Santa certainly looks like a beer drinker — that exquisite pot belly, those rosy cheeks, his tendency to see elves and command flying animals — all manifestations of a beer-loving lifestyle. Like Old St. Nick, we here at CBB like to think of ourselves as beer fans that are similarly jolly, bearded and generous. We even have proof: We took time out of our busy business schedule to go holiday shopping for you. Because we care.
We reached out to a few of our friends in the beer industry, and they kindly sent along these excellent gift ideas for that beer-loving friend, co-worker or family member in your life. It should also be noted that these recommendations also make a great gift for that special CBB editor in your life. From exotic festivals to awkward socks, here are some of the coolest beer-themed gift ideas floating around the internet this 2015 holiday season. Cheers to consumerism!
The future of homebrewing
Magical tabletop brewing machines are officially the thing this Christmas. We especially dig “The Pico” (even though it’s still in pre-order). It’s a fully-automated, computer-tracked and completely customized brewing system that can be used by both homebrewers and production brewers. It brews batches in about two hours. Pros can experiment on new products, while homebrewers can rely on PicoPak recipes. More than 50 craft beer breweries have joined with parent company PicoBrew to create easy ingredient recipe “Paks,” including 21st Amendment, MadTree Brewing and Geaux Brewing. Cost: $599. Where can you buy it? Visit www.picobrew.com.
ManCan keeps beer fresh for weeks (WEEKS!)
Oh growler, you’ve quickly become the dinosaur of beer transport. How can you even show your face in front of the futurism of ManCan? You are banished! Long live the ManCan 128, which holds a full gallon of beer and fits conveniently in the door of the fridge. The stainless steel, keg-style growler alternative is designed with a patented, threaded cap that seals in carbonation and locks out air. In fact, the ManCan 128 boasts it can keep beer brewery-fresh for weeks. Cost: $195. Where can you buy it? Just jump over to www.ManCan.Beer.
Two tickets to paradise (GABF)
True beer pilgrims must one day sojourn to the Shangri-La of GABF. Taking place Oct. 6-8, 2016, in Denver, the merrymaking and mayhem of the Great American Beer Festival brings together brewers and beer nerds alike for competitions, tastings and communing. You can’t actually buy tickets right now (they go on sale in the spring), BUT you can set aside that money, and then book your hotel and travel arrangements. Because hotels will be full way before October. Cost: Prices range by day and session, but expect to pay $80 a ticket. Where can you buy it? Keep your eye on this website as tickets go on sale in the spring.
Hand-dyed silk scarves made from food scraps
From what we’ve gathered in our short studies, women love creativity, responsible action and scarves (that’s as far as we got). That obviously means that Great Lakes Brewing Co. has the perfect gift for the gal pal in your life. “Responsible Food Coordinator” Kathryn Simmons uses the brewpub’s kitchen food scraps to create all-natural dyes, which she uses to create gorgeous, one-of-a-kind silk scarves. It’s a great story and a great present. Cost: $30 each. Where can you buy it? These are available exclusively in the Great Lakes gift shop in Ohio City, Cleveland.
Give the gift of testicles (Beard Pong)
You got a gamer in your crew? Does that gamer have testicles? Well, introduce said baller to Beard Pong’s ping pong balls and products, which combine the world’s love for beards, ping pong, beer pong and preserving the family jewels. The company sells six-packs of premium beer pong/ping pong balls, T-shirts and koozies, with the added benefit of promoting awareness of subjects like testisticular cancer. They even have a social campaign: #BuyAPairSaveAPair. Cost: $50 for the Beard Pong Bundle, which includes a six-pack of balls, T-shirt and koozie. Where can you buy it? Surf over to the site.
Four-pack True Pint gift box
Right now, my kitchen is being renovated for two months. Like some Indiana Jones grail test, my long-time girlfriend (Michelle Hill) made me choose one beer glass to use for the 60-day gulag. I choose the HydroFlask True Pint. It’s easily the best drinking vessel ever created, and I may never use anything else again. The 16-ounce True Pint has a rounded lip that feels like glass and an interior angle that helps release aromas as you drink. Plus, its TempShield Vacuum Insulation locks in temperature to keep any frosty beverage cold while your hand stays warm. Cost: $79.95 for the four-pack. Where can you buy it? Try www.hydroflask.com.
Odell Brewing Co.’s hot sauce trio is, for all “intensive” purposes, our new Christmas trinity. In this cool tri-pack there’s IPA Hop Sauce, 90 Shilling Grilling and Easy Street Heat Peach Hot Sauce. These are delicious, hand-crafted recipes made for Odell by Horsetooth Hot Sauce, a local Fort Collins, Colo. company, and each one is made with sweet Odell craft beer, complementing your favorite suds and grub. Cost: $26.97 for the three-pack ($8.99 for individual sauces). Where can you buy it? You can purchase this pack at the brewery in the tap room or on Odell’s online store.
Craft beer-infused chocolate truffles
Beer and chocolate is the decadent combo you’ve been questing your entire life. We’ve found it — in truffle form. Moonstruck Chocolate Co. has created the Oregon Craft Brewers Collection, a truffle assortment, in partnership with four of the state’s founding craft breweries (Deschutes, Full Sail, Rogue and Widmer Brothers). Moonstruck’s artisan chocolatier, Julian Rose, has developed beer bottle-shaped(!) truffles in four craft brew styles: Wheat, Brown, Porter and IPA. These non-alcoholic truffles authentically evoke the rich, nutty sweet, dark, fresh and hoppy flavor profiles associated with great Oregon beer. Cost: The 12-piece collection is $30. Where can you buy it? Click this link!
MadTree Brewing home tasting kit
Gone are the days of crushing beers like Stone Cold Steve Austin. We live in a time of sophisticated craft drinkers, who savor and share beer like a celebratory beverage. Such a drinker might enjoy a MadTree Brewing Co.’s home tasting kit as a holiday gift. Don’t bother pulling out an armful of misfit pints. Instead, adjust your monocle, whistle for Jeeves and have him pull out that 40-ounce Hydroflash growler, custom flight tray and four MadTree tasting glasses. It’s the choice of gentleman drinkers and ladies of grace. Cost: $125. Where can you buy it? Online at madtree.com.
Stone Brewing Xocoveza Tee
Nothing personifies Christmas morning like waking up to a chocolaty, winter-spiced mocha stout (sorry Folgers), but do you know what could make that stout even better? A Stone Brewing Co. Xocoveza Tee. Xocoveza is Stone’s mocha chocolate-spiced stout (a CBB seasonal favorite), and now the yuletide brew has been turned into maybe our favorite ugly-sweater-style T-shirt of the year. It’s apparently super limited, so make sure you buy one for yourself too. It’s a comfy cotton/poly blend tee that’s basically an easy way out of all of those dumb parties the cool kids are hosting these days. Cost: $24. Where can you buy it? Sling over to the website right here.