Well, frankly, it’s simply not that easy. As anyone with a true Beer Geek in their life can probably tell you, It can be a slippery slope. Beer? Which beer, what style, barrel aged, steeped over vanilla beans, a special cross over collaboration with three different locally produced yeast strains?!? What if they’ve already had it? What if someone’s brother said it wasn’t good?!
What if, indeed. With Christmas hot on our heels, I would like to offer a few suggestions for Beer Geek gift giving. Some are blatantly obvious, while others are quite specific. Still, getting those gears turning is sometimes half the battle.
This time of year there is always the packaged set with beer and glassware. Who doesn’t like their glassware?! But seriously, how many Mad Elf glasses does one need? While these boxes are nice, the selection is typically limited. Note: My Mother in Law gave me a box set of Triple Karmeliet last year, and I could not have been more satisfied.
While any good Geek will appreciate a wide variety of solid craft beers, let’s look past the beer and into the wider picture. Let’s accessorize that beer!
Nothing complements a good beer quite like good food. There are several great, local, places that offer the best of both. Chappy’s, Lucky’s, Spinoza’s,…, the list is long and often reported about. A few new chain stores have popped up in the area; BJ’s, Pies and Pints, and The Yard House in Cincinnati. Who doesn’t like a nice gift card?
Okay, on to specifics;
This bottle opener is all the rage within the local homebrew club. This opener is specifically designed to reseal the bottle (temporarily). Some geeks want more than one. It’s perfect for any tasting session, or that quiet night with a bomber of suds for one.
This opener is my personal favorite. It removes the cap without any wear or tear. Which, I must add, also means the cap can be reapplied to the bottle. But that’s not what goes thru most beer geeks minds! Those caps are little treasures. Whether they become refrigerator magnets, part of a mosaic coffee table top, or simply tossed into cigar box, they are mementos.
While there are a number of tasting journals out there, this one will be certain to attract attention. With apps like Untapped I don’t see a lot of traditional note taking these days.
So why not step up the game and offer a new challenge? Give your geek the task of logging a brew for all 50 States. The fine people at 33 Books offer a journal for just about everything. In the event that Santa is reading this…, you know, add it to my list.
The Neoprene six pack holder. What better way to, recycle, reduce, and reuse?! I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s a rare thing for me to buy a whole four or six pack of anything. With stores like Belmont Party Supply, and the Liquor and Wine Warehouse, having the option of buying single bottles, I’m more apt to build my own sixer.
Of course there are several nationally published beer-centric magazines. There’s a whole section…, okay, shelf in any new or used book store devoted to beer. One can find some serious gems in a used book store. It’s always at the end of the food section, nestled warmly between the wine and cocktail bibles. Just in case you don’t want to walk in the book store asking for the beer section.
Last but not least, don’t forget those local breweries! It seems like every week there is something new in the Miami Valley. There are bus tours sprouting up. Explore that local beer. I know one geek that would be happy with an empty growler from Yellow Springs Brew Co. I won’t name any names…
Whatever you do, do not assume that your beer geek wants to be a home brewer! If they have mentioned it in passing, great! Beer geeks know how to drop hints. Not all who love good craft beer desire to make their own. Please don’t find yourself at Bed Bath and Beyond staring blankly at the Mr. Beer kits. If your geek is a brewer, go straight to Brewtensils!
In the end, it’s all about good beer and all that goes with it. There’s always that 750 of Chimay that no one will refuse. They’ll simply question why the White and not the Blue? Which, of course, is why they provide the handy little box set with the glass.
And I swear, if one of those Corkcicle things finds its way into my stocking…, well, look for my name on this year’s Oscar list for Best Actor.