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.]

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.

What’s a beer lover want most?

Samuel Adams UtopiasBeer, of course. There was a time that “Real Beer for the Holidays” included a somewhat comprehensive list of holiday beers. That’s become impossible to compile. But beer remains at the top of any beer lover’s wish list, whether it is seasonal or otherwise special.

Pictured here is Samuel Adams Utopias, which has a suggested retail price of $199 when you are lucky enough to find it.

You don’t need to spend quite as much to find a special beer. You also shouldn’t be intimidated by a beer aisle that has begun to look as scary — so many labels, so many varieties, such a range of prices — as the wine aisle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If somebody who works at the store isn’t available there’s every chance that another of the customers will be something of a beer expert. Turns out there are times beer geeks can be of use.

You might even find a beer to take home for yourself.