When a person visits enough breweries, drinks enough beers, explores enough styles, and sculpts an identity for themselves as a craft beer devotee, they might explore new ways of expressing that identity and engaging with their appreciation for a good adult beverage. They might even try homebrewing. What better way to demonstrate one’s love for the drink than putting that love into the drink? That’s what professional brewers do every day. No reason John and Jane Q. Brewer can’t do the same.
Maybe you’re already elbow-deep in homebrewing gizmos; maybe you’re a novice taking your first steps along the homebrewer’s path; maybe you have less than zero interest in homebrewing yourself, but you know an enthusiastic homebrewer and you’re searching for the perfect present for them this holiday season. Whatever the case, Hop Culture’s homebrewing gift guide has you covered.
Pico UnPak`d Kit
PicoBrew gear makes the arduous process of homebrewing easy: Pour ingredients and water into the machine, press the “go” button, and play the waiting game as the gadget does its thing. The only downside here is that countertop appliances force their users to buy prepackaged grains, malts, and yeast instead of using their own ingredients. But no more! The Unpak’d Kit lets brewers toss whichever grains and hops and such they like, unfettered by prior Pico limitations, into reusable bags for repeat brewing experiments. (Bonus: That means you’re brewing greener, too!)
Chefast Hydrometer and Test Jar Combo Kit
Part of knowing a homebrewer is getting to try out their home brews, which makes the exhausting experience of hearing about the ins, outs, ups, and downs of their mad beer science undertakings worth the while. But what if your homebrewing friend, or spouse, or weird uncle, doesn’t have the right tools for measuring gravity? What if they muck up the numbers? What if you didn’t have to ask these and other serious questions because you were shrewd enough to get them a Chefast hydrometer? Even if you’re making wine or kombucha or even mead, this’ll come in mighty handy for landing on the right ratios.
Nostalgia KRS2100 5.1 Cu.Ft. Full Size Kegorator Draft Beer Dispenser
The good thing about Nostalgia products is that they tend to last. The bad thing about Nostalgia products, for the purposes of this here gift guide, is that they tend to last. But nothing can possibly last forever, and not everyone has a Kegerator, and everyone wants a Kegerator—at least, everyone who wants to roll up at their block party with crisp, cold beer in tow, the hero party goers need and deserve. The KRS2100 model is easy on the eyes, like a Star Wars droid built to dispense frosty ones. (Another neat feature: There’s a guardrail to keep revelers from knocking over freshly poured glasses. Hopefully, your party isn’t that kind of party.)
Hangover Helper: Delicious Cures from Around the World
No one gets into craft beer because they want to get blotto; that’s a high price tag to pay just to pass out on the floor and get sick. But even the most careful beer lovers get too happy once in a while and have a little more to drink than they should—or the dessert sours and stouts they’re sipping catch up to them by evening’s end—and when that happens, best turn to Lauren Shockey for tasty recipes designed to allay your day-after suffering. Potato chip and butter sandwiches? Pepperoni pizza bagels? Thai Drunken Noodles? (A tad counterintuitive, but go with it.) Stuckey’s knowledge extends beyond food and into language. Ever wanted to learn how to say “I’m hungover” in a dialect other than yours? This is the book for you.
Mr. Beer 2 Gallon Complete Starter Beer Making Kit
And now, a gift for the homebrewing initiate. Why start complex? Start straightforward. Making beer takes time, practice, patience, and a whole lot of experience, so a beginner’s best bet is a homebrewing kit that puts a particular emphasis on simplicity and ease. Mr. Beer’s starter kit comes packaged with “hopped Malt extracts,” which cut down on brew time and cut out time needed to research and shop around for ingredients on one’s own; if you’ve been homebrewing for a while, that probably sounds an awful lot like all the air getting sucked out of the room, but when you’re new to the game, picking and choosing is a burden rather than part of the fun. (It’s affordable, too. $43 is nothing to sneeze at.)
Honestly, this is just as much a gift for homebrewers as for beer aficionados who don’t have a desire to make their own beer. If hops are the soul of all beer, Data Supply’s Hops Chart makes a measurement of that soul; there are more hop varietals out there than a person can count out in their head, and even on paper. But with one of these hung up on your wall, you don’t need to bother: Let Data Supply do all the work of labeling hops and comparing flavor profiles for you!
GrowlerWerks Stainless Steel uKeg Carbonated Growler
Here’s a nifty idea: Instead of handing over a big glass growler to taproom server at your favorite craft brewery, hand one of these over and gain two advantages. One, you’ll walk out of there with beer guaranteed to stay fresh and cool and carbonated. Two, you’ll just plain old look awesome, a beer geek straight out of a steampunk novel, rocking a metal, Victorian-era clockwork cask begging to be filled with delicious golden beer. It’ll set you back a bit, but the aesthetics alone should delight your homebrewing chums to no end.
The New IPA: Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor
We live in an IPA world, so you might as well get used to it, assuming you haven’t over the course of the last half a decade and change. The good news is that as ubiquitous as the IPA is, and as much as the style has evolved over the course of the 2010s, there’s still plenty to learn and say about the style, which is exactly what Scott Janish does here.
YETI Rambler Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Colster
Most folks might balk at the thought of paying more than $20 on a koozie when you can just go a ski convention and walk away with ten times that number at half the cost. But YETI makes gear worth paying for, from coolers to backpacks, so if you’re in the market for an industrial-strength koozie, they’ve got what you need. Is this, a double insulated, stainless steel, no-sweat colster, designed with a lock system to hold your bottle or can in place where it belongs, just a tad on the excessive side? Maybe. But maybe there’s no such thing as excessive when there’s valuable beer to be kept cold.
ZoxxBox Custom Beer Carriers
Putting a custom label on bottles brimming with your very own homemade beer? That’s a pretty good flex. Putting those beers in customized beer carriers, made from the same packaging as the very same beers you bring home from the liquor store? That’s an even better flex.
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