Like it or not, the holidays are here. And if you’re struggling to come up with a gift for the beer/coffee/food lover in your life, good news: we’ve asked the Fervent Few to help you out. This is the 2018 Fervent Few holiday gift guide. (Need even more options? More good news: here’s 2017’s gift guide.)
Lana Svitankova: “Tickets to the festivals and airplane tickets to the festival locations are still my #1 choice, but it's unrealistic indeed.
For me, fine coffee beans are always a good present. I'd like to have a proper grinder as well. Beer socks are useful and fun. GBH/MBAA/Pink Boots Society subscriptions are cool.
Nowadays, if I wish for something or buy presents I always go for gifts you can consume (beer/coffee/spirits, if you know preferences), things you can 100% use but they have limited lifetime (t-shirts, socks), or educational stuff (memberships/subscriptions). We are all grown-ups and mostly buy ourselves things what we really need or want, and things like glasses, openers, boards, or other fun-but-not-necessary things tend to gather dust.”
Thad Parsons: “Haley’s Corkers! We sale them at the shop, we use them at nearly every tasting, I use them at home (prefer them to speed pour spouts on my spirits), a bunch of my wine reps use them, and I haven’t found a better designed pourer around! I have even used them on large format beers to keep them in the fridge or cooler.”
Jason Riley: “Here's my favorite bottle opener. I really dig the simple, clean design and the feel of it. I also like that it doesn't bend the caps, which is nice since I'm saving caps to eventually build a table top.”
Wayne Pelletier: “Beer travel is the best! After that, any artisan opener, glassware, books, t-shirts, stickers, and socks are all great. The more unusual, the better. Brewing supplies are welcome, but can be difficult for people, so they usually just grab a gift certificate. Fresh-roasted coffee is always an incredible gift, and one I love to give. As is actual beer! All I am saying is give beer a chance!”
Maia Kazaks: “One extra special example of great gifts is signed copies of beer books. I got Project Extreme Brewing complete with Sam C.'s autograph thanks to my bro! The Brewmaster's Table was on my list for a while, and not only was I quite happy to receive it, I also had the pleasure myself of getting Mr. Oliver to inscribe it.
If you're buying for a beer drinker, odds are really good they like drinking other delicious stuff. Along the same vein of previously noted drinkable presents (including excellent beer/mead/wine/spirits/coffee beans/etc.), consider specialty non-alcoholic beverages. I scored a whisky-barrel aged ginger beer from Square Root Soda out of London and it is ridiculously good.”
Jason Berg: “This year, my wish list is heavy with books. Although I have more than a full shelf already, I am especially looking to learn more about Belgain beers with Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus and making better cider at home with The New Cider Maker’s Handbook by Claude Jolicoeur. These are not new books by any means, but receive high marks and are still ranked as some of the best available on the topics.
I am going to take the easy road for some gifts to other people with nice bottles. Recommended from a friend at a bottle shop, I picked up an Eisbock aged in Pinot Noir barrels—Schneider Weisse Eisbock Barrique 2017—to share with a wine-lover. At a family event later in December, I plan to share a couple bottles from local Minnesota breweries, including Double Blueberry Blackberry Raspberry Roselle from Fair State and barrel-aged, wild-fermented Freewheeler cider from Sociable Cider Werks. I hope to expand some understanding around what craft beer and cider can mean.”
C. Sean West: “I’m a sucker for homebrewing gadgets, so I asked for a tilt hydrometer and thermometer. Then I’ll be able to constantly monitor fermentation on my phone without ever having to take a sample and risk contamination.”