When it comes to gifts, beer lovers are pretty easy to please — just give them some really good beer. But the holidays are the time to get a little more creative.
Here are a few ideas for the beer geek on your list.
“Love at the Pub: An Insider’s Guide to Craftsmanship, Conversation, and Community at the Brick Store Pub,” by Mary Jane Mahan (iUniverse, $18.95) is an uplifting view of the beloved beer bar from a Decatur denizen who has been drinking and making friends there since the beginning.
“World’s Best Beers: One Thousand Craft Brews from Cask to Glass” by Ben McFarland (Sterling Innovation, $29.95) offers a fresh take on the contemporary beer scene from the viewpoint of a young British drinks writer, with lively profiles under categories such as “The world’s top ten designer beers.”
“The Beerbistro Cookbook” by Stephen Beaumont and Brian Morin (Key Porter Books, $40) is based on the menu from the renowned beer-centric Toronto restaurant, Beerbistro, with solid recipes, lovely photos, and beer writer Stephen Beaumont’s insights on beer and food pairing.
A subscription to one of the growing number national beer publications, such as All About Beer, Beer Advocate or Draft, makes a perfect stocking stuffer.
The Atlanta-based regional beer paper, Southern Brew News (brewingnews.com, $20/ six issues), offers coverage of breweries, beer bars, and beer events all around the Southeast.
The glossy, new, Atlanta-based magazine, The Beer Connoisseur (beerconnoisseur.com, $21/ four issues, plus online membership), is filled with national and international brewer profiles, beer reviews, beer travel and food stories.
Beer festival tickets
Beer lovers love beer tasting festivals. Naturally, festival tickets — or even better, planning a trip, with hotel and airfare — make a super gift.
The World Beer Festival, Jan. 16 in Columbia SC, features over 250 world class beers, educational seminars, local cuisine, music and entertainment (allaboutbeer.com/gather-for-beer/world-beer-festival/columbia-sc/).
Sweetwater’s Annual “Better Late than Never” Christmas Party, Jan. 31 at the Atlanta brewery promises music, a bit of post holiday madness, and special treats from the brew stash in Sweetwater’s secret cooler (sweetwaterbrew.com).
The Extreme Beer Fest, Feb. 19 & 20, in Boston, MA presents big, rare and downright crazy beers from some of America’s best craft breweries (beeradvocate.com/store/index.php/cPath/21).
Expect to spend $500-$800 for what is sure to be almost any beer lover’s favorite gift — a “kegerator” beer fridge that cools and stores 1/4 barrel or 1/2 barrel kegs and dispenses beer from a tap on top — just like at the pub. Nowadays, kegerators are available at Best Buy and Lowe’s, but you can compare and shop online (kegerator.com).
What gift are you planning to give the beer geek on your list?
What gift are you hoping to receive this holiday season?