The Chosen Beer

Build your own menorahShmaltz Brewing Company once again celebrates the holiday with new beers, a gift pack and a contest. The eight-pack of 12-ounce bottles includes the two new beers — the 18th Anniversary Jewbelation 18 and Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer Dark Ale (8 malts, 8 hops, 8% ABV). It also has the barrel-aged sour beer, 2014′s Funky Jewbelation, Rejewvenator, the collaboration beers with Terrapin Brewing (Reunion Ale ’14 – A Beer For Hope) and Cathedral Square Brewery (St. Lenny’s – The Immaculate Collaboration), Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA, and Messiah Nut Brown Ale.

The gift pack includes a custom glass, Chanukah candles and a “Build Your Own” Beer menorah portrait by Jennifer Maher. Transform each of the 8 iconic bottles, plus one Shamash bottle (0 malts, 0 hops, 0% ABV), into your own beer menorah. The brewery invites fans to submit a photo of their menorah in its 5th Annual “Build Your Own Beer Menorah” competition on Facebook.

Toast with beer?

Jelly made with beerIt’s a silly pun, but we can’t resist.

These jellies made with beer aren’t just for breakfast. Here’s the story from the website:

“The indulgence of craft beer meets handmade, small batch preserves in this set of beer jellies—including one each of IPA, Black IPA, Porter and Oatmeal Stout. Intrepid former archaeologist and hardcore foodie Nancy Warner moved to Vermont and, inspired by the bountiful local food and beer culture, transformed a variety of beers from notable local craft breweries into enticingly unique jellies. The traditional ingredients of beer (hops, malt and yeast) are rendered into jellies that balance malty sweetness with the hop profiles of the beer styles used: floral and spicy notes in the IPA and Black IPA, smoky-sweet in the porter, roasty and earthy in the stout. Add a distinctive touch to cheese platters, use them to glaze meats, mix them in cocktails and salad dressings, use them for irresistible baking (like peanut butter and porter muffins), or indulge in a grown-up pb&j!”

Only in Vermont.

Hop-infused Beerd Balm

Beerded Beard Company Bundle: All Natural Hop Infused Beard Care & Lip Balm SetThis is what happens when a chemical engineer becomes a Certified Cicerone. You get stuff like beard balm that smells like hops.

Lesher’s Beerd Balm varieties include a full range of what hops can offer, from New World Citra to the classic Czech Saaz. And Bob Lesher’s Etsy store includes other hop-infused products as well, including lip balm. This picture is for the bundled set, but the items may also be purchased individually.

World Bottled Beers: 50 Classics

World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour“World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour” is a book shaped like a bottle. You might want to consider it as a stocking stuffer, because it doesn’t look fun to wrap.

This is not another “best beers” book but simply one with 50 outstanding recommendations. Adrien Tierney-Jones — who organized and contributed to “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die — gives a brief history of each of the beers as well as descriptions of the aromas and flavors that make each beer unique. He also includes a list of similar beers for each entry.

Here’s what he has to say about Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing:

“Drunk fresh, it has a fiery alcoholic edge on the palate, through it is moderated by a smooth and creamy mouthfeel alongside fruitcake spice, zesty orange-citrus notes and a hint of white pepper, before a long, bittersweet finish. Meanwhile, the nose features hints of ripe apricot, Christmas cake and an earthy, Burgundian hoppiness. As it ages, the beer develops a sweetness reminiscent of an old Madeira wine; on the palate it can be vinous, woody, firey and have a hint of roast banana as well as a brandy-like elegance.”

And thinking about the stocking you might put it in, it is 3 1/4 inches wide and 10 1/2 inches tall.

Beer Hunter: The Movie

Beer Hunter: The MovieThe straightforward description at IMBD simply states: “Beer Hunter’ is a documentary film about the beloved and influential beer and whiskey journalist Michael Jackson. His books on beer and whiskey have sold millions of copies, and his 1993 Discovery Channel television series, ‘The Beer Hunter,’ inspired countless brewers and beer enthusiasts and literally helped shape the course of the craft brewing revolution sweeping the world. This is an intimate look into Michael’s life, through rare footage from his travels combined with current interviews with the world’s leading brewers and beer writers.”

But there is much more to “Beer Hunter.” Filmmaker J.R. Richards shares footage he shot in the years before Jackson died in 2007. He also collected tributes from members of the brewing industry that make Jackson’s influence all the more apparent. And he dug up vintage film from Jackson’s early days of beer hunting. All of it makes great viewing. [Details about the movie and ordering a DVD.]