Words & Deeds

5 awesome Christmas gifts for beer geeks

Wrong kind of snowman on the label, Frosty? Perhaps, but B-Bomb still says happy holidays!
Wrong kind of snowman on the label, Frosty? Perhaps, but B-Bomb still says happy holidays!

Choosing a Christmas gift for a beer nerd is not a difficult task.

Buy a six-pack of cold craft beer. Done.

However, it’s a lot more fun to be creative.

If your recipient is a “buy local” fan, shop for branded merchandise from a Boise brewery. Or grab one of those “Drink Idaho Beer” T-shirts ($25) at Wear Boise, 828 W. Idaho St.

If you’re open to more worldly goodies, here are five super-cool gift ideas.

▪  B-Bomb Bourbon Barrel-Aged Winter Ale, $16-$18, fremontbrewing.com

Nothing says Christmas like a barrel-tossing sasquatch. This year’s release of barrel-aged Abominable Winter Ale — aka B-Bomb — just arrived in Boise, and it is stunning. Deep, smooth, layered chocolate and bourbon characters envelop the senses. It’s made to sip in front of a fireplace. What’s wild is that even at 14 percent alcohol by volume, this nuanced elixir isn’t overtly booze-hot: It’s ready to sip now; no cellaring necessary. Seattle’s Fremont Brewing only started distributing in southern Idaho this year, so it’s possible that your gift recipient won’t have had B-Bomb before. Find a 22-ounce bottle at stores including Albertsons ($15.99), Boise Co-op ($16.99) and Whole Foods ($17.99).

▪  Beer taster glass holder, $6, Etsy.

When you’re hanging at a brew festival such as Boise Brewing’s Hoptober Freshtival or Payette’s Black Friday, it’s hard work carrying a taster glass all day. This crocheted holder is worn like a necklace and stretches slightly to fit different-sized glasses. Best of all, it frees both hands to attack a plateful of nachos. You’ve gotta eat to survive a brewfest, right?

▪  Beer growler from RBT, $60, madebyrbt.com

If you want to inject sophistication into your beer geek’s life — by force of gift, if necessary — check out the sleek Growler from RBT, a collection created by Seattle designers. It looks like it belongs in Neiman Marcus. (Actually, neimanmarcus .com carries it.) This work of art is double-wall insulated, it has a hand-finished metal handle, and the lid clips to the handle. Functional and beautiful.

▪  Thermos Stainless Steel Beverage Can Insulator, $10-12, amazon.com

You can pay more for this type of product. Other companies make bulkier versions. But for sheer price, simplicity and functionality, Thermos rocks. The sweat-proof design means it won’t leave moisture rings when you put it down. And Thermos claims this coozie will keep a 12-ounce beverage cold for up to three hours. Um, some of us have trouble making a can of Mango Dagger Falls last more than 20 minutes.

▪  Spiegelau 19-ounce IPA glasses, two-pack, $22, amazon.com, or $6.99 each at Boise Co-op

Boise is an IPA town. Heck, we live in an IPA world. So treat your IPA lover to a two-pack from Spiegelau — “the class of glass.” Designed with help from IPA experts at Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada breweries, these glasses were made for swirling your favorite hop-forward beer and savoring the aroma and flavor. Also available in a six-pack of glasses for $60. Beer snobbery at its finest. Want a local bargain? The glasses are available — with a Sierra Nevada logo on the side — for $6.99 each at Boise Co-op.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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