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.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
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.