If you’re like me, you have at least one person on your holiday shopping list that you feel obligated to get a present for, but don’t know them well enough to know what to buy. If that someone on your list is a fan of good beer, this is your lucky day. Here are some surefire gifts that any self respecting beer connoisseur will be happy to receive.
1. The Oxford Companion to Beer- The ultimate beer reference guide from A to Z. This book can answer every question you have about beer. I have seen it priced as low as twenty five, and as high as sixty five; definitely shop around.
2. Iphone 4s beer bottle opener phone case. This is an “app” I can get behind. Practical, and always on you, not to mention a great conversation piece at your next New Years Eve party. Available at www.amazon.com.
3. Bottle shop gift certificate-This may seem like a generic and impersonal gift to give, but believe me, beer nuts will love it. With craft breweries continuing to push the bounds of creativity, specialty and anniversary beers can get expensive. That’s not to say they aren’t worth it, but there are many beer lovers (like me) who are hesitant to plunk down twenty something dollars for a beer they have never tried. The gift certificate is the perfect excuse to try some beers I might not otherwise purchase on my own. There is also the possibility said recipient will use that gift certificate to fill up a growler on the way to your house. Some noteworthy local shops are 99 Bottles in Federal Way, Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown, Malt and Vine in Redmond, and Chuck’s on 85th in Greenwood.
4. Firestone XV-This is one of those specialty beers mentioned above that I buy every year (unless someone gets it for me) no matter what. The Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, California releases their anniversary ale just in time for the holidays. Different every year, and comprised of a blend of about eight different beers this is a beer to celebrate with. It comes in a cool gift box, and has an explanation of the beers inside. True elegance in a bottle.
5. Fancy beer and glassware package- More and more breweries these days are packaging a Holiday/specialty beer with the appropriate glassware included. The St. Bernadus gift pack from Belgium is a can’t miss.