What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Craft Beer Lover.
So that special someone in your life is a beer lover. Congratulations! Not only do you have great taste in friends, but on the spectrum that measures how difficult people are to shop for, beer nerds are right near the bottom -- just pop a few holiday five-packs under the tree and everyone will have a merry Christmas.
But if you really want to impress the beer geek in your life this holiday season, consider these five brew-related gifts.
A Brew Day at O.H.S.O
Brewing a beer is an important step in the life of any beer nerd. The act of creating an alcoholic beverage connects us with the brewers of the past who've gone through the same exact process across millennia. It can be a transcendent experience. It can also be frustrating as hell. The ingredients can stick together in giant, unbreakable clumps; the process of moving the fermented liquid from the fermentation vessel to the keg is an accident waiting to happen; and everything -- everything -- has to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
The folks at Arcadia restaurant and nanobrewery O.H.S.O offer a shortcut: Come brew with the,. All you have to do is make an appointment on O.H.S.O's iTunes app -- which you can download for free from the iTunes store -- and the resident brewers, like hop-scented sherpas, will guide your beer geek through the process of creating his or her own beer. They'll even keg the brew and put it on tap.
A Copy of Brewing Arizona: A Century of Beer in the Grand Canyon State
It should be too hot to brew beer in Arizona. It should be too dry. It should be too difficult to ship grains and hops through the desert safely. But human ingenuity can't be overestimated -- especially when it comes to alcohol. Brewers have been plying their trade in our state since 1864, and Brewing Arizona, the first book focused on the Grand Canyons State's beer and breweries, captures this history. History buffs will love this one, as will anyone who's cooled down with a beer on a 115-degree day and thought, "How?"
A Bottle of the World's New Strongest Beer
If not just any bottle of beer will appease your geek, go for the biggest, baddest brew available. Snake Venom, hatched by a Scottish brewery called Brewmeister, attains its legendary 67.5 percent ABV through the use of peat-smoked malt, beer and champagne yeast, and a freeze distillation process. Each bottle costs 50 pounds (which is $81 in real money), but can you really put a price on something so extreme?
Maybe you love your beer geek, but you're tired of the aromas malted barley and beard fungus and yeast farts that tend to linger around him. Say "I'd like you to not smell like a homeless Bavarian" softly with beer soap. The Beer Soap Co.'s products have all the cleaning power of mass-marketed body washes but are made with your favorite beers, from Dogfish Head 90 Minute to Rogue Dead Guy. Lather with lager! Scrub with saison!
The Dogfish Randall Jr., a French Press for Beer
Ever been drinking a beer and thought, "This would be really good with some cinnamon?" Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Randall Jr. gives you the ability to infuse your beers with whatever flavors your little heart desires. Dogfish first developed Randall the Enamel Animal, a contraption with chambers that can be filled with ingredients to enhance the flavor of a beer, in 2002. Since then, the invention's dropped a lot of weight -- Randall Jr. is just 16 ounces, allowing you to spike a single beer with hops, spices, fruits or whatnot. Mmmmm, whatnot.
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