GIFT GIVING CAN put a damper on the festive holiday season. Hopefully, a few of these gift ideas will help ease the pain. Just be sure not to miss this Saturday when plenty of limited, barrel-aged brews are available around Milwaukee. They fit nicely under the tree.
Barrel-Aged Local Specialties
You rarely will go wrong giving a really good barrel-aged stout. It’s even better when it’s local. You’re in luck on Saturday, Dec. 14 when three Milwaukee breweries release limited barrel-aged standouts.
Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) releases Barrel-Aged Nexus of the Universe Russian Imperial Stout at 11 a.m. This year’s version is aged for nine months in bourbon and brandy barrels with cacao and vanilla. Variants include a Double Barrel Nexus aged for a total of 21 months in a bourbon barrel followed by a port barrel. Chocolate Orange Nexus is aged in bourbon barrels with cacao and orange peel. The festive Tom & Jerry Nexus is aged in brandy barrels with lactose, vanilla, nutmeg, allspice and clove. Oh, and this year the specialty brew is available in cans.
Good City Brewing (2018 N. Farwell Ave.) hosts its annual Density Day at 11 a.m. when it releases Barrel-Aged Density Imperial Stout. Good City is also offering High Density Imperial Stout aged in port wine and bourbon barrels (which has earned rave reviews from at least one local beer fan in the know), Wild Ale #2, and Scarcity: Coffee Density Imperial Stout.
MobCraft (505 S. 5th St.) starts its Stout Day at noon, but you can pre-order Padishah Imperial Stout, aged in Heaven Hill barrels, to ensure that you have something wrapped and ready for gift giving.
Head to one of these places to get the perfect gift, and enjoy the big party while you’re at it. All three breweries know how to throw a fun release event.
A Beer Vacation
Feel the need to travel? Take your beer-loving gift recipient somewhere new to visit breweries and sample new suds. If money is no object, consider a trip to a faraway beer destination like Portland, Denver or Asheville, North Carolina. If your frequent flier miles are lacking, play the role of chauffeur and head to a spot within driving distance. Drive 90 miles south to Chicago and hit up a few of the myriad breweries in the Windy City like standouts Half Acre, Revolution, Marz Brewing, On Tour and Maplewood. Be sure to include a lunch or dinner stop at the legendary Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark St.).
Milwaukee Craft Brewery Memberships
Being a part of a mug club or a VIP at a local brewery pays off over the course of a year. Members get deals on beer, access to special releases and all sorts of fun beer-related stuff. There are far too many of these types of memberships available in the area to mention here. Find out what local brewery or breweries are the favorite of the person you’re buying for and see what they have to offer.
Anything From MilwaukeeBeerGear.com
This great website, founded by a pair of locals, features cool, and reasonably priced, beer gear. Snag some Milwaukee flag coasters as a stocking stuffer, a Wisconsin-themed t-shirt, or a beer glass with a map of Wauwatosa on it…why not? You’ll find something after a little browsing.
A Beer Fridge
I’ve mentioned this in more than one previous holiday gift list, but that’s only because a beer fridge is a game changer for those who are overwhelmed by how fast their beer cellar overtakes their living space. The compact fridges – I’m a big fan of those by Danby – provide you with a specific storage and cooling space for your best brews. If you’re buying one as a gift, I recommend getting a slightly larger size than you think. Beer fans can never have enough space.
The Sudski Shower Beer Holder
Convenient? Without a doubt. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Super classy? Of course. This handy little device attaches to the tile wall of your shower and keeps a can of your favorite beer within reach at all times. This is extremely important for those who take long showers and tend to get thirsty quickly.
New Milwaukee Brewers Gear
I know this really has very little to do with craft beer, but the revamped Brewers ball-in-glove logo design is pretty awesome. And any fan should be outfitted with t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats for next year’s run at the National League pennant.