Beer and Homebrewing Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Holiday Gift Guide 2009

To help you with your holiday shopping for that beer lover or homebrewer that you know, or as a resource to figure out what you want for the holidays, I’ve formulated with the following Holiday Gift Guide. If you have any more suggestions, list them in the comments and I’ll update the article.

This guide has recommedation for book, movies, glassware, homebrewing, draft equipment, neon signs, and beer.

Books

Reading and learning about beer can be almost as fun as consumption of beer. The following are some recommended books on the subject.

The following are some great books on the subject of homebrewing.

Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Movies

Movies with a beer theme can be great fun to watch and the documentaries are informative. Here is a list of movies about beer.

  • Strange Brew (1983) is a classic movie with Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas about trying to get a free case of beer.
  • Beerfest (2006) (Blu-ray edition) is a new classic comedy about beer. Octoberfest, brewing, beer games competition, slapstick comedy, this beer movie has it all. Das Booooot!
  • Beer Wars (2009) is a recent documentary about the beer industry and the 3-tier system of distribution.
  • Artie Lange’s Beer League (2006)

Glassware

As craft beer lovers know, beer is always best poured into a glass and especially good if you can drink it from the preferred shaped glassware. Beer Advocate has a great guide to beer glassware.

  • Pilsner glasses use these for all of your lagers and German style beer.
  • Double walled Pilsner glasses, keep you beer colder in one of these and admire your beer in this interesting glass.
  • Beer Goblet glasses for all of your big Belgian beers like strong, dubbel, tripel, etc.
  • Beer Steins are great for American craft ales, English ales, Oktoberfest beer, Vienna lager, and dark lagers.
  • Weizen glasses are frequently sold as pilsner glasses. Use them for your wheat beers.
  • Double walled weizen glasses keep your beer colder longer and look cool too.
  • Imperial pint glasses are great for just about any American or English ale.
  • Snifters are good for the high gravity ales like barleywine and Belgian-styles.
  • Tulip glasses are great at collecting and concentrating the aroma of the beer. I liket hem for almost all styles but they are traditionally best for Belgian style beer and double IPA.

Homebrewing

One of the best resources for homebrewers is continuing to learn new techniques and recipes by reading magazines. The following magazines are great resources for hombrewers.

There seems to be at least one constant with the hobby of homebrewing, the need to continually upgrade your equipment. You can start as simple as a single food grade bucket and some empty bottles and eventaully graduate to a full RIMS or HERMS setup.

  • A Beginning Homebrew Kit is the place to start if you have never tried homebrewing and want to get started. The only thing this kit is missing is 48 bottles and sanitizer.
  • Pre-assembled extract recipe kits are an easy way for extract brewers to brew their favorite beer styles without the trouble of digging for a recipe on the internet and wondering if it will be good or not. The link provided starts you off to find some great beer recipes.
  • Auto siphons are the best and cleanest way to get a siphon started. I’m surprised how many homebrewings don’t have one of these.
  • A homebrew kegging system is one of the best upgrades you can make as a homebrewer. Even though there is some prestige in bottled conditioned beer, it is a lot of work and kegging takes out many hours of work instantly. This kit has everything you need to get started.
  • Used 5 gallon ball lock kegs are on sale for $16 as of writing (November 28, 2009) so get that extra one that you wanted for more beer or “cask” conditioning or what have you.
  • Gift certificates make buying for a homebrewer easy. Let them choose what they need.

Draft Equipment

Having cold craft or homebrewed beer on draft at home is convenient and a wonderful experience. Years ago kegerators used to be completely inaccessible in price, now most of them are $600 or less.

  • Haier Dual Faucet Kegerator w/ Stainless Steel Door is what I recommend to start with. Why two faucets? Because it is much cheaper to start with two than to upgrade later. Keg fridges will fit either one full keg, one pony keg, or two or more 5 gallon kegs. Since homebrewers and also many craft brewers use 5 gallon kegs, the desire to have 2 beers on tap will arise shortly after purchase.
  • Deluxe Keg Tap Refrigerator Kegerator Conversion Kit will allow you to use an existing old refrigerator and turn it into a keg fridge. I recommend, however, that if they fridge is very old to either get a newer used fridge or a full on kegerator. Old fridges use a lot of power, unnecessarily.

Tap handles are fun and useful and are even sometimes collected by beer enthusiasts who don’t even have a draft beer setup.

Neon Signs

If you have a bar setup, a basement, man-cave, or a garage, these signs can really light up the atmosphere. Although I’m not much of a fan of Pacifico, I have a wonderful Pacifico neon sign in the garage above the kegerator.

Beer

Giving beer as a gift to a craft beer lover can be more difficult than you might think. First, you need to know what beer the recipient likes and dislikes. Next, to make it special, you should look for a unique bottle of something either imported and hard to find, special release, or limited edition. If you can meet these criteria, then giving beer as a gift can be great. If not, you can always give a gift certificate to a a good beer store or bottle shop.

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Books, Homebrewing, Products and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Beer and Homebrewing Holiday Gift Guide 2009

  1. Pingback: Hoperatives - Short Hops: December 3, 2009

  2. Tom says:

    Another fun to flip through book at an awesome price. Also has some pretty good informative info.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1402766947?ie=UTF8&tag=beer47-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1402766947

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