What do you buy a beer lover for Christmas, other than beer?
1. The late Michael Jackson’s new book, the Eyewitness Guide to Beer – probably an update of his 1998 Dorling Kindersley book Ultimate Beer, but looks interesting anyway.
2. Some glassware. You can pick up branded Fuller’s glasses for around £4 in most of their pubs. Many supermarkets are selling gift sets with branded glasses from Shepherd Neame Spitfire, Old Speckled Hen and other well-known brands. Or, you can go posh – here’s a selection online. I like the look of these but could also do with one of these to drink imperial stout from.
3. A homebrewing kit. There are some basic, gimmicky automatic brewing machines, which look like fun. Or, you can buy a decent beginners kit from these people and pay less for it. But don’t forget to get a decent book to go with it.
4. More homebrewing stuff. If your loved one is already brewing, why not help them take it to the next level with some fancy kit like a
5. There are all kinds of “pub at home” kits and accessories, from the cheap and cheerful to the ludicrously elaborate and expensive. If you don’t fancy having any of that in the house, what about the shed…?
6. Some rare and, erm, beautiful breweriana from Ebay might go down well. Not sure I’d want a load of old bottle tops for Christmas myself, but who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men.
7. What about the ludicrously named World’s Best Bottle Opener? Or even a nice traditional one. You can never have too many. Like umbrellas, they have a habit of disappearing. Just don’t buy a Homer Simpson novelty bottle opener. Believe me, the novelty of hearing “mmmmm, beer” wears off after, ooh, two bottles or so.
8. What about some food to accompany beer, or a combination of the two? O’Hanlon’s port stout and stilton; almost anything Belgian with some chocolate; or some pork scratchings…
9. CAMRA membership!
10. Good gifts are increasingly popular. If there’s too much junk in your house anyway, and you don’t want to encourage your loved ones to get fat and drunk, why not buy a brewery in Tanzania on their behalf?
11. And finally, if you are going to buy beer – and, let’s face it, it’s probably your best bet – choose them with a theme such as strong stouts, Christmas beers, German beers, or whatever, and package them nicely.