From Men’s Health
Beer brings people together. I would know: I spent many afternoons and nights when I was in college at the best beer bar in Virginia (and perhaps, the world), Jack Brown’s, trying out different craft brews and (more importantly) getting to know the woman who would become my wife. As we bonded over bocks, barleywines, and brown ales, we developed a newfound appreciation for craft beers that paralleled our newfound appreciation for one another.
Beer helped us discover our love languages: words of affirmation (“Damn, that one’s really hoppy—in a good way!”), quality time (sip slowly), acts of service (“Hey, I ordered you a beer”), and physical touch (“I remembered to chill these pint glasses). The fifth love language, receiving gifts, has been a great one for our relationship, and has made us both budding experts when it comes to all sorts of beer gifts, from personalized beer gifts that will make your friend or significant other laugh, to more expensive beer gifts for the craft connoisseur. Now I won’t lie to you: A simple Google search of “beer gifts” will turn up a lot of junk. So instead of wasting your precious time sifting through the endless tchotchkes, I’ve narrowed down a list of the best beer gifts for all budgets, occasions, and magnitude of beer-love. This list is best enjoyed with a frosty brew by your side, so I’ll give you a moment to scoot over to the fridge, crack open a cruiser, and come back to your device.
You good? Okay, great. Cheers to you and cheers to whomever is the recipient of the following kickass beer gifts (and double cheers if you’re shopping for yourself!)
There’s a Norwegian concept called “friluftsliv” gaining popularity as people look ahead to coping with the colder months of the pandemic. Some experts say this idea of year-round open-air living—pushing yourself to be outside more than usual—could work wonders on your psyche as the days get shorter and there are fewer excuses to be outdoors. There’s even a specific word for drinking beer outside—utepils—linked to friluftsilv. If you’re planning to wear a winter coat while tying one on, these cozy coozies allow your beverage to be similarly prepared for the elements.
If you’re a beer-lover who’s been recently getting more into wilderness adventures, you’re going to want to own a cooler tube. This particular model gets an A+ for durability and portability, allowing you to carry 6 cans of refreshment hands-free as you trek to the summit on your next hiking trip. When a hard cooler is too cumbersome, go with this more low-key alternative.
Level-up your growler game with this vacuum-insulated travel keg that keeps beer cold for up to 45 hours. Bonus points for being leakproof and dishwasher-safe, meaning it’s easy to maintain no matter how much you use it.
What’s the best beer state? It’s a question with a wide array of possible answers (okay, 50 answers to be precise), but as the home to respected craft brewers like New Belgium, Breckenridge, and Odell—not to mention Coors—Colorado deserves to be in that conversation. Plus, the Centennial State is home to thousands of miles of beautiful, rugged trails, which means that you can literally hike to the brewery. This guide book pairs 50 hikes with 50 breweries and includes useful intel to help you map out your next ale-seeking adventure out west.
Trying to keep your brew frosty and your hands dry? Sure, that free koozie you got at the farmer’s market for signing up for your local classic rock radio station’s email newsletter is a fine option. But if you’re really serious about optimizing refreshment, you’re going to want to upgrade. The YETI brand has become synonymous with quality, and drinkers love the Rambler Colster for its durability and double-wall vacuum-sealed insulation. You shouldn’t have to race to finish a beer while it’s still cold, and these beverage coolers let you sip at your own pace.
I see your ordinary, boring flip-flop and raise you a fashionable flop that doubles as a means to opening delicious bottles of beer. You’ll see all manner of bottle-opener flip-flops at boardwalk surf shops, but if you want to go for a comfy flop that holds up over time, go with Reef. Real heads know that beers simply taste better when you have the proper arch support.
If you asked me to free-associate the best elements for a pair of boxer briefs, it would probably go something like: beer…….pretzel clouds……rolling hills…….GNOMES. Lucky for you, that winning combo isn’t just the product of my imagination, but actual undies you can buy online. And unlike other gag underwear that’s cheaply made with materials that will punish your nether regions, sweat-wicking stretch mesh will keep your downstairs comfortable as you enjoy a round of beers with your loved ones.
How do you tell someone you love them if you can’t find the right words? You take their name, throw it on all manner of beer-related memorabilia, toss in some snacks, pack it up in a crate, and send it to them. But let’s say you don’t own a sophisticated laser that allows you to etch words onto glassware or maybe you’re fresh out of spare crates. That’s where Man Crates steps up and comes through in the clutch. This company has all manners of fun gift boxes that guys will dig, but this is a great option for any dude with a soft spot for hops.
From breakfast stouts to java porters, some of the best beers harness the flavor profile of coffee. Hopped Up Coffee turns that premise on its head, integrating ingredients like malted barley, hops, and roasted cocoa nibs for its Black IPA and Chocolate Stout flavors. Oh, you love beer? Well, are you following up a long night of beer-drinking with a steaming cup of beer-inspired coffee?
If you’ve ever stuck your schnozz into a snifter of suds and inhaled deeply, you’ve probably at least once had the thought, “Damn, I wish I could shower in this aroma.” With these Los Angeles craft-brewed soaps from Craftsmen Soap Co., you actually can! And, no, these don’t smell like the stale crushed cans of swill after a frat party. We’re talking the sage from a pale lager, the eucalyptus from a brown ale, the citrus and spruce of a saison, and the flowery hops and barley from a West Coast IPA. There’s nothing worse than a smelly beer drinker, so lather up your bod with the notes that make beer smell so darn good.
What if R2-D2 were a keg? This high-tech gadget allows you to homebrew 2.6 gallons of beer and more with precision fermentation temperature control. It even connects to WiFi so you can monitor the status of your brew on a smartphone app. Traditional homebrewers may roll their eyes, but as they’re fiddling with pots and pans and tubes and jugs, you’re kicking back and drinking an IPA brewed by a robot.
If God designed a cooler, it would probably look like this. Not only is this one of the most attractive soft coolers on the market, but it’s loaded with features that expand its value. Dryhide shell? Yep. Closed-cell rubber foam? You betcha. A sturdy zipper to lock in cold air? Hell yeah. The YETI’s versatility makes it great both for camping trips and short walks out to your backyard.
The shower ranks very high on the list of Locations Where Beer Just Tastes Better. But when you’re sudsing up (perhaps with beer-scented soap), you don’t want to worry about soapy beer or (gasp) dropping your brew. That’s why you should install a beer caddy in your shower. And while there are many, many dinky-looking models that will slip and fall, this top-rated brand on Amazon is your top bet for surefire suction and sleek design.
Brooklyn Brew Shop makes some of the best, most accessible home brewing kits you can buy. And while you have a multitude of options when it comes to styles, it’s their seasonal sets that make for my favorite gifts. In a time where it may be inadvisable to go to a crowded beer hall, you can bring the Oktoberfest experience home with ingredients and instructions for a delicious wheat ale as well as a soft pretzel and beer cheese making kit. If you’re stuck at home, home brewing is a great hobby to take up and this kit makes it fun for amateurs and more experienced brewers alike.
One great way to shop local is to go to your neighborhood brewpub and fill up a growler. I love this brand’s design, which is not only nice to look at, but optimized for keeping draft beer fresh and cold. In comparison to many other 64-oz growlers, My Mate Dug is relatively affordable. Plus, it’s multi-use, as you can fill it with coffee or soup when it’s not filled with yummy beer.
Groucho Marx once wrote “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.” He may have made an exception for Craft Beer Club, which assembles some of the best independent craft beers from around the country and sends them directly to your doorstep. Anyone who’s walked up to the craft beer section at a liquor store knows the choice anxiety that can arise from selecting from the myriad options. Let this company do the choosing for you and sit back as you immerse yourself in beer culture.
I received this book not long after I got super into craft beer and it’s been an indispensable educational tool as I’ve gone deeper into that hobby. Joshua M. Bernstein serves as a knowledgeable guide through the history, brewing process, and plethora of beer styles, presenting the information in a fashion that’s accessible for novices, but with enough depth to whet the intellectual curiosity of the more experienced beer drinker. If you’re serious about learning more about beer, this text is an excellent starting point.
Beer isn’t just a hobby—it’s big business. And this memoir from Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, gives you an up-close-and-personal look at what it’s like to get into the beer business, featuring all the ups and downs that come with entrepreneurship. Most craft beer lovers at one time or another have had a tipsy conversation with their buddies about starting a brewery. Don’t do that without reading this book first.
For years, I’d save bottle caps for some unclear future arts-and-crafts project. Every time my wife and I would move, we’d find those huge plastic bags of caps and make up some purpose for them and lug them to our new home. Erin eventually assembled them into a super cool tray, but had we known about this cap map, maybe we would’ve had a use for those caps even sooner. I dig that this doubles as art and a collection of memories from different beers consumed over the years. Bonus points awarded if you use it as a wishlist for beer-related travel destinations.
One way to repurpose your beer drinking pursuits as “productive” is to turn them into a quest-like bucket list. This globally focused poster serves as a testament to your savvy palate and is a superb conversation-starter.
Beer lovers and hot sauce lovers share a lot in common: obsession with provenance, a competitive desire to push the limits taste-wise, and a hobby that is a great idea in the moment, but maybe a little punishing in the aftermath if you’re not careful. And while cold beer and hot sauce are a match made in heaven, beer-infused hot sauce is like a gosh-darn cheat code. This 3-pack sounds like a great complement to grilling, tacos, breakfast—oh, and beer.
Don’t feel like having a conversation with the people you’re drinking beer alongside? Fair. But sitting in silence? That’s just awkward. Fortunately, man developed “drinking games” for exactly this scenario. This is one of the most fun card-based drinking games I’ve played, with rules simple enough to understand after a few brews, but dynamic enough to hold your buzzed buddies’ attention.
Sometimes I see stuff and I’m like, “WTF, why didn’t I think of that?” That’s exactly how I felt when I learned about Unlabeled, a board game that’s not just a drinking game, but a game about beer. Part taste-test, part-trivia, part-beer-pot-luck, this is a great gift for true beer snobs and a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
Tired: Beer pong. Wired: FEAR PONG. This game raises the stakes on that frat house-favorite by incorporating elements of Truth or Dare. Make sure to play this with people you’re really comfortable looking like an idiot in front of, or else you’re bound for some embarrassing surprises.
Form follows function with this nifty piece. You get a lot of value out of a single piece furniture since this simple patio coffee table also double as a bar table, drink cooler, raised hot tub table, and cocktail party table. It’s also affordable enough that you could spring for two if you’re trying to upgrade your backyard entertaining space.
Remember my story about the random plastic bags filled with bottle caps? There’s a better way: this bottle cap bank. Mount this baby on your wall and you won’t have to fish through your junk drawer for a proper opener. It’ll hold 500 caps, so you can skip the bags.
This may be the I-haven’t-seen-people-in-months-because-of-the-pandemic talking, but this shirt is incredible. Yeah, the beers are fake, but the fashion is real. It’s a fun, dumb beer shirt—don’t overthink it.
Who doesn’t love a candle? It’s the most no-brainer of gifts, especially when it’s a nice candle like this one from Swag Brewery. There’s no gimmick here: These candles actually smell good.The 40+ hour burn time means that it’s a beer gift that keeps on giving.
If beer-scented bar soap isn’t enough for your hygienic needs, there’s beer-infused shampoo that you can plop beside your beer shower caddy. This gets surprisingly great reviews on Amazon and it’s not going to mess with you coiffure: No sulfates, phthalates, or parabens means it passes the sniff test when it comes to solid hair care.
When you don’t need a full-blown cooler, but you want to transport brews while keeping them cold, there’s this chic cooler bag. Imagine rolling up to a picnic like a beer secret agent with this bad boy in hand. It’s designed for a number of configurations and fits three wine bottles, six 12-oz beer bottles, ten 12-oz cans, or seven 16-oz cans.
One of the best parts about Jack Brown’s—the aforementioned craft beer that served as the setting for my wife and I falling in love with beer (and each other)—is their “100 Notch Club,” which incentivizes patrons to keep lists of each new beer they try with a customizable rating system. Once you reach 100 beers, you join the club with a badass personalized shirt and your name memorialized on the wall of the bar. Cataloging, indexing, and ranking beers became a major part of my introduction to beer as a hobby, and it’s one that I’ve tried to keep up with over the years. That 100 Notch Club sheet was like a more bare bones version of this attractive passport, which fulfills that urge to record your own personal beer history. It’s a veritable journal that serves as a collection of all your beer adventures. Time to start filling those blank pages!
BruMate’s mission is to “create a world without warm beer, ruined cocktails, and stale wine.” Cheers to that. Their Hopsulator can coolers are perfect for your favorite tallboys, and come in a wide variety of fun, funky colors and styles.
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