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Hop candy: Bittersweet?

These hop-infused chocolates come in different flavors, hop flavors that is.

For instance: Amarillo – floral and citrusy, typically used in American Ales and IPA’s. 8% – 10% Alpha Acid, medium bitterness and hop flavor. Or: Northern Brewer – Strong fragrant hop with a unique mint-like evergreen flavor. 7% – 10% Alpha Acid, Medium to Strong flavor and bitterness.

All Hopolates are made to order, so this won’t work as a last-second present.

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

What would Santa drink?

Don Russell, known in some quarters at “Joe Sixpack,” takes a look at the historic link between Santa and drink.

Not to destroy your innocent visions of sugar plums and candy canes, but when it comes to treats on a long winter’s night, if it’s all the same to you, Santa Claus would rather have a beer.

He looks at various efforts to “dry out” Santa, has plenty of suggestions for what Santa would drink, and in the end puts the question to Santa himself.

The best coasters come with free beer

Free Beer Coaster Narragansett, which has long included rebus puzzles under its bottle caps, is giving away limited edition ‘Gansett coasters that give drinkes a chance to win free beer or a trip to Florida.

Now through Dec. 31, participating retailers will hand out a set of limited-edition ‘Gansett coasters featuring holiday rebuses (picture/word puzzles) with the purchase of a 12-pack. Hidden within these coaster puzzles are 100 chances to win “Free Beer for a Year” and one grand prize of a Ft. Myers Spring Training vacation.

Coasters are free with the purchase of any 12-pack (or two 6-packs) of ‘Gansett Lager, Light or Porter bottles at all major package stores throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

More information.