A refurbished 5-gallon keg?
Refurbished sounds a little too much like a Scrooge move come Christmas time, but if you’re looking to keep a gift in that ubiquitous $50 range, a refurbished, 5-gallon, ball lock keg from Home Brew Supply.com is a solid gift for a homebrewer. Fully cleaned and pressure tested, these refurbished kegs will save you cash and ensure your friend never has to bottle 5 gallons of beer again. Just keep in mind these kegs have been in the field, so they do have dings and dents, but they’re guaranteed to hold pressure. Cost: $58.95. Where can you buy it? Roll over to the website.
Nothing’s cooler than charity
Great gifts always have that thoughtful factor. Unfortunately, thoughtful is difficult to buy, so we just suggest buying something that supports a charity. Check out SweetWater Brewing Co.’s Healing for the Holidays program. Running through December, SweetWater will give 100 percent of profits from select schwag (like fishing shirts, flies and rods and Hoo-rag bandanas) to Project Healing Waters, a non-profit that aids in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled U.S. military personal, taking them out on the water for fly fishing and other cathartic activities. We suggest the SweetWater Grizzly Cooler pictured. Cost: $180-$430 (for various sized coolers). Where can you buy it? Surf over to the SweetWater store.
Buckets of rad swag
If you’ve got a friend that loves sports with boards (involving waves, fresh powder or halfpipes), you might need to introduce them to Saint Archer Brewing Co. (a San Diego brewing collective that grew out of a common love of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding). And by introduction, we mean the Saint Archer Holiday Gift Buckets. Bucket 1: hoodie, T-shirt, hat/beanie, logo pint glass, koozie and (personal favorite) sticker pack. Bucket 2: T-shirt, logo pint glass, koozie, sticker pack and choice of two 22-ounce bottles (Blonde, White, Pale or IPA). Cost:1 — $96; 2 — $45. Where can you buy it? Find both packages at the tasting room in San Diego, and you can buy Bucket 1 online at saintarcherbrewery.com.
The Field Guide to Drinking in America
We are beer adventurers, and each state and commonwealth we conquer always has a peculiar beer law (we’re looking at you, Pennsylvania). That’s why we always carry Niki Ganong’s The Field Guide to Drinking in America. Inspired by a mad pursuit to understand America’s confusing liquor laws, Ganong spent the last three years researching each state’s history with alcohol along with the current laws of the land. The result is a different type of guidebook — one that keeps thirsty travelers informed about how to buy alcohol on the road. Plus, it has colorful illustrations. Cost: $19.99. Where can you buy it? Available where books are sold and Amazon.com.
Membership in the American Homebrewers Association
Hailing all homebrewers, beer lovers, hop heads, barleywinos and brown-nosers. ‘Tis time to take that homebrewing hobby to the next level. We’re talking about joining the brewing community, getting advice, entering competitions and perfecting your craft. We’re talking about joining the American Homebrewers Association, one of the greatest non-profit organizations in the US of A. Give the gift of membership and empower the homebrewers in your life. It will only benefit you in the long run. Cost: The AHA Membership gift card is $43. Where can you buy it? Purchase the gift card right over here.
A skull flashlight koozie
We think the loudly-colored, bizarrely-lit, magnetic Cooler2See koozie line is just fun. What more do you want? This is an outstanding product for the outdoorsy drinker who must walk in the dark and seek out more booze in a shadowy chest of cold craft beer. These drink holders are crafted using closed-cell injection molded polyurethane that provides great insulation. Its base is a flashlight, and it comes with a heavy-duty magnet to stick to magnetic surfaces. It also comes in lots of designs, but the “Big Brain’s Insanity Skull” concept shown above is certainly the most metal. Cost: $14.95-$19.95. Where can you buy it? cooler2see.com.
Heavy-duty caustic cleaners
It’s like the time your dad asked for light bulbs for Christmas. For the brewer who has everything, buy them something practical — like acid cleaner. The cleaning experts at Zep Superior Solutions are running a sanitation product promo through December 31, which is ideal for the hygenic-obsessed brewer on your list (all the good ones are). The special includes one pail of each: FS CIP Cleaner (a heavy-duty caustic CIP cleaner); XT-2002 (a nitric/phosphoric acid cleaner); and Peroxy-Serve 5 (a peracetic acid sanitizer). The gift of cleanliness is priceless, but the cost is: $225. Where can you buy it? E-mail [email protected].
The badass little bottle opener
Bartenders, caterers and beer professionals are constantly opening bottles. Why should these hard-working, beverage pros be relegated to obtuse bottle openers (or worse yet — teeth or eye sockets). Let us introduce you to the GrabOpener ST (code name Steel Tooth). Like the original version, it is designed to remove caps with a simple, quick, one-handed grab. This new Steel Tooth version has a lightweight body with a very long-wearing stainless steel hook, making it ideal for those who open hundreds of bottle per month and want to carry something small. Cost: $30 with 10 percent going to Pencils of Promise to help build schools in Ghana. Where can you buy it? It’s only available through gropener.com.
Founders’ beanie gives total ear coverage
Your head contains your brain, and that brain is important. During the winter months, specifically, that head/brain combo can get exceedingly cold (especially in place like Grand Rapids, Mich.), which is just unproductive. We have a solution: This irresistibly cozy retro pom knit cap from Founders Brewing Co. It has a thick bottom cuff for an adjustable fit and (wait for it…) total ear coverage! Founders Brewing is knit right into the hat for a smooth, low-profile decoration that’s cool year round. See what we did there? Cost: $10.05 (on sale!). Where can you find it? Go to the website right here or visit the company store in Grand Rapids.
Beer socks or beer fridge?
Perhaps you need a White Elephant gift. May chance you’re in a Yankee Swap. Maybe you just need a new stocking to hang wistfully over the hearth. Then we suggest the most eye-bursting feet warmers we’ve seen this chilly season. These beer socks from Victory Brewing Co. have a great price point, they’re fairly funny and they’re actually damn warm. If you’re a big spender looking at Victory Brewing swag, check out the $500 Resist Prohibition Mini Fridge. We love the badass black design, sure to be the envy of every beer drinker on the block. Socks cost: $12. Where can you buy it? Visit the website.
A sixer cooler that you can wear
Throw it over your shoulder. It doesn’t matter if you’re off to fly fish or crest Mount Everest, this long, six-pack called the Cooler Tube from Mountainsmith is ideal for all of those adventures that result in a celebratory sixer. Hell, you could even wear two like bandoleers or use a fully-stuffed tube to fend off bears (probably don’t try that last one). Check out these stats: it has full-length zippered closure; it’s ideal for six packs or tall boy cans; it has a waterproof seam sealed lining; and it has an adjustable shoulder sling for easy carrying. Cost: $21.95. Where can you find it? www.mountainsmith.com.