Archive | Gift Ideas

A book that does the tasting ‘work’

It’s creators describe 33 Bottles of Beer as a “beer sketchbook.”

At three-and-a-half by five inches it slips easily into a pocket and provides a degree of organization to note taking that sometimes starts to disappear during an evening of beer drinking. It contains, as you might have guessed by the name, 33 pages for notes.

A page is pictured on the right. You’ll notice it includes a flavor wheel that allows you to rate the intensity of certain flavors or aromas. You can even connect them to create what is known as a spider chart, particularly fun to analyze after a few beers.

Publisher BS Brewing is located in Portland, Oregon, and the book is available at some retailers in the area, selling for $4 a booklet or three for $10. For more information or to order visit

HopRocket: Hopback meets Randal

Blickmann HopRocketThe new HopRocket from Blichmann Engineering is finding its way on to many homebrewers’ wish lists. It can be used as a hopback or a hop infuser. This is a cutaway view, showing the interior.

The skinny from Blickmann:

* Pressure tight – up to 40 PSI operation!
* Holds up to 4oz of whole hops – 2X the competition!
* 100% stainless construction & silicone seals
* No need to monitor wort level – will never overflow and spill like competitive units!
* Fully enclosed system from brew pot to fermentor means no volitile hop aromas are lost!
* Inlet at the bottom allows air to automatically purge to reduce hot-side aeration
* Fine filter with wiper seal sends very clear wort to your fermentor.
* Coarse filter and cone bottom inlet prevents wort channeling and backup for even hop utilization
* Works on gravity systems and with pumps (about 4ft (1M) of static head is recommended for best gravity performance)
* Doubles as an awesome hop infuser (Randalizer) for your dispensing system
* 1/2″ NPT connections are easy to adapt to – a perfect match for our popular QuickConnector fittings (1/2″, 3/8″ barb and 1/4″ flare)
* Dimensions: 10″ H, 6.5″ wide (fittings to fittings)
* Hop capacity: 4oz (whole hops only)
* Pressure rating: 40 PSI max
* Connections: 1/2″ NPT (male)

It costs about $120.

Beer gift packs: Part II

More beer gift packs. (See Part I here.)

Samuel Adams Winter Classics. Two bottle each of Boston lager, Winter Lager, Old Fezziwig Ale, Cranberry Lambic, Holiday Porter and Coastal Wheat.

Corsendonk offers several different gift packages, featuring both its Christmas Ale and year-round beers. The Corsendonk Geschenkdoos Gift Pack includes 750 ml bottles of both Cosendonk Pater and Agnus plus two tulips glasses. Corsendock Degustation Gift Pack feature 330 ml bottles of Abbey Brown and Abby Pale Ale and a tulip glass. A Corsendonk Christmas Ale Gift Tin contains a 750 bottle of the Christmas Ale and a goblet.

New Glarus Gift Pack. The Wisconsin brewery includes 750 ml bottles of Wisconsin Belgian Red and Rasberry Tart along with two Champagne flutes.

Left hand Holiday Pack. The Colorado brewery includes 22-ounce bottles of Juju Ginter, Sawtooth Ale, Milk Stout and Oak Aged Imperial Stout.

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve. A 22-ounce bottle of the beer along with a Santa’s Reserve glass in a wodden box.

Chimay Sampler Pack. One 330 ml bottle each of Chimay Red, Chimay White and Chimay Blue and a Chimay goblet.

Best of Belgium from Anheuser-Busch In Bev. Six-packs of Leffe Blonde, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois in the 10-bottle package.

Beer gift packs: Part I

Why don’t beer gift packs include a bottle opener?

You’ve got beer. You’ve got a glass. They are otherwise perfect.

More breweries seem to have come to the same conclusions because we’re certainly seeing more gift packs in more places — like at Cost Plus and the local grocery store.

They come in a variety of configurations. Some include beers only from one brewery, others multiple brands though usually from the same country. Not all, sadly, include glassware.

A few examples (with more to follow once we are embarrassed by who isn’t included):

Lindemans Gift Box. One bottle each of Lindemans Framboise and Pomme, a stemmed Lindemans glass.

Weihenstephan Gift Box. Bottles of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissebier, Kristall, Dunkel and Vitus (a pale weizenbock) plus a wheat beer glass.

Saranac 12 Beers of Winter. A variety pack with two bottles each of Saranac Belgian Ale, Big Moose Ale, Maple Porter, Winter Lager, Rye IPA and Black Lager. Sorry, no glass.

Full Sail Gift Box. Here’s a brewery that got it right. Two 22-ounce bottles (Wreck the Halls and Old Boardhead Barleywine), two pint glass, a Full Sail T-shirt, coasters, stickers and a keychain bottle opener.

Unibroue Gift Pack. Eight bottles, different Unibroue beers.

Samuel Smith Selection Box. Bottles of Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale and Pale Ale, a glass and coasters.