Brewer's Blog

Gift Ideas For Your Beer Knurd

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time is ticking down for all you Christmas shoppers out there.  I thought it might make life easier if you had some ideas as to what to get your local Beer Knurd for under the tree.

Free (or relatively cheap) things:
  1. A tour of Half Pints Brewing Company - it's free, you get to see the whole brewery, have the process explained, geek out with the brewers who lead the tour, and generally get some giggles from the same tired jokes we've been telling since we started giving the tours back in 2006.  Bonus: you can drop your beer geek off, go relax and have a coffee somewhere for about 1 1/2 hours while he/she basks in hoppy goodness at the brewery.
  2. Time - when was the last time you said to your lovable beer knurd - "Hey, you should take some time for yourself tonight, and open up a few of those uber-rare special beers you've been hoarding in our fridge.  They're not getting any better, ya know - why don't you invite over some of your beer buddies and we'll make a night of it?"  So simple, so effective...
  3. A home beer dinner for two - Imagine the surprise on your beer knurd's face when they come home and find a three course, beer centric, cooked and served with beer meal.  The interweb is full of recipes and suggestions for serving and pairing beers.
  4. For the lady knurds, a membership in the local Barley's Angel's chapter would fit the bill.  Contrary to popular belief, ladies love good beer, and the Barley's Angel's is a group of like-minded ladies who get together to chat about, taste, and get-their-geek-on regarding all things beer.  You can find them on Facebook.
  5. Does your geek brew their own? Why not a membership to the local homebrewing club, The Winnipeg Brew Bombers? First meeting is always free, but it's only $25 a season to come talk at the monthly meetings with other uber-beer knurds about brewing your own at home.

Things that cost money and result in squeals of geekery when unwrapped:
  1. The Oxford Companion To Beer by Garret Oliver - this one scores a 100% beer knurd approved weighty tome of supreme geekery.  You will be amazed and astounded at the riches this dictionary of all things beer has to offer.  Available at McNally Robinson (and a couple of other non local, big box chains in the city who I won't mention).
  2. Dried Malt Extract - For use in home-made chocolate malts, wicked chocolate birthday cakes and malted milk balls.  Nothing says "I love you" like a bag of barley sugar.  Available at local home brewing stores like the Grape & Grain and The Hop & Vine.
  3. Cheese Making Kits - Your beloved beer knurd is always on the hunt for good cheese.  Homemade is fresh, easy and something to be proud of while it goes great with any gathering of like minded beer geeks.  Available at the Grape & Grain.
  4. 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die by Adrian Tiereny-Jones.  Self explanatory - humbles your beer knurd with how little beer they've really tasted in the world - makes them say things like "ooh, that one sounds interesting" or "honey, I think we need to take a trip to Lithuania."
  5. Beer Glasses - Happy Harrys in Grand Forks has packs of Speigel tasting glasses that include many of the recommended glassware for international beers.  If you're not hitting up the states for the deals (you're from Winnipeg, aren't you?) your local Stokes or similar chintzy kitchen store normally has a good selection.
  6. A beer stein.  Not the cheap one that comes from the dollar box at your local garage sale, but a good one from the German Butcher on the corner of Sherburn and Portage.  Their wurst really is the best.  most beer geeks prefer a simple stoneware version without all the goofy scenes of medieval Germany on them.
  7. Dinner out at any of the local restaurants that carry Half Pints.  There's quite a few of them now, across a wide variety of price ranges and flavours.  Check out the "On Tap" section here on our site and maybe something will peak your interest.  My last one was a lovely 1/2 duck with a cherry reduction and all the accouterments at Inferno's.  Yummy!
So, as you can see, finding stuff is not really that hard, and you will endear yourself to your beer knurd for coming up with such wicked gifties.  I'm perfectly fine if you take credit for any of these ideas.