The Hop Review's Holiday Gift Guide
By now, you've likely seen a few iterations of the standard 'Christmas Gift Guide' across the web and in print. So, why not take in one more!? We've got a few items, books & beers we just couldn't keep to ourselves. So take a quick look at our beer-focused Holiday Gift Guide, and put this list to work. Any and all of these would put a smile on your favorite beer lover's face this season. Cheers!
1. Cicerone Beer Styles Profiles Cards. Flash cards because we can always brush up. (Cicerone.org – $14.95) 2. Vintage Coasters For the nostalgic drinker. (Strange Cargo – $0.25/ea.) 3. Hoppy Holidays Greeting Cards Everyone loves snail mail. (Hail to the Ale – $4.00) 4. Cicerone Church Key Tried 'n true bartender's choice opener. (Cicerone.org – $4.95) 5. (Formerly 'American') Chicago Beer Classic Tickets Your much more organized big box beer festival (chicagobeerclassic.com – $39.00) 6. Revolution Brewing Koozie Who doesn't love a koozie? (revbrew.com – $3.00)
BEERS TO-GO, & SHARE
1. Begyle Brewing Co. We recommend a growler of their Flannel Pajamas stout – it's pretty great (Northcenter Taproom – $10.00/32oz.) 2. Eataly's La Birreria Snag a 32oz howler of their in-house brewed Gina APA to refresh after your long trip home for Christmas. (River North taproom – $10/32oz) 3. Half Acre Beer Co. Heyoka, I mean Senita, no I mean Gone Away is always great, but next time you are taking beer home, go with Space IPA, a taproom exclusive, then thank us later. (Northcenter taproom – $Price varies/32 oz.) 4. Piece Brewery With so many award winning beers, it is hard to pick one; whatever you choose, you won't regret it (Wicker Park brewpub – $Prices vary/64 oz). 5. Wooden Bottle Caddy A great way to gift your next mix-6, plus it has a built in bottle opener (worldmarket.com – $16.99) 6. Solemn Oath Brewery In the 'burbs? Swing by this popular west side taproom. The Viking series are all rock solid, but if you are looking to switch it up, we recommend the Belgian IPA Butterfly Flashmob. (Naperville taproom – $Prices Vary/64 oz.)
THINGS TO PUT YOUR BEER IN
1 - 4. Spiegelau Monogrammed Beer Glass Set A set of thoughtful and proper glasses to hold your thoughtful and proper beers (Pottery Barn – Starting at $45.00/set of 4) 2. GoVino Go-Anywhere Beer Glasses Finally, a plastic beer vehicle that you've graduated to. (GoVino – $14.95/set of 4.)
GIFTS THAT AREN'T BEER
1. Journeyman Distillery Whiskey Sampler. West Michigan's award-winning distillery and barrel-provider for many a Chicago brewery; gift 2 bottles, keep 1 for yourself. (Bottles & Cans – $49.95/3pk) 2. Intelligentsia Frequency Blend Not the same beans used in Goose's BCBS, but still a well balanced roast worth the purchase. (Intelligentsia – $14.00/12oz) 3. Dark Matter Unicorn Blood The same nutty, peanut buttery roast as used in 3 Floyds' Dark Lord (Dark Matter Coffee – $14.00/12oz) 4. Brine Hound Mallet Bottle Opener An opener fit for the seafood lover. Get one of these personalized utensils for the next time you head to the Angry Crab. (Brine Hound – $13.00) 5. Six Pack Appetizer Plates Beer puns, on plates. Yeah. (Crate & Barrel – $26.99)
FOR your reading pleasure
1. Oh Beautiful Beer Celebrates craft beer and graphic design. ($17.99) 2. Tasting Beer Explore the flavors of craft beer. ($10.99) 3. Draft Magazine Stay on top of the latest craft beer news. ($19.99/6 issues) 4. The Umami Factor From beer to wine and spirits, understand that umami you are tasting. ($39.99) 5. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Every homebrewer's bible. This is a must read for anyone new to brewing. ($14.99) 6. Beer, Food, and Flavor Learn the art of pairing your favorites beers with your favorite foods. ($14.99) 7. The United States of Craft Beer Coast to Coast, find great breweries throughout the states. ($13.99)
FOR YOUR DRINKING PLEASURE
1. Milkstachio South Loop Brewing Co./DryHop collaborative pistachio milk stout. ($12.99/4pk) 2. Pamplemousse A tart and citrusy wild ale from Lake Effect Brewing. ($9.99/750ml) 3. Lexical Gap Pollyanna's straight up West Coast IPA with tons of Citra, Columbus, Centennial, & Simcoe hops. ($10.49/4pk) 4. Rookery Rye IPA This Rye IPA from Atlas smells amazing and taste just as good, with a spicy dry finish. ($10.99/6pk) 5. Rugged Coalminer Scorched Earth's robust porter is fittingly roasty. ($10.99/6pk) 6. Jungle Boogie Bridgeport's Marz Community Brewing brings us this amazing American wheat infused with Rooibos tea. ($8.49/500mL) 7. Bean Gene Revolution's Eugene porter, aged in bourbon barrels then steeped with Dark Matter coffee; perfect morning, noon, and night. ($16.99/22oz) 8. BA Belligerent Bob Spiteful took home two FoBAB gold medals, this barleywine was one of them, 'nuff said. ($26.99/22oz) 9. Belt & Suspenders Deliciously balanced American IPA with loads of pine and citrus. ($10.99/6pk) 10. Begyle Christmas Ale The perfect beer to share with kith and kin on Christmas Day. ($7.99/22oz)
NICE THINGS TO HANG ON YOUR WALL
1. Herb Lester City Guides City Guides of what to eat, drink & see – as formatted by creatives. Shown: Chicago & Manhattan (herblester.com – $6.00) 2. IL Beer Cap Map Remember those Illinois beers, tangibly. (beercapmaps.com – $39.00) 3. 'The Diagram of Beer' Print Every beer style you can imagine, formatted beautifully. (popchartlab.com – $29.00) 4. 'Barrel Body' Illustrated Prints Designer Mikey Burton's series of common food & beverages – as seen in DryHop's Art Series. (mikeyburton.com – $Upon Request) 5. Worth A Thousand Beers Prints Chicago artist MC Johnsen breaks down your favorite beer style in illustrated fashion. (Worth A Thousand Beers – $30.00) 6. Beers in the Sun Prints Aussie artist, Barry P, draws up his favorite beer cans (in the sun) with these fun illustrations. (barryp.me – $22.00) 7. Whiskey Glassware Print Because your beer fanatic probably likes whiskey, too – and its glassware that holds it. (jackmuldowney.com – $25.00) 8. Fantastical Fictive Beers Because we've all wanted to see what Al Bundy drinks next to what Homer Simpson drinks, on one poster. (popchartlab.com – $29.00)
Thanks for taking in our first curated Gift Guide. Let us know what other gifts are getting handed out to beer lovers this Christmas season. Special thanks to Bottles & Cans for supplying the beer for this guide. Be sure to drop in their Northcenter shop to stock up before you head home. It's likely you'll need beer. And they have plenty to choose from.