2012 was the year of craft beer and food pairings — and the one we love the most is chocolate and beer. Good thing Samuel Adams has paired up with a San Francisco chocolate maker, TCHO, to create the ultimate beer and chocolate pairing. The Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box includes 12 pieces of chocolate that match up with Samuel Adams’ Winter Classics Variety Pack (beer not included). That means a Samuel Adams Winter Lager with the Dark Citrus chocolate bar, or the Holiday Porter with the Dark "Nutty" chocolate bar. Can you say yum? Better order now: the first 150 orders include two Samuel Adams pint glasses.
For the guy or gal who wants to keep track of the beers they’ve tried (and we know the list can be easily forgotten after a long night), this mini-tasting journal is a no-brainer. With ample space to jot down notes on brewery, appearance, and aroma — with an included flavor wheel — the journal makes you a pro at beer reviews without even trying. "Designed for beer geeks by a beer geek," reads the description. Author Dave Selden is a marketing exec by day and an active homebrewer by night, so you know he has the knowledge to help you on your beer journey. Get one for 33 bottles of beer, or a three-pack for 99 bottles of beer — it’s one challenge we’d like to accept.
$4 for 33 Bottles of Beer, $10 for 99 Bottles of Beer, 33beers.com
You already know that the IPAs are the most popular craft beers in the U.S.; better read up on it. Stone Brewing Co.’s master brewer shares homebrewing tips for recreating the India Pale Ale, with recipes from Deschutes Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
It’s no secret that beer can do wonders for your hair — and the makers of BRÖÖ know how to make it work for your hair. Using beer from Asheville, N.C.’s microbrewery Homeland Brewing, the shampoo and conditioners have all the health benefits of a beer rinse. That means plenty of B vitamins, proteins, and minerals — and no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, or other toxins in your brew — er, we mean, shampoo. Take a spin and see for yourself: soft, shiny, volumized hair from a shampoo that will make you crave a craft beer after your shower. Choose between Craft Beer and Citrus Pale Ale for your ‘do, or Craft Beer and Oatmeal Porter for your bod.
The true beer geek will in fact geek out over this monster-sized map of the United States of Beer from Pop Chart Lab. Mapping more than 1,000 craft and macro breweries from coast to coast, the map is a necessary addition to any home bar, kitchen, or bedroom. Maybe the map will kick off a bucket list, brewery tour road trip!
You don’t have to be a San Diego, Calif., resident to appreciate this book (but lovers of Karl Strauss, Monkey Paw Brewery, and Ballast Point may be lining up to buy it already). The book highlights the best of San Diego’s growing craft beer scene, and takes it one step further – more than 200 beer-inspired beer recipes. Just a few of the recipes: an IPA-infused mac and cheese, lamb stew made with brown ale, and a chocolate and stout pot de crème. Let’s just say this will be the most used gift you give this holiday season.
You know you have a cousin or uncle out there that would kill to own one of these: introducing the hands-free, beer drinking experience. The belt buckle (made of antique silver, gold, and other cool materials) folds out to hold bottles and cans, yet remains stylish when folded up.
Starting at $34.99, thebeerbuckle.com
Another food and beer pairing we can’t get enough of: beer and cheese. And Di Bruno’s has more than enough cheese to pair with your beer. The kit comes with six kinds of cheese (think clothbound Cheddar, Pecorino, Basset Stilton blue cheese, and more), pub glasses inspired by Philadelphia, a cheese slicer, cutting board, and other treats. You can put it out at your next party — but if we were the lucky recipient of that set, we’d be hoarding those cheese and beers for weeks to come.
For the homebrewers and locavore beer lovers, these customizable beer labels let you loudly proclaim your love for your home state. Etsy seller Coast2CoastDesign whips up a design for your home state, name, and color of choice to personalize your brew. We can’t think of a better way to toast your hometown.
There's no better way to open a beer than with a college-themed iPhone case. Thanks to a stainless steel bottle opener and can tab and a slip-resistant rubber coating, you’ll never be in a pinch to open a beer bottle during a tailgate again — plus, the case comes with an iPhone app that plays sounds and displays photos when opening a bottle. (The app also counts the number of opened bottles and cans, because that’s not unnerving at all to know exactly how much beer was consumed at your tailgate….) Check out all 24 schools featured.
For those who can’t drag themselves out of the house to get a draught beer — or the ever-hosts of get-togethers for the football game — the Krups BeerTender brings the bar experience home. The home bar-tap system pours a Heineken at the perfect temperature (38 degrees Fahrenheit) every time. That way, you can leave the keg back at the liquor store: consider this the upgraded keg system for your parties.
Starting at $150, beertender.usa.heineken.com
Sure, anyone can go drink a beer at a bar — but your friends and family will love drinking a beer at one of the many upcoming beer festivals in 2013. A quick Google search will highlight the best beer events with tickets already on sale: we recommend the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival this April, or the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, N.C., this April.
Yes, this is the most ridiculous-looking present you’ll give (or receive) this Christmas — but we give props for its usefulness. Artisan Eygló Guðnadóttir from Iceland created the "hand-y gauntlet" that is literally sewn in a circle to make beer drinking in the great outdoors that much easier. We’re not sure why regular mittens wouldn’t do the trick, but hey — we like novelty items.