BEER LOVERS are easy when it comes to holiday shopping. A sixpack will make them happy, a case will have them naming their firstborn in your honor.
Still stuck on ideas? Read on.
FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS: A box of St. Nick’s favorite Oregon-made Christmas beers, including BridgePort Ebenezer Ale, Deschutes Jubelale, Full Sail Wassail, McTarnahan’s Hum Bug’r, Widmer’s Brrr! and Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue, with salted pretzels. (OregonMaidenGiftBaskets.com. $49.99. )
FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN ZOMBIES: “The Walking Dead” pint glasses from TavernCraft.com. The supplier also offers some very wonky ceramic tankards with Azeroth’s Murlocs from the World of Warcraft. (Starting at $29.99. )
FOR THE HOLIER THAN THOU: Bottles from all seven Trappist monastery breweries. You may have to visit several beer stores to track them all down, and one of them (Westvleteren 12) is almost impossible to find in America. But nobody would turn down a sixpack composed of Chimay Grande Reserve, Rochefort 10, Achel Trappist Extra, Orval Trappist Ale, Westmalle Dubbel and La Trappe Quadrupel.
FOR THE GADGET GURU: The Shoot-a-Brew Cooler. You’ve seen it on YouTube – it’s the remote-controlled beer cooler that can sling a can of your favorite brew across the room. The cooler is just going into production, so if you order it now, it won’t be delivered till after the holidays. (ShootABrew.com. $295. )
FOR THE KNOW-IT-ALL: Tuition at Philly Beer School. The Fairmount institution holds classes on specialty beers, home brewing, food pairing and other topics. Graduates earn a Magna Cum Lager. (Vinology.com. From $39.99. )
FOR THOSE WHO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY: Beer-of-the-month club membership. Give the gift that keeps on giving all year ’round. Look for clubs whose selection goes beyond the ordinary. Here are two I can recommend: beeronthewall.com and rarebeerclub.com. (Starting at $22.95. )
Note: Pennsylvania law forbids beer-by-mail deliveries. However, the law is apparently unenforced. Both UPS and Fed-Ex are now delivering to authorized signers (must be at least 21).
FOR SANTA’S WORKSHOP I: A home-brew kit. Home-brew shops will assemble everything needed for that first, great brew: a fermentation tub, tubing, air locks, hydrometer, bottle capper, ingredients and – most importantly – instructions. (About $75, complete. )
FOR SANTA’S WORKSHOP II: The Clone kit. Oregon’s Rogue Ales shares its love – and ingredients – through an all-in-one kit that allows homebrewers to make their own version of its Dead Guy Ale. Each kit makes five gallons. (Homebrewers.com. $45.95. )
FOR TOASTING: A pair of New Belgium beer glasses.
New Belgium from Fort Collins, Colo., known for its Fat Tire Amber Ale, is one of the darlings of American craft beer. Give a boxed set of glassware and your gift recipient will surely want to share a cold one with you. (NewBelgium.com. $5.95, free shipping. )
FOR THE CRAFTY: Anything from Etsy. Just search for “beer” at this website devoted to artists and crafters, and you’ll find an incredible array of gifts made with the beer drinker in mind: Bottle-cap jewelry, beer koozies, beer soap and original art prints. Search for “karenlaneart” and check out the very cool stainless steel cases decorated with old beer ads. (etsy.com. From 50 cents to $100. )
FOR THE DECORATOR: Duff Beer lights. Light up your Christmas tree with a string of lights that only Homer could love. (Amazon.com. $30. )
FOR YOUR GRANDFATHER: Retro T-shirts.
Imperial IPAs? Russian imperial stout? The old man just scratches his head at all that newfangled beer. Instead, give him a shirt or hat from long-gone Esslinger’s of Philadelphia or doggone good Frankenmuth from Michigan, and he’ll be remembering the good ol’ days. (Yesterbeer.com or Retrophilly.com. $13 and up. )
STOCKING STUFFERS: Anything with a brewery logo: Dogfish Head iPhone skin ($15), Stone Arrogant Bastard belt buckle ($28), Flying Dog cookbook ($5), Terrapin Rye Pale Ale lip balm ($3), Pyramid ThunderHead tap handle ($35), Anchor Christmas Ale poster ($6), Great Divide stainless steel bar wrench ($5), Victory Brewing dog collar ($9.75), Great Lakes Post-it notes ($2.95). (Check brewery websites. )