Joe Sixpack’s Holiday Gift Guide

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BEER IS the Everyman’s drink, which is to say that at this time of year, there’s a beer gift for Every Man (and Woman).

For the newbie: Let Me Tell You About Beer: A Beginner’s Guide to All Things Brewed ($19.07, by British beer expert Melissa Cole is a fine reading, paired with a snifter of Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12 spiced Belgian-style ale.

For the snooty: Wine Caddy Sculptures ($29 and up, are handmade metal art pieces intended to hold bottles of Château de Snob. Substitute that with a corked Winter Wheat Wine Ale, with a pair of etched wine glasses ($35), available at Iron Hill Brewery locations.

For the frat boy: Beer Tube ($139, fills up with 100 ounces of brew, which makes for either a fine party or way too much for one sophomore. Fill it with Narragansett Porter, one of the great values on shelves right now.

For the frat boy who’s majoring in English: Intoxerated by Paul Dickson ($14.95, Melville House) is a completely absurd, 206-page dictionary of synonyms for the word “drunk.” A sixpack of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot will provide further inspiration.

For the old-timer: A “Good Old Esslinger’s” T-shirt (, $10) is a nod to Philadelphia’s brewing heritage. Wrap it around a bomber of Winter Wunder, bottled at the 19th-century plant now operated by Philadelphia Brewing. Wrap it with a poster of the city’s 1896 breweries from local beer historian Rich Wagner (, $15).

For the terminally clumsy: The Bräuler ($50, is an insulated, indestructible growler that will replace those glass jugs you’ve been toting to local brewpubs for draft beer to go. It’s sold locally at Pinocchio’s (131 E. Baltimore Ave., Media), where it can be filled with vintage Troegs Mad Elf while supplies last.

For the bartender wannabe: Black & Tan Extravagan ($11.95, is one of those gadgets for pouring a perfect half-and-half. It’s also a bottle opener, so stuff in a box with a Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and a Rogue Irish Lager.

For the mutt: Pop Tag ($16, is a personalized dog collar ID and a bottle opener. Fetch it with a bottle of Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale.

For the do-gooder: The Glass That Gives ($8.99, is a pair of fancy snifters from philanthropic-minded New Belgium Brewing, who gives a buck from each purchase to nonprofit groups. Run down I-95 to State Line Liquors (Elkton, Md.), the nearest location for a sixpack of Snow Day winter ale.

For the do-it-yourselfer: How to Make Your Own Brewskis by Jordan St. John and Mark Murphy ($12.99, Barrons) is an entry-level home-brew guide. Brew Like a Pro by Dave Miller ($18.95, Storey) is light on recipes and heavy on practical advice for those who think of brewing as more than just a hobby. Use a gift certificate from an area home-brew shop as a bookmark.

For the “I know, I know” Quizzo expert: Pub Trivia ($30,, a home version of the barroom pastime. Peel off the label on a bottle of DuClaw X-4 Macchiato Milk Stout and make it a mystery.

For the gearhead: A local brewery cycling jersey ($59 and up, tells the world you’re pedaling off the pints. A 6 Pack Frame Cinch ($24, is an easy way to carry them back home on the bicycle’s crossbar.

For the hophead: Two new books will provide a satisfying bitter flavor: IPA by Mitch Steel ($24.95, Brewers Publications) is lengthy treatise on the most popular style of craft beer. For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus ($19.95, Brewers Publications) is an equally serious look at the ingredient that gives beer its spicy bite. It’ll take at least a case of Victory Hop Wallop to plow through both of the tomes.



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