The holidays are upon us once again! Are you looking for that present for the craft beer lover in your life? Well, check out The Brew Head’s Holiday Gift Guide! From books to coasters to brewer’s crap to, of course, beer.
Breweries/Vendors, if you’re reading this… Please let me know if you have something special for the Holidays and would like to be featured on this year’s Holiday Gift Guide (Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Perfect Keg by Ian Coutts
In an entertaining year-long devotion to the near-religious art of brewing beer, Ian Coutts sets out to make the perfect keg. This beer didn’t start with a beer-making kit, which is what most homebrewers use. And it didn’t rely on pre-roasted industrial malt, which is how commercial brewers do it. Coutts made his own malt, and he grew his own barley. Hops, too. Yeast, he went out and captured. And that’s it. With this beer, the only additives were knowledge and history.
There were plenty of adventures and misadventures along the way, but Coutts writes about them with humour and aplomb, proving it is possible to make the perfect keg of wholly natural beer in one year.
Note: This book is a hilarious and good read about Ian’s journey to create the Perfect Keg. Check out my review of the book here.
Beerology by Mirella Amato
If you’ve ever experienced the pleasure of a pint, Beerology is the ultimate guide to exploring, understanding and enjoying the world of beer.
Broken down into fun, easy-to-read chapters, Beerology starts with an introduction to beer and tips on storage and cellaring, then leads into a guide on tasting. Amato presents beer styles in four groups—Refreshing, Mellow, Striking, and Captivating—covering everything from the history and origins of specific brews, to brands that exemplify each type. She then gives tips on hosting beer-tasting parties at home, complete with beer games, and includes a chapter dedicated to beer cocktails (who’s in for a delicious cucumber Pils?). Her original take on pairing beer with food—including chocolate and cheese—is perfect for anyone with an inquisitive mind and an epicurean streak.
THERE IS a beer for every mood, food and occasion. And, with the growing number of beer festivals popping up worldwide, beer is finally getting the attention and appreciation it deserves. For the average beer lover, the overwhelming choices, brewing styles and traditions can be confusing to say the least. Enter beer specialist Mirella Amato – one of only seven Certified Master Cicerones (beer sommeliers) in the world. With an advanced brewing certificate behind her, readers will be in expert hands as they navigate the multifaceted world of beer, guided by Amato’s refreshingly accessible style.
Note: Beerology is a heck of a book with lots of great information. It is perfect for somebody keen to learn about the styles of beer and pairing beer with food. This book is a must for any Craft Beer lover this Holiday season!
Craft Beer Cookbook by David Ort
David Ort, author of the popular blog Food with Legs, gives us a lively and engaging introduction to craft beer as well as an across-the-board set of recipes that use craft beer as an ingredient. Starters and snacks, noodles and rice, seafood and meat and poultry, even beer cocktails and sweets and desserts make an appearance (Oak-Aged Old-Ale Ice Cream, anyone?). Dishes such as Beer Fondue and Currywurst are new twists on old classics. The Beer Pantry section has mouth-watering condiments: Pumpkin Ale Mustard and Wild Beer Vinegar, to name just two. Each recipe includes a recommendation for a specific Canadian craft beer as the beer ingredient. With profiles of craft-beer makers across Canada, The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook is ideal for craft-beer experts and novices, and for anyone who delights in ramping up the taste of their favourite dishes with something different.
Note: I’ve used this cookbook several times since purchasing it. One of my favourite things to make is the Beer Mustard, so hoppy and spicy. Trust me, you won’t go back to regular mustard after trying this version of beer mustard! (P.S; it’s made with Amsterdam Boneshaker!)
Growlers are great gifts. It’s a gift that can keep on giving. When purchasing a growler from a brewery, there will be a deposit (usually $4-6) and can be returned anytime to the brewery (don’t throw them out!) I have a few growlers around the house and a couple of Royal City in the trunk of my car because you never know if you need to make a stop!
CRAP stands for Craft brewers Recycled Art Project. All the left over stuff that would be thrown out, we make into art, bags, wallets and other useable items. By taking stuff that would be crap and turn it into stuff that is not CRAP… well there is just a little less CRAP out there.
Note: I currently have a brewersCRAP wallet that I purchased at Royal City Brewing Co. It’s quite effective! You should head over to the website and some breweries that carry some of these products! They even have a growler carrier! http://www.brewerscrap.com
Buy a shirt from your local brewery! Every brewery will have a shirt or two. It will make a great gift!
Some breweries will carry beer soap, yes, beer soap. If you see a brewery carrying these custom beer soaps, it will be one of their flagship beers. For example, Wellington Brewery has a couple of beer soaps, their S.P.A and Russian Imperial Stout. I highly recommend these soaps for shaving soap as well! Very smooth (and, no, you don’t smell like beer!)
I have a set of ‘Craft Beer Only’ coasters and let me tell you, they’re great looking and solid marble stone. They will also design custom coasters for you as well! Go over to http://vtiledesign.com/
Beer, of course.
Check your local brewery for one-offs and seasonal beer. But really, you can’t go wrong with beer!
On that final note, The Brew Head wishes you a Hoppy Holidays and Hoppy New Year!