Beer Gifts for Under the Tree

Craft Beer Christmas


It is Christmas season and to help you find that perfect something for the craft beer geek who is on Santa’s nice list, here are some ideas for under the O Tannenbaum.

So you are filling your Eagle Rock growler with today’s beer of the week. You get back to your car and where do you put it? Have you fashioned a holder out of a cardboard box? Did you buckle it in? Well, Growler on Board is here to help with their BTU. Beer Transport Unit. Now you just stick your growler into the unit and now you do not have to worry about a growler spilling or rolling on the floor.

Each year brings new books on the craft beer revolution and there are two that you can wrap up for your favorite beer geek. Brewed Awakening by Joshua Bernstein is the best beer book that I have read this year because the focus has been shifted to the people who make the beer. And as a bonus you get suggested beers to try dotted throughout the book. Some that I didn’t even know about and wish I could get!

Your second bookworm recommendation is the hefty Oxford Companion to Beer. This is the beer version of the well known Wine Companion. Beer writers from around the world under the editorship of Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing have attempted in this first edition to put their arms around the entire beer world. Not an enviable task but one that we can now enjoy the fruits of their labors.

One of the downsides to craft beer in Los Angeles is the driving. Traffic can be a real buzzkill. But you can let someone else do the driving L.A. Craft Beer Tours is your designated driver. They have three tour packages available. L.A. area, L.A. to Orange County and L.A. to San Diego. Now you can visit our great Southland breweries and craft beer bars without the stress of being behind the wheel.

Beer through the mail is an expensive proposition. So most beer of the month clubs can be prohibitive money wise. But you can create your own DIY Beer of the Month club. Start with a bottle of Christmas ale under the tree and then for three, six or twelve months, drive over a bottle or two or a mixed six-pack to your giftee. You can even give them Colt 45 for April Fools Day.

For the craft Beer of the Week, I recommend Eagle Rock’s Jubilee. Their annual ode to the holidays is a strong ale that evokes the holidays in a very British/Belgian way. It pours a dark orange and to me is reminiscent of fruitcake. Not the doorstop kind of course. It has cherry and spice flavors backed by a hefeweizen note of banana that really undercut the strength and make this a great by the fireplace beer.

Your Homework this week is to try some barrel aged beer. It is one of the more popular trends in craft beer now for breweries to barrel age their beers. And places from Lost Abbey in San Diego to newcomer Golden Road have aging programs. Whether it is rum, brandy, whiskey or wine, this is the time of the year that many spirit enhanced beauties are on tap. A great location to start your exploration would be the Strong Ale Festival at Library Alehouse.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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