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Best Beer Gifts – 2017 Holiday Beer Gift Guide

Beer Stuffed Stocking

For the 2017 Holiday Season, here are 49 creative beer gift ideas for the beer lover in your life!

Hello brew crew!

The holidays – and gift-giving season – are rapidly approaching. To assist, we updated our annual beer gift list that will make beer lovers blush when they tear open the wrapping paper.

We feature 49 different products this year, including unique bottle openers, snacks, beer books, games, and other fun stuff.  The gifts range in prices and, with most costing less than $50, so you should be able to cover everyone on your list no matter how naughty or nice they’ve been.

To make things easier, we’ve divided the gifts into major categories of “Beer Opening and Serving,” “Tours,” “Snacks” “Books and Magazines,” “Games,” “Other Fun Stuff,” “Certifications,” and “Homebrewing.” Just scroll below and enjoy!

Beer Opening & Serving

Beer Chilling Granite Coasters1. Beer Chilling Coaster Set

Made with New Hampshire granite, these unique coasters will keep your beer bottles cool. Throw them in the fridge or freezer before using. When you are ready to drink, pull them out and they will help keep beer bottle cold. Live free or die…with a cold beer in hand. $68. Link.

 

Bottle Opener Rings2. Bottle Opener Ring

You may have seen Bruce wear this ring while leading a beer tour (he is truly “married to the bottle”). A simple Google search provides a bunch of options, but here is a cheap option from World Market for two different sizes of rings for only $4.99. Link.

 

Corkcicle Chillsner Beer Chiller

3. Corkcicle Chillsner Beer Chiller

Another way to combat warm beer. The folks at Corkcicle invented this unique beer chiller. Freeze the Corkcicle rod before using, attach it to a beer bottle and BOOM! You are all set for some summertime chill action with an appropriately cool beer. $19.95 for 2. Link.

 

Libbey Glass Set

4. Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Clear Beer Glass Set, 6-Piece

Even though the standard pint glasses abound in the U.S., glassware is important when drinking beer. Here is an inexpensive, basic set to cover some of the main styles. $34.95.  Link.

 

Beer Paddles5. Drink Paddles

These wooden drink paddles are a classy way to present beer tastings. $27.95. Link.

 

Ultimate Beer Paddle6. Ultimate Beer Paddles

For a more modern look, these beer paddles are acrylic and claim to be more durable and easier to clean than other designs. $19.99. Link.

 

6 Bottle Bike Bag7. 6 Bottle Bike Bag

Our tour guides Glenn and Anna love to bike when they are not leading tours, and find it’s a great way to keep off those beer lbs. But biking makes us thirsty. Why not bring some delicious suds right with you so you can quench that thirst and start the cycle of beer all over again? $34.50. Link.

 

Beer Coasters Beer Quotes8. Set of 8 Homemade Beer Quote Coasters

“In dog beers, I’ve only had one.” This innovative set of homemade beer quote coasters will be sure to see some chuckles from your craft beer drinking friends. $8. Link.

 

Kegorator9.EdgeStar KC2000 Full-Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler

Here’s a very cool turn-key kegorator for people who want to have suds right on tap. Better than trying to convert an old fridge that some stranger urinated in that was found on in an alley, which is what Bruce and his idiot friends tried in college. $399. Link.

 

Beersavers10. Reusable Silicone Bottle Caps

You probably know that you can buy wine stoppers to save bottles of wine (and protect your liver), but did you know that you can do the same with beer? Think about that next time you open your specialty bomber of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout. $9.99 for a set of six. Link.

 

Homemade Map Bottle Opener11. Custom Map Bottle Opener

Do you have somewhere special that you want to remember? These homemade made-to-order map bottle openers should do the trick. Very cool and unique. $95-$120. Link.

 

 

Tours

Enjoying beer at Vice District Brewing on the Loop & South Loop Tour

Give the gift of fun by sending loved ones on one of our beer tours!

12. Gift Certificate to a Chicago Beer Experience Beer Tour

We are admittedly biased and partial to our gift certificates to our beer tours, which are perfect for craft beer lovers, Chicago lovers, or for those pesky friends and family members who seemingly have everything! These gift certificates are redeemable for any of our tours in Chicago’s Lakeview/Lincoln Park, Bucktown/Wicker Park, or Loop & South Loop neighborhoods (or any future locations or products that we offer). Recipients will enjoy Chicago history while sampling a variety of the some of the best craft beers the city has to offer. Once a gift certificate is purchased, it will be sent to you immediately via email through our vendor EzTix. Our gift certificates never expire! Click here to purchase.

 

Snacks

Bees Knees Nuts13. Bees Knees Nuts

We’ve personally had the pleasure of snacking on Bees Knees Nuts for years and have come to realize that they are the crack cocaine of snacks. Chris Ferguson created these specifically to pair with beer, and the flavors of Chipotle + Lime, Curry, Szechuan, and Mexican Hot Chocolate are irresistible. $11.99 for 3 bags. Link.

 

Beer Jelly14. Handcrafted Beer Jelly

Beer for breakfast? Yes please. Handcrafted in Vermont, these beer jellies will allow you to enjoy beer with your eggs in a less obvious way than usual. A delicious way to start the day, blending sweet and savory. $30 for 4. Link.

 

 

ReGrained Granola Bars15. ReGrained Supergrain Granola Bars

Brewing beer can create a lot of waste, including spent grain. Still packed with a lot of nutrients, clever folks developed a way to use these grains from breweries and put them to delicious reuse in flavored granola bars. Now you can eat beer and help save the planet. Available in Chocolate Coffee Stout or Cinnamon Honey IPA. $26.85 for 12. Link.

 

Books and Magazines

New for 2017 

Tasting Beer - An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink

16. Tasting Beer, 2nd Edition: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher

This is our favorite basic beer book, and one that we use to help train guides giving our tours. It provides the basics behind making beer, tasting beer, and beer styles, and delves deeper in appropriate places, while maintaining an easy-to-understand, enjoyable tone. The second edition is NEW this year. $12.20 paperback. Link.

 

beermiscuous field guide17. Beermiscuous Field Guide to Chicago Breweries

The staff at Beermiscuous, an excellent beer shop/bar in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, moved mountains to bring us a field guide detailing Chicago’s vibrant and booming beer scene. Featuring over 100 area breweries, this is an excellent way to keep track of those taprooms you want to visit in the Windy City and its suburbs! $14.95 paperback. Link.

 

The Secrets of Master Brewers18. The Secrets of Master Brewers: Techniques, Traditions, and Homebrew Recipes for 26 of the World’s Classic Beer Styles, from Czech Pilsner to English Old Ale by Jeff Alworth

The best-selling beer author uses tours of 26 breweries to highlight brewing technics for numerous styles of beer. $16.96 paperback. Link.

 

Ancient Brews19. Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created by Patrick E. McGovern

You know we love history through the lens of beer. Here, Patrick McGovern takes us through time and geography to bring us ancient brewing technics worldwide. Very cool. $18.51 hardcover. Link.

 

 

How to Brew20. How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time by John J. Palmer 

With that title, this book better be good. Based on reviews, it is. Pick up this book for your aspiring homebrewer. They will hopefully thank you with high-quality brews. $16.96. Link.

 

 

Grilled Cheese & Beer21. Grilled Cheese & Beer: Recipes for the Finer Things in Life by Kevin VanBlarcum and James Edward Davis

Probably the only consumable that comes close to beer for Bruce is cheese. This book pairs both of them in a powerhouse combo. Give this to a cook in your family so they can prepare extra special treats. $14.58. Link.

 

 

Lager22. Lager: The Definitive Guide to Tasting and Brewing the World’s Most Popular Beer Styles by Dave Carpenter 

For you lager fans, you now get a book all to yourself. Celebrate the refreshingness and leave your hazy IPAs behind. $22.83 hardcover. Link.

 

 

Trappist Beer Travels23. Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries by Caroline Wallace,‎ Sarah Wood,‎ and Jessica Deahl 

Learn all about the legendary breweries of Trappist monks. You are going to want to book a European vacation after reading this one. $21.24 hardcover. Link.

 

 

Atlas of Beer24. National Geographic Atlas of Beer: A Globe-Trotting Journey Through the World of Beer by Nancy Hoalst-Pullen andMark W. Patterson

For those of you who need a beautiful new coffee table book, this could be it. Journey around the world through beer. From $24. Link.

Other Great Beer Books 

Beer Bible Book by Jeff Aleworth

25. The Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth

For those of you looking for a more comprehensive take on beer styles and the basics, this book should do it. It still maintains accessibility, too. $14.36 paperback. Link.

 

 

Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian

26. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Fourth Edition by Charlie Papazian

A lot of people consider this book the “must have” for any beginning homebrewer, and we agree. Papazian’s comforting writing style makes homebrewing fun and accessible while not shying away from the complexity of the process. $13.04 paperback. Link.

 

Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher27. Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher

Although published over a decade ago, this book is still highly relevant for the home brewers among us. More advanced than an introductory lesson, it dives deeper into more unique styles and ingredients, and what the homebrewer should understand before getting a bit crazy. $16.01 paperback. Link.

 

So You Want to Start A Brewery by Tony Magee28. So You Want to Start a Brewery?: The Lagunitas Story by Tony Magee

This book weaves the tale of Chicagoan Tony Magee’s efforts of starting and growing Lagunitas, which is now based in both California and Chicago. With the current craft brewery consolidation, including Lagunitas’s own Heineken sale, this book only gains in significance. $13.78 paperback. Link.

 

Beer Advocate Magazine29. Beer Advocate Subscription

Tailored more towards industry professionals, this magazine centers on the craft beer movement. $19.95. Link.

 

 

Games

Custom Corn Hole Board30. Custom bags/corn hole set by Chitown Custom Corn Hole Boards

Winter may be coming…but summer will be here before we know it. Have a Chicago based company help you with a custom cornhole/bags set to get ready to enjoy the sun when it first appears in mid-March.  They can even put in LED hole lights so you can play at night, too. Price varies. Link.

Beer Pong Table31. Fancy Custom beer pong table by Chippewa Five

Chicago startup Chippewa Five, or C5 for short, makes high-end custom beer pong tables. Now, you can play over the age of 30…and perhaps feel a little less guilty about it. Tables start at the grown-up price of $829. Link.

 

Brew Dice32. Brew Dice

A simple, fun dice and card game that incorporates craft breweries on the cards. Gets addictive and competitive, and perfect to play in the taproom. $14.95. Link.

 

 

Brewopoloy

33. Brew-Opoly

You’ve probably seen all of those crazy monopoly variations. Here’s one that adds microbreweries to the mix as a theme. Buy and build your brewery empire and out-compete  your friends. $23.81. Link.

 

Brewbracket34. Brew Bracket

Here’s a neat way to gamify the tasting class experience. A perfect way to drink away a cold snowy day. $35. Link.

 

Thinking and Drinking35. Thinking and Drinking

This card game will foster conversation by asking questions, which will undoubtedly be more fun the more beer you drink. It also features breweries on each card. Complete set for $20. Link.

 

 

Collecting

Beer Cap Shadow Box36. Beer Cap Collector Shadow Box

This creative piece will allow you to show off a ton of your craft beer bottle caps. $70.72 Link.

 

Beer Cap Map37. Beer Cap Maps

For the craft beer travel enthusiast, these cap maps are really cool. A very neat way to display beers that you’ve had from all over the country…or the world. Prices vary. Link.

 

 

Other Fun Stuff

Beer Portrait38. Beer portrait

Why not buy a loved one their portrait painted in beer? Kyle Bice, a Chicago-based illustrator and author who also works in the craft beer industry, primarily as a label artist with New Holland Brewing, paints these awesome portraits. Using a porter or stout, he’ll paint a picture of your friend, family member, or loved one in beer. Custom portraits start at $200. Link.

Beer Cufflinks39. Stainless Steel Bottle Opener Cufflinks

Never worry about opening a beer at the opera again. $55. Link.

 

 

Beer Soap40. Beer Soap

The Beer Soap Company makes over 130 different types of soap made with different varieties of beer. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “shower beer.” Starts at $6.75. Link.

 

Beer Candle41. Craft beer candles

How about candles that use Chicago area craft beer bottles for a relaxing, interesting gift? Or you can find pendants made from craft beer labels, too! Check out Chicago artist Caroline Horist. Candles start at $15. Link.

 

USB Beer Cooler42. Mini-USB Powered Fridge Cooler

A perfect gift for someone who wants to get disciplined at work, this adorable micro-fridge plus into a computer to cool 1 canned beverage of your choice. Now, you can take a beer out of here unsuspectingly and chug it after a rough day. $20.99. Link.

 

Hop Ornament43. Hops Christmas Tree Ornament

Filled with Michigan hops picked this year, this ornament will display your love of beer by showing one of the main ingredients in a fun, unique way. Especially great for IPA fans or other hop heads. $14.75. Link.

 

Beer Lights44. Bottle Cap String Lights

Decorate your bar or party pit with this 10-count string of lights that stretches 8.5 feet. $20.80. Link.

 

 

Beer Basket45. Gift baskets…with beer

We think beer beats fruitcakes. While you can find various gift baskets online, we like the ones that include beer from the Bro Basket. Make sure they can ship alcohol to your state (beer is acceptable in Illinois). Prices vary. Link.

 

 

Certifications

Cicerone Logo46. Cicerone Certifications

Started by Chicagoan Randy Mosher in 2007, the Cicerone program has become the definitive beer certification program. For the beer industry professional or enthusiast in your family or group of friends, you can buy them a gift to the various courses and study materials that they offer. Prices vary. Link.

 

BJCP Logo47. Beer Judge Certification Program

The Beer Judge Certification Program as another certification that is geared towards judging beer festivals. Much of the process is free. Link.

 

 

Homebrewing

Home Brew Journal48. Home Brew Journal

This classy journal will help keep any budding brewing on track. $28. Link.

 

 

49. Picture of Brewers Best Beer Brewing Equipment KitHomebrewing Equipment

Homebrewing is an incredible gateway into craft beer. It deepens the understanding and appreciation of the brewing process. We recommend at least trying it, even if after you then prefer to buy from the pros…like we do.

For those of you looking to get someone into the brewing game, a basic homebrewing kit can be had for between $100-$200. We recommend staying away from the extreme budget options available for under this amount because they often result in some nasty tasting beers and can actually scare people away from the hobby.

Chicago based Brew and Grow provides some awesome options. For example, for equipment, check out some of the basic sets listed at the top of the page here. We think the kits make great gifts, but make sure you purchase the supplemental equipment (brew kettle, bottles, caps, sanitizers, etc.) that they call for. We’ve always found the staff at homebrewing stores friendly and helpful, even for the novice brewer.

For those of you who have friends or family members that already homebrew, a gift certificate may be the best choice, as then they can then choose for themselves what they would like to purchase.

Chicago-based homebrewing stores include:

We hope these gift ideas are helpful in choosing the right gift for the beer lover that you know! Regardless, from the Chicago Beer Experience family to yours, we wish you a safe, happy, and festive holiday season.

Cheers,

Bruce and the CBE Family

Please note that we have set up affiliate links for the Amazon products at no additional cost to you, but you are more than welcome to search for them independently.

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