If you’re looking for something for that beer geek in your family, and don’t want to get them some Beer Boxers, then here are more than a few ideas. If you are the beer geek in the family, perhaps you could leave this list lying around or leave it up on your computer screen for someone to find.
Great Craft Beer
Well, the most obvious gift for the beer geek is beer. If you’re not familiar with craft beer, a good rule of thumb would be to find something that’s around $10 or more a 6-pack, and it might be even better if it comes in a 4-pack at that price. A single bottle might be easier, so something in the $7 or more a bottle range. Another helpful tip is to look for anything that is rare, limited, or barrel aged. Beer geeks usually love the exclusive stuff.
Brew Your Own Beer Kit
There’s only one thing better than making your very own beer, and that’s drinking it. Beer lovers can enjoy the best of both worlds by brewing their own beer. It’s much simpler than you might think, and kits vary from the low-cost, easy to use Mr. Beer Kit, all the way up to a Complete Homebrew Beer Making Kit. With either type of kit you can make anything from your favorite hoppy IPA to dark black stouts. Buy the complete Homebrew Beer Making Kit here or a Mr. Beer Home Microbrewery here.
The Oxford Companion to Beer Book
This book, in the Oxford Companion series, is a bit pricey, but it packs a ton of beer information into 960 pages. Edited by Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, a group of 166 contributors put together information on everything from brewing history to food pairings and beer styles. Some have called it a new encyclopedia of beer, and it’s at the top of the list of new books out for beer connoisseurs. Buy the hardback here for around $40 or the Kindle edition for $16.
A Beer Tasting Notebook
With thousands of new craft beers hitting the scene every year, it can be hard, even for the biggest beer geek, to remember what each of them tastes like. That’s why many beer geeks keep a tasting journal – to remind themselves of things like: color, mouthfeel, taste, aroma, and more. This helps to keep track of what beers you’ve tried, as well as what you thought of each one. Really, you can’t call yourself a beer geek unless you’re keeping track of what you’ve had. We recommend this one from our friend Dave at 33 Books because it fits easily into your pocket and has a cool graphic chart to track your taste preferences. Buy a beer journal here, starting at $7
The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. Book
Written by Greg Koch, brewmaster at Stone Brewing, along with co-founder Steve Wagner and spokesman Randy Clemens, Stone has never been shy about promotion craft beer, especially their own. In The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance they share a little bit about the brewery’s history, philosophies, and several recipes which incorporate Stone’s beers. Known for beers with names like Arrogant Bastard and Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, their beers are good, and you’ll read plenty about what makes them so. Buy it here for around $20
Beer Tasting and Hops Appreciation Kit
This kit will teach you how to savor beer aroma and flavor with this complete hops kit, a unique and enlightening beer gift. It includes everything you need to taste the hop flavors you’ve been missing. It’ll help to train your nose and palate to recognize the complexities of your favorite brews and will bring your beer tasting to the next level. The kit includes 13 different hops to allow you to detect the hop flavors and aroma in beer, an aroma palate cleanser, a quick start guide, a beer color swatch chart, a hop cheat sheet, and a beer appreciation guide. Buy it here for around $50
Tasting Beer Book
Author Randy Mosher teaches some of the top brewers in the world on this topic at the Siebel Institute of Technology. In this book he explores and explains the tasting experience, guiding readers to a better understanding of how every batch of beer is affected by recipe formulation, brewhouse procedures, yeasts, fermentations, carbonation, filtration, packaging, and much more. You’ll learn to identify the scents, colors, flavors, and mouth-feel of all the major beer styles. No matter what you’re experience is with beer serving and tasting, we guarantee you’ll learn something from this book. Buy it here for around $12.
Beer Ingredients Books
If you want to learn a lot about the ingredients that make up beer, these are the most comprehensive series of books on the topic. The Brewing Elements series from Brewers Publications is a resource for homebrewers to professionals. The first in the series is Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation. The next was For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness andthe Culture of Hops, which explains the nature and origins of hops. Just last year Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers, came out. The final book in the series will obviously be about grain, and is due to be released sometime in the next year or so. You can buy each of the books for around $15.
Beer Connoisseur Glasses Gift Set
Studies have shown that glassware can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of beer, and in particular how flavors and aromas come across. This Connoisseur’s set of four beer glasses from Spiegelau are lead-free crystal, and are great for any occasion. The set includes a stemmed pilsner, lager, wheat beer, and tall pilsner glass. Each glass in the Beer Classics collection is designed to enhance a specific style of beer and maximize their appearance, aroma, taste and mouth feel. Each glass holds a standard 12 ounce bottle of beer, leaving ample room for the formation of the frothy head. Buy them here for around $40
A Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler
The next best thing to brewing your own beer, is having beer always on tap at home. You can go for a full size kegerator for around $400, which will hold a standard half barrel, or you can try a smaller Krups BeerTender (seen here) which holds a small Heineken draft keg for around $100. Either way, it’s nice to be able to serve yourself a cold draft beer anytime you want one. Get a full size kegerator for around $400, or get the Krups BeerTender for around $100.
Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah Book
Schmaltz Brewing founder Jeremy Cowan tells he story of how the nation’s first and only Jewish Celebration beer came to fruition – how it went from an inside joke, into a thriving and award-winning craft brewing company. Included in Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How It Took 13 Years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to Make Shmaltz Brewing an International Success are lessons he learned growing the business and some humorous personal anecdotes. For good measure, there are suggested beer pairings for each chapter, a hangover rating system, and 16 pages of full-color photograph collages. Buy it here for around $20
1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die
A bucket list for beer lovers, this book includes the world’s best beers – from Europe’s classics to the latest microbrews. The book focuses on the world of premium beers—from obscure labels to such traditional yet supremely local brands as Shiner (Austin, Texas), from Czech pilsners to German lagers, Belgian wheat beers, and Trappists ales, not to mention the classic British porters and Irish stouts—every type of beer is covered, making this the “go-to” volume for serious beer lovers. It features critical tasting notes and subjective assessments that will help match the right beer to the right occasion. Buy it here for around $30
Beer Travel Bag
There are many craft beers that are only available in certain parts of the country, so beer geeks will often try to bring beer back with them during their travels. However, it’s not always easy to safely pack beer in your luggage. These travel bags are made for wine, but work just as well for beer. The padded bags not only help to cushion blows from baggage handlers, but also absorb the liquid should the bottle break – saving your clothes from stains. The bags are resealable, reusable, and biodegradable. They are also made in the U.S.A., and you can buy them here for around $15 for a pack of 3 bags.
Sauces Made with Beer
The folks at Stone Brewing make some pretty bold sauces with their bold beers. They have a BBQ Sauce made with Stone Levitation Ale, as well as Arrogant Bastard Ale Hot Sauces. All of their sauces are brewed, stewed and bottled on the edge of the Pacific Ocean – just a few short miles from the Stone brewery. You can buy the sauces for under $20.
Stainless Steel Growler
Growlers are a convenient way of being able to take home some fresh draft beer from local brewery. These growlers are not only stylish, but can keep hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold for more than 12 hours. The double-wall technology also prevents condensation on the exterior of the bottle as well as any kind of temperature transfer from whichever type of beverage the bottle is holding, regardless of whether it is hot or cold. Get this stainless Steel Growler for around $25.
Once you get the growler filled, you’ve got to get it home, but how do you do that safely. For the car you can use this handy Growler on Board, which is made of low density foam, giving it insulation similar to a can koozie. If you’re on your bike, you’re not out of luck, there’s a Growler Cage you can buy to tote your growler along with you.
A Cool Bottle Opener
Most craft beers don’t have twist off caps, so you’ll need a bottle opener. Why not get one that serves a dual function, one that’s easy to carry, or one that’s just cool to use. There’s something for every interest, whether you’re a fan of Stone Brewery’s style, Thor, Star Wars (or this Star Wars one), or biking and hiking. There’s just about everything you can think of – a ring, an iPhone case, and even a pair of sandals with a bottle opener built into it. Finally, there’s the classic church key. If you get stuck without a bottle opener, you can read the Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Man Skills, to teach you how to open a bottle without an opener.
The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution Book
In 1975, there was one craft brewery in the United States; today, there are more than 2,300. The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution is based on thorough research as well as interviews with all of the most influential names in craft brewing since the 1960s. This book was called an “Excellent history of the American craft brewing movement,” by Slate Magazine, and currently has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Buy this book today for around $15.
The World Atlas of Beer
This comprehensive, fully illustrated volume on beer is more than just an in-depth history, it’s also a detailed overview of more than 500 of the greatest beers from around the world, with sections devoted to major beer-producing countries and regions, including information on craft brewing, emerging markets, extreme beers, future-trend forecasts, and more. Buy the book here for around $20.
Soap and More Made from Beer
If you love to drink it, why not bathe in it? Bath soap made with craft beer of every variety, from IPA to wheat and stouts. Some have real ground up hops, so it’ll smell just like a hop farm in the shower. Need to wash your hair? Try BROO, a style of shampoo made with craft beer – it also comes in styles from Pale Ale to Porter. You can also make your lips even more kissable with some Sierra Nevada Hops-N-Mint lip balm made with their beer and hops.
Shower Beer Buddy
Does your beer lover take their craft beer everywhere? We mean, everywhere… If a shower beer is necessary, the Shower Beer Buddy lets you do it with class. It suctions on to any flat surface to hold your cold beer while you enjoy a hot shower. No more fumbling around, trying to find the perfect place to balance your beer so that it doesn’t get suds in it. Buy one here for around $10.
Food and Craft Beer
Some say that good craft beer is like a meal, so why not combine it with food. You can make your own beer bread with a mix from Tastefully Simple, or get some gourmet beer cheese to put on your beer bread sandwich. In fact, Rogue Ales has their own creamery, and makes some excellent Rogue Creamery cheeses. How about something sweet like beer brittle or hop candy. You don’t necessarily have to have beer in your food. You can make an excellent beer pairing with the help of The Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking with Craft Beer Book.
If there’s anything we missed, please let us know and we’ll be sure to add it to the ultimate craft beer lovers gift guide.