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.]

Don’t forget Santa

Beer cookies for You are ready for Christmas. Your shopping is done. You’ve selected the beers you will drink tomorrow. Time to open one and relax.

Except … what about Santa? He might want more than a beer set out by the chimney. So here’s a recipe for “White Beer Cookies” from the Food Network:

Ingredients
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Belgian style white beer
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium orange, zested
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Icing: (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 orange zested using a bar grater, optional

Directions
Put the beer and honey to a medium saucepan and reduce over medium heat until you have about 1/3 cup of liquid. You will occasionally have to skim the foam off the top of the beer. You will know you have hit 1/3 of a cup of liquid as the liquid will suddenly begin to aggressively foam due to the high concentration of sugar. Let this reduction cool to room temperature.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander, and beer reduction and blend again. Mix the flour and baking soda together then slowly add to the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a uniform scoop scoop mounds of cookies onto an aluminum cookie sheet lined with parchment. Make sure you do not overcrowd the cookies; you should be able to fit about 12 cookies on a half sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes (depending on your oven it may take more or less time, for some ovens it could take 15 minutes for others it could take 25; 20 minutes is an average time).

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until they are cool enough (about 10 minutes) to transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Better with a beer in one hand

Sweetwater 420 Cornhole gameHave you every noticed that the very best beer festivals offer attendees a chance to play cornhole?

We have.

This cornhole set, complete with eight bags, comes from Sweetwater Brewing in Georgia, but we suspect you can find others with different brewery branding. And if your favorite brewery doesn’t make a set (yet) it is easy enough to make your own, either from scratch or by buying a generic set of boards and adding you favorite logos.