Buying for the Beer Snob on Your List
Do you have a “beer person” on your Christmas list? You know the guy (or gal!). He maps out all the microbrews he wants to visit in any city where he vacations and can tell you why (passionately!) pairing beer with food is as exciting as the whole wine thing… Well stop sweating pints, we are here to help. Local beer man Danny Reid gives you the inside scoop on just what to buy for even the most discriminating Beer Snob!
You all know one. Heck, you probably know several (actually, you probably are one). Today there are Beer Snobs everywhere as the craft beer revolution is taking over the United States. The great news is they are quite simply some of the easiest people to shop for! So what do you, the non-Beer Snob, look for? Here are a few sure-fire gift ideas….
- Beers for vertical tastings. Many big (higher alcohol) beers are able to cellar for years and will actually change and develop in the bottle as they age. A lot of folks actually think they get better as they develop. A great gift idea is to get a few bottles of ageable beers so your favorite Beer Snob can have one now and then have one a year later to see how it has changed. There are a lot of beers to choose from, but barleywines, Russian imperial stouts, and sours are your best bets. Some recommendations: Sierra Nevada Big Foot, Stone Old Guardian, Rodenbach Vintage, Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout, and Cigar City Barrel Aged Scotch Ale.
- Custom Six-Packs. Most Beer Snobs have a favorite style of beer they enjoy most; mine is IPA. So a great gift idea is to put together a six-pack of a style of beer from different breweries so the Beer Snob can compare and contrast the different interpretations of the style. And as most craft beer retailers (ABC, Total Wine, etc.) will let you build your own six-pack from their large individual bottle list, it’s quite easy to do! Just select six different beers that are of the same style and there you go! Of note, if you don’t know what beer style you should get, IPAs are always a safe bet.
- Homebrew Kits. Homebrewing is hot right now. More and more people are enjoying the hobby and Beer Snobs are leading the charge. There are many options for how to get started, but the easiest way is to buy a prepackaged, all-inclusive kit that has everything needed to brew a batch of beer. You can buy these locally at Southern Homebrew and Wine Supply, Booth’s Brewing, and of course Datz also sells a small, all-inclusive homebrew kit. If you want to look online, check out morebeer.com or www.northernbrewer.com. Both are excellent sources for all things homebrewing.
- Vintage Beers. When in doubt, pick something up from Datz’s vintage /cellar selection. They have an amazing selection of beers that includes limited releases and hard-to-find items that would make any Beer Snob (this author included) smile.
Whatever you choose for your favorite Beer Snob, just make sure you stay away from those mass produced industrial beers that have dominated our market for the last several decades. The Beer Snob is dedicated to real craft beers and the Miller, Bud, and Coors of the world have no place in their heart. Other than that, it’s easy! And just make sure you’re around when those bottles get opened!