Beer as a piece of the puzzle

Beery jigsaw puzzleSorry, doing jigsaw puzzles and drinking beer might make you free smarter, but there is no proof it actually works. We’re fine with the fact it can be fun. More so when the puzzle has a beer theme.

There must already be rules for an accompanying drinking game.

The puzzle pictured here is one of several beer-related puzzles at Amazon, but you can find them at a surprising range of places, like Toys”R”Us or your local bookstore.

Just remember to assemble responsibly.

Bobble Openers

These are the sort of things you either love or hate. They’re very colorful and modern looking, not at all like a traditional bottle opener. But for the right bar or kitchen, they’re pretty cool. Fun wobbly figures open bottles with their strong stainless steel teeth.

Bobble Openers

Designed by Kikkerland, they’re fairly inexpensive depending on where you get them, making them a great stocking stuffer. Amazon sells them for $7 per bobble opener. You’ll find them at other sites and in brick and mortar stores as well.

New books for the beer enthusiast

The Audacity of HopsHere are 10 recently released books we think any beer enthusiast would be happy to find under the tree (OK, nine you can buy now and the tenth does have recipes for a homebrewer, but we’re sure it’s worth the wait and will be enjoyed by beer lovers as well as brewers):

- The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution

- Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

- The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes

- The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries

- The Pocket Beer Guide: The Essential Handbook to the Very Best Beers in the World

- The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing’s Outer Limits

- California Breweries North

- Craft Beer World

- Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana

- And due out Jan. 1: The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1950

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Keeping your cool

Cool-brewingfermentation coolerIt’s always a sad day when a beer doctor suggests to a homebrewer that her or his beer might be “fermentably challenged.”

The Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler works much more effectively to keep fermentation temperatures from soaring, and thus ruining a batch, than swamp coolers or other homemade coolers.

It is designed specifically to accommodate standard 5-gallon and 6.5-gallon fermentation buckets and carboys, and is built to hold ice packs, ice, or anything cold (such a frozen-2-liter jugs) and 100 percent waterproof. It costs $56 plus shipping.

Jewelry fit for a Hop Queen

Hop Queen Whole Leaf Hop Pendant NecklaceThe Etsy store bin52 offers accessories made by a homebrewer for homebrewers and craft beer lovers. All pieces are made with real grains and hops.

The “Hop Queen Whole Leaf Hop Pendant Necklace” is pictured here.

A search at Etsy using the word beer will return more than 60,000 options, so you might want to include a second words, such as hops, ornament, earring or . . . use your imagination.