A Fresh Growler (or Two)
A growler from a local brewery or beer shop is the gift that keeps on giving. You give a tasty half gallon of beer, and your gift recipient gets to use the growler for refills again and again. Plus, since you actually have to stop by a brewery and hang out while the growler is filled, it’s a great excuse to taste some beer. About $12–$25, depending on the brewery.
Every serious beer drinker wants a proper set of glassware. A well stocked cabinet with tulip, pilsner, snifter, and pint glasses is ready for every type of beer and any occasion. Consider a set of mixed glass styles, or seek out custom glassware from your favorite bar or brewery. We like Spieglau’s line of Beer Classics, as well as the wide range of Libbey glassware. Both are available at many restaurant supply stores or online.
'The Very Many Varieties of Beer' Shirt
If knowledge is what your beer lover is after, there’s no shortage of good beer books out there. Favorites include Garrett Oliver’s The Brewmaster’s Table (a tome about pairing beer with food) and Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer.
If you’ve got a budding homebrewer on your hands, there’s nothing better than Charlie Papazian’s classic Complete Joy of Homebrewing.
Nothing looks better under the tree than an absolutely enormous package, especially when there’s brewing equipment inside. A basic homebrew kit for the novice will set you back about $120 and includes everything a budding brewer needs to get started, including ingredients.
As for the seasoned homebrewer, chances are there are quite a few pieces of equipment on their wish list—the trick is to figure out what. If you can find a way to casually inquire about how they chill their wort, whether they’ve got an all-grain setup, or if they wish they had a bigger brew pot, well done. If not, you can’t go wrong with a case of empty bottles and blank labels, or a set of NSF certified oven mitts.
Check out your local homebrew store or order online through Williams Brewing, whose beer equipment ranges from novice to nanobrewer.
Recycled Bottle Glassware
San Diego-based BottleHood takes empties from local bars and restaurants and spins them into a bold line of glasses, tableware, candles, and jewelry. We love their Stone IPA juice glasses, Rogue Dead Guy candles, tequila bottle vases, and necklace pendants made from brown, blue, and green bottle tops. Starting at $8, available online
Yes, that would be soap made of beer. The Beer Soap Company makes dozens of varieties; in fact, their product line reads like an enticing tap list. This season, their creations include soap made with Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew, Nogne O’s Winter Ale, and Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary imperial stout. A single bar makes a perfect stocking stuffer, while a “six pack” makes a more substantial gift. Starting at $5.50, available online