Okay, you have a beer enthusiast on your list and you’re stumped. Don’t worry. I know it seems hard, but it’s really not. Last year I recommended magazine subscriptions, beer movies, beer books, Beer of the Month Club membership, and a few more things. I can only assume that your beer guru already has those things by now, so I’ve come up with a new list of fun, cheery, and beery ideas for you this holiday season.
I had to get a little more creative with this list to keep things fresh, but I simply thought to myself, what would I want?
Here we go.
A wall-mounted bottle opener – Forget the key chain opener. Your beer lover already has 3 of them, guaranteed. I purchased a wall mounted bottle opener after my tour of the Point Brewery in Stevens Point, WI once and I still love being able to open the fridge, reach over, and pop that beer open in one swift motion. It’s just a simple pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.
A favorite style beer tasting – You may not know all of the beers they like, but you likely know a favorite style. Is he a stout fanatic? Does she grin at the thought of an IPA? You can create a great mix-and-match six pack of beer at most decent beer stores these days. Grab as many of one style as you can and watch as your beer lover compares old favorites to new brands. If you’re my Secret Santa, I’d like Scotch ales, please.
A Gift Card Tour – Okay, there are two kinds of gift cards. First, there are the biggies that let you go to a favorite place and go nuts. I rarely get these. More often, I get gift cards that won’t really cover a trip to the destination venue, but that’s okay. See, smaller gift cards are like ready made excuses to go to your favorite bar or restaurant. For instance, in Sioux Falls, you might get $10 to Monk’s House of Ale Repute, Old Chicago, Granite City, Nutty’s (North or South), Latitude 44, plus one for a really great package store. How cool would that be?
A beer making kit – If your beer lover hasn’t started down the path of homebrewing, this one is perfect. However, don’t go for the discount store “Mr. Beer” kits. Go to a shop that carries quality home brewing supplies. In the Sioux Falls area I know that Good Spirits and Fogies Liquor both have these. You only need the $65 (or so) kit to get started. Then, pick a beer recipe kit and watch the obsession begin!
Signage – It’s true. Just like people love to decorate their kitchens in a wine theme, we beer nuts can get lost in dreams of pub decor. From Leinenkugel canoe paddles to Landshark surfboards to a crazy variety of tap handles or even neon signs you can definitely find one to please your brew pal.
Plan a beercation – I’m not talking about a pilgrimage to Munich for Oktoberfest here, though it’s a brilliant idea if you can pull it off. How about a trip to Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, OH or La Crosse, WI? Maybe you want to brave the elements at Bockfest in August Schell Brewery in New Ulm, MN en early March. You could even simplify it more by heading towards a favorite brewery like Lucky Bucket or Crow Peak. Contact the brewery ahead of time and see if you can make it an extra special event! Warning: This gift has possible side effects of teary eyes and exclamations of “I love you!”
And last but not least…
That hard-to-get specialty brew – Each year around this time brewery’s put out limited edition bottles that are either hard to stumble upon or just a bit more than the average person feels like spending on a bottle of brew. Samuel Adams just released Infinium, a Champagne beer that could be fascinating. Odell Deconstruction Ale is a fascinating beer that comes in a bit more expensive than the norm. Really, you could ask most good beer store employees and they should be able to give you an idea or two.