add The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd (the Beeroness) and The Oxford Companion to Beer, a beautiful and essential beer book.
For more ideas, All About Beer has a great collection of beer book reviews.
What’s on your list?
What beery gifts are you buying this season? Any new ideas? Let us know in the comments below.
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