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Tis the season for gifts for that beer lover you care about, live with, share offspring with, are forced to work for, etc. Here are some beer-themed gift ideas to place under the tree…or keep for yourself. For the Fashion Conscious Nothing says “beer drinking man/woman about town” like a crocheted beer can hat. It’s […]

Tis the season for gifts for that beer lover you care about, live with, share offspring with, are forced to work for, etc. Here are some beer-themed gift ideas to place under the tree…or keep for yourself.


For the Fashion Conscious
Nothing says “beer drinking man/woman about town” like a crocheted beer can hat. It’s not easy trying to find one of these classics at a garage sale (and hard to find garage sales in December) so you may have to find a beer hat milliner. Madison-based Beerhatshop.com  deals in crocheted hats, cowboy hats and top hats made out of cardboard beer cases (empty, of course).

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Home brewing is one of those things that more than a few of us say we’re going to try some time, just like skydiving, learning French, or volunteerism. Brew and Grow (2246 Bluemound Rd., 262-717-0666) has the perfect home brewing kit and the supplies needed to become the next Frederick Miller. Northern Brewer (1306 S. 108th St., 414-935-4099) has a freaking YouTube video with gift ideas. Give the one you love a home brewing kit, and in a few weeks they’ll never need to leave the house.

A Monthly Reminder of What a Great Gift Giver You Are
I remember waiting anxiously for the mail when it was time to receive my monthly issue of Dynamite magazine (I’m dating myself with that reference). That anticipation is likely similar for beer of the month club members. Imagine, 12 or so new beers every month…delivered to your door! There are several to choose from including beermonthclub.com, which offers clubs for imports rarities, and more, and starts at $22.95. Microbeerclub.com has an entry level option or a “high end club” starting at $34.95, and craftbeerclub.com starts at $37.75.

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For the Beer Drinker Who Has Everything
If you can afford to shell out at least $200, Samuel Adams Utopias is a great gift for the discerning beer drinking. Of course, finding the limited-edition brew is no easy task (Google might be your best resource). The elixir is barrel aged for up to 18 years and, from what I’ve heard from the one person I know who’s tasted it, has a complex flavor more like a port or cognac. It also has the distinction of being the world’s strongest commercially produced beer (the 2011 batch is a whopping 27 percent ABV). Buy this for that special someone, and hope that they’ll share.

The Barley-Based Decorative Arts
My college roommate John accidentally broke my neon High Life sign while tossing his shoes across our tiny dorm room. It took me several months to recover. If only I had the Brew City Advertising Show (see details below) to offer me a chance to replace my shattered neon tubing. Gifts for the rec room owner abound at the show.

Barley Pop of the Week
Lakefront Holiday Spice is as big a part of the holidays as Christmas lights, awesome animated TV specials, and awkward exchanges at the water cooler the day after the company holiday party. It’s a smooth drinker, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. But don’t let the easy sipping flavor fool you, Holiday Spice can be a Grinch in Santa’s clothing. That warming you feel after ingesting it is the 11 percent alcohol by volume. When it comes to Holiday Spice, moderation is essential, even in the season of excess.

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Events Brewing
A neon beer sign to blind patrons in your downstairs bar is just what you need. Signs, and plenty more subtle beer-related collectibles, are for sale at the Brew City Advertising Show at Serb Hall (5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.) on Sunday, Dec. 11. Choose from beer signs, bottles, cans, and assorted “memorabeerlia” (I’m trying hard to make that a real word) from 80 vendors. Admission is just 5 bucks.

Notable Tastings and Tappings
Ray’s Wine and Spirits (8930 W. North Ave., 414-258-9821) hosts a holiday beer tasting extravaganza on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. For the low price of just 20 bucks you can sample a ton of different seasonals and get info from beer Cicerone Brad Crayne. Holiday cheer indeed.

Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave., 414-545-2175)
Friday: Sierra Nevada seasonals and limited releases 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: Ale Asylum 12 to 3 p.m. and Capital Brewery 3 to 6 p.m.

Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 Barstow St., 262-547-7525)
Thursday: Sierra Nevada 4 to 7 p.m.
Friday: Capital Brewery 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: Ale Asylum 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St., 414-292-0100)
Thursday: Deb and Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing at 6:30 p.m.

Saint Francis Brewery (3825 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-744-4448)
Wednesday: Chocolate Hazelnut Porter unveiling for Mug Club members.

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