5@5 - Gifts for the beer lover
December 7th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

On the seventh day of December, Eatocracy gave to me: a gift guide full of brewskis!

Kevin Diedrich, the bar manager of Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen in San Francisco, has made a list (and checked it twice) for a very hoppy holiday season.

Five Brew-centric Gifts: Kevin Diedrich

kevin diedrich

1. Give the gift that gives every month!
"Sign them up for a monthly beer club. My favorite site is the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. You can choose from four different membership types. Expand your palate and your home bar month to month."

2. Buy them the Michael Jackson (not the singer) "Ultimate Beer" book
"Michael Jackson has written some of the best beer books and whiskey books of all time. Plenty of color pictures for the visual learners and lots of useful facts for the geek. The books aren't in print anymore and are a bit hard to find now. But definitely worth the time and money to find."

3. For the beginner: a homebrew kit
"I've found that Coopers Homebrew Web site has a great selection of starter beer kits. The site breaks down the types of beers for all newbie brewers."

4. For those tailgate parties in your living room
"Custom coozies are always great. One of my favorite bars in the city gives out coozies to keep your beer cold while you watch the games. Keeping your beer cold and personalized so no one steals it. BeerKoozies.com is the site to hit up."

5. Arrange a tour of your local or favorite brewery
"Breweries always have the hidden gems on site and a lot of geeky beers that aren't sold to the public. This is the most fun, to see the beer being made, smelling all the hops and then drinking all the finished product."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Beer • Christmas • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Sip • Think


soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Payton

    This list is horrible, winter is the time of big special edition stouts that beer fans can drink or cellar. There should be some '08 Goose Island Bourbon County that was released this year and is incredible and I know my store got '08 Rogue IRS. Plus if you are a MN resident like I am you can't go wrong by getting your beer lover some Surly Smoke this thursday.

    December 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  2. Terry

    Cool. I'm a microbrew club member currently of Greatclubs.com and I love having different beer delivered each month.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  3. Marty

    Ale-Conner Beer Certification program now offers gift certificates- http://www.BeerExam.com
    Take the 10-question sample quiz

    December 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  4. Marty

    I recommend staying away from Mr. Beer kits (and anything similar). Anyone who has ever taken a brewery tour can tell you that beer is transfered several times from vessel-to-vessel. Mr. Beer is not designed for that, thus, it produces inferior beer.
    If you're going to pay for a Mr. Beer kit, why not double-up and buy a real homebrewing kit?
    -Marty Nachel, author, "Homebrewing for Dummies"

    December 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  5. LACK OF COMMON SENSE

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS WORLD LET THE DAYS BE FILLED WITH HOLIDAY CHEERE & SAFETY FOR OUR YOUNG & OLD! GOD BLESS

    December 9, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  6. wine&beersnob

    List of some of my favorite beers: First, 2 Belgian trappist ales, Chimay Blue and Rochefort 10. Guinness, and for me has to be the original in bottles. Then, from Great Divide Brewing in Colorado, Yeti, another stout (love it with food, not quite as much all by itself). A constant favorite: Anchor Steam. And finally, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen (rauchbier means smoke beer in German, strong smoky flavor, unbelievable with smoked ribs. Nearly impossible to find, SO WORTH IT). If you want to find a beer gift for a beer snob, find a beer snob and ask them. They will almost always be willing to recommend at least half a dozen different great beers.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Marcia

      I got my husband a really nice smoker last year for Christmas and he's been perfecting his smoked rib recipe. I am going to check our local place for that Marzen (they stock quite a few singles of great beers) for him to enjoy with the ribs. Thanks for the tip!

      December 9, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  7. SES

    We have many fine craft brewers here in Colorado. Ellie's Brown from Avery, Dale's Pale Ale from Oskar Blues, and anything from Odell's are some of my favorites. I appreciate everyone else's suggestions so I can be on the look-out. Thanks!

    December 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  8. Mikey

    If you have a friend and the first thing as a gift that comes to mind is to get them beer...

    December 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • nutley

      whatcha trying to say slick?

      December 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  9. Donovan

    Mmmmmm ..... give me a 4-pk of New Holland's Dragons' Milk and I'll be one happy guy!

    December 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  10. Robski

    My MIL got me a beer of the month membership some years ago. I enjoyed it greatly. Some beers were terrific, others just average, but all were new to me. Nowadays, that would not be the case as I have tasted and collected over 1500 diffeent beers and brewed dozens of batches. But for most beer snobs, especially younger ones, this is a good gift idea.

    Now just give me a case of Anchor Christmas ale or Fuller's ESB and I'm happy.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  11. beast

    This list really sucks.

    If someone is interested in drinking low to mid-quality beer, they're probably not interested in the beer of the month club, books, or brewing their own.

    If they are interested in high quality beers, they're not going to want their spouse or friend to be buying them entry level kits or coozies (since they'll be drinking out of glasses), or the rejected beers that wind up in the beer of the month club. And since many of the tours are free, what kind of present is that?

    December 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jeremy

      My thoughts exactly. This article was NOT written by a beer snob.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Jimmy

    Buy a bunch of beer and let me drink as much of it as I want at a time without complaining...that would be the true gift.

    December 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Blanche, Jimmy's Wife

      Drinking ANOTHER beer?! What's that? Number 5? And it's barely 1pm?!
      Instead of cracking open another beer, go break out the snow plow and dig us out!
      Why can't you be more like your brother?! He just built a whole house for his wife.
      You haven't put up the Christmas lights yet?! We'll be the last one's on the block again this year!!

      December 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • SES

        Excellent!

        December 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Jimmy

        Exactly!

        December 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • 1guy2another

        ROFL omfg not Jimmy's wife aaaaaaaaaaaaaahh hahahahahaha, funny stuff!!

        December 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  13. DG

    the term Microbrewery has been dead for about 5 years now

    December 8, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Scott

      No it hasn't

      December 8, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • larlarme

      dead in what language? in english, it's more common than ever

      December 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Marty

      It may be dated, but it's not dead.
      -Marty Nachel, author, "Beer for Dummies"

      December 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  14. I want da gold!

    Just get me a case of Marble IPA and a stocking with a Marble DIPA bomber in it and I'm good! (A growler of Chama River IPA would not be refused either...)

    December 8, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • SES

      Sounds good. And I just happen to be traveling from Denver to Roswell tomorrow. I will have to see if I can find some. Very well-reviewed on the Beer Advocate website.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:32 am |
      • I want da gold!

        NM has very, very good breweries. Marble and Chama River happen to be my favorite but there are other good ones, too. You can get Marble bottled in any liquor store, in ABQ and SF at least. I've had several out of towners tell me Marble's Double IPA is the best IPA they have ever had. (One is a beer snob who does all that swooshing around, floral notes, blah, blah, blah.) I drink what tastes good to me and Marble DIPA is where the action is!

        December 8, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  15. Benn

    Beer is for trailer trash & rednecks. Cultured people drink wine.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • I. P. Freely

      You might be correct,but we make more money on crushed cans then used wine bottles. Sniff my cork !!

      December 8, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Drink Beer until you are blind

      People who spell Ben with two n's are cultured

      December 8, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • I want da gold!

      Wow, what a complete D-bag.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • blaine

      Yes of course such as nighttrain, boones farm and md 20/20. Come to the Pacific northwest. nuff said.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • larlarme

      i've brewed beer and made wine for several years. does that make me a trailer trash, redneck socialite? get a life benn, or at least come down off your crystal pedestal long enough to get some understanding of how the real world is

      December 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Donovan

      Cultured people drink wine? Yes.
      When you're talking about Bud, Miller, etc ... yes, you have the uncultured, unwashed rednecks.
      When you're talking about the high-end microbrew, you're talking about complexity that's just as sophisticated as any wine.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Tyler

      Wine is for women and gay men :)

      December 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Katie

        excuse you Tyler, but wine is not for all women. I love beer and think of myself as a hophead. I love a good craft brew!!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  16. Drink Beer until you are blind

    This article should have been titled "Kevin Diedrich: A reflection on why using a Hello Kitty coozie for my Zima bottle lead to my wife's infidelity".

    The only gift for the beer drinker is beer or money to buy beer.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  17. SES

    Although this list was overwhelmingly unimaginative, the real value of the article is providing a forum for suggestions from "beer snobs" (used proudly here). Thanks and keep them coming.

    December 8, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • chefdugan

      I agree about the suggestions. Any idiot could have come up witht them. However, as a long time beer lover the only gift I need is more of the same kind of beer that I drink. Forget the card, just gift me about a donzen cases and I'm happy.

      December 8, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  18. Brutus

    #1 kegerator, #2 1/2 barrel of IPA, #3 a cool mug to drink your delicious beer. Remember life is too short to drink bad beer!

    December 8, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  19. Lynn Ann

    Give them a bible so they can learn the error of their ways.

    December 8, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Corey

      Buzzkill

      December 8, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Anne

      What is wrong with liking beer? Would it be more acceptable to you if ithe article was about gifts for the wine lover?

      December 8, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • sl

      Even Jesus turned water into wine

      December 8, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Brian

      I'm not a religious guy, but if I were I'd say that beer is proof that God want's us to be happy!

      December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Cuso

      Making good beer is an art not a Kit.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Carn E. Vore

      If I'm in a cruel, psychotic mood and want to read about how god loves killing babies, women, and children, committing genocide, and good, ol' fashioned rape, I'll read a bible.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Jimmy

      Monks invented beer....fail.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Monty Hall

        Egyptians invented beer.
        A monk invented pretzels.
        Jimmy failed

        December 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • Jimmy

        Monks were first to use malts and hops to make beer....real beer

        December 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
      • Art Monk

        I'm really a chip-monk.

        December 9, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Donovan

      They drank PLENTY of beer/wine in the bible!!!
      They think that the wine turns into the "blood of Christ" as they drink it IN CHURCHES TODAY.

      December 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Tyler

      Whatever . . . Glad I dont have to drink around you!

      December 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  20. AG

    Find a beer expo that comes to your area, I just went to one and it was amazing! 4 hours of all you can drink mircobrews and they also served kielbasas! Its like Germany threw up in America!

    December 8, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Grondahl

      We've got lots of those in Milwaukee. They're called "Days that end in -y".

      December 8, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  21. I. P. Freely

    MMMMMM-Beer, I Never have to worry about kidney stones.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  22. john geisler

    Dont try to buy them the new Infuium beer by sam addams in the south no one carrys it in Nashville or within 100 miles .I think the people in botson dont think we have enough culture to enjoy finer things we still just go out back to the copper kettle ! ! !

    December 8, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • samadams

      I don't know about your culture, but you can't spell sh*t.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Brian

      Having lived in Boston and enjoyed all the Sam Adams Brewery has to offer, I learned that some of their special brews are made in different parts of the country under local labels, so check around and you might be rewarded with a christmas miracle!

      December 8, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  23. Tony the Tiger

    Beer: not just for breakfast anymore.

    December 8, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • Thenextstep

      Although I have to say........ While at college, I did poor it on my cereal .......... It was the perfect antidote for the morning after..... :-)

      December 8, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  24. Beermeister

    1. Send the beer lover TO the Oktoberfest
    2. Kegarator as Meatlover suggests
    3. Nice tap for the keg'rator
    4. Neon beer light or sign for the bar
    5. Spare kidney for future use

    December 8, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Tree Hugger

      1. Get them a membership to the American Brewer's Association. It comes with a subscription to Zymurgy magazine and a card to get discounts at local breweries. Plus it's cool to say you are a member.

      2. Kegging system for a homebrewer is always a great gift.

      3. Gift card for a dozen growler fill-ups at his fav local brewpub

      4. Plant a hop garden in he backyard(when it gets nice out)

      5. Learn to make beer cheese soup for him

      December 10, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  25. TX4UREXKARLENE

    Santa , just come on over in the morning when I get home from work & bring a 30 pack of Bud Light ;-)

    December 8, 2011 at 6:30 am |
    • James

      Why would you ask Santa for a 30 pack of bud light when you could just as easily ask him for real beer?

      December 8, 2011 at 9:16 am |
      • TX4UREXKARLENE

        This RV only enjoys Bud Light – Real Men of Genius live here ;-) I'm not a guy , but , you get my point !

        December 8, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • I want da gold!

      I'd rather have Santa bring me coal than pee water.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:58 am |
      • Fairy Godmother

        Lick my Busch....

        December 8, 2011 at 11:01 am |
      • CN Red @Fairy Godmother

        LM AO!

        December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  26. Jim

    My wife got me a beer of the month subscription two years ago and it was awful. According to our local specialty beer distributor, those subscriptions consist of the beer that distributors often cannot sell because it is of poor quality.

    December 8, 2011 at 6:07 am |
    • Brian

      This is true. Don't get a beer snob a beer of the month club. They will not enjoy it. Go to your local craft brew/liquor store and ask the people there what is good and in season. You will please a beer snob more this way.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  27. DAVO

    This list is awful... I could have made it in my sleep!

    December 8, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Oktoberfest, the original Beer Festival

      Round up your beer enjoying experience with the right music! You can actually get the original sounds from Munich's Oktoberfest on Itunes by typing "sound effects from the octoberfest". Prost!

      December 8, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  28. C Blaze

    This is a miserable list.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Will

      You're right. This list will have people buying Mr beer Kits in no time.

      Charlie Papazian's "The Joy of Homebrewing" and buy something from your local homebrew store. Support locally owned businesses because that's where the craft beer revolution is happening: on the home front.

      December 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
      • Brian

        This guy(Will) knows what he is talking about

        December 8, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • jaynsc

        Agree. The Joy of Homebrewing is amazing – a great read and a great reference book.

        December 8, 2011 at 9:11 am |
      • mhochman

        Absolutely go to your local homebrew store and buy one of their starter kits. They are there to answer all the questions that the new brewer will have. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

        December 8, 2011 at 9:15 am |
      • Homebrewer52

        You don't even have to buy Papazians book, it's online for free.

        December 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • Marty

        Charlie's book is a good one, but it's not the only good one out there.
        -Marty Nachel, author, "Homebrewing for Dummies"

        December 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  29. Jim

    Wow, what a ripoff of this much better list: http://beerclassifieds.com/Beer-Gifts

    December 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  30. gremlinus

    Just like with the "gifts for the comic book lover," if you don't know enough about it to know what they want without an article like this, BUY SOMETHING ELSE. Just because someone likes to drink beer doesn't mean they want to brew it. Beers of the month are terrible for people that are uber picky. And coozies? Seriously? Only if they are like 15, in which case they shouldn't be drinking beer anyway.

    December 7, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  31. MeatLover

    Kegerator – That's all I have to say. My wife bought me one a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure I'd forgive her and call it even if I caught her in bed with another man!

    December 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • hawaiiankine

      man, your priorities are wacked. You don't deserve her.

      December 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
      • Huh?

        It's called a joke. Look it up.

        December 8, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • slupdawg

      Awesome! PM me your address!

      December 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
      • Richard

        What if she's like 300+ pounds?

        December 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
      • @Richard

        then she is a kegerator.

        December 8, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  32. rubby

    I agree about the posts above in regards to the home brew kit. Sorry to pan the article, but if you really want to get into home brewing look for a beginner's 'extract' kit for ALES. I would recommend northern brewer OR Midwest supplies. get one of the $80-$110 starter kits

    this one is a great choice

    http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-starter-kit-w-better-bottle.html

    or of you want to get a recipe kit, bottles, etc, this is a great option.

    http://www.midwestsupplies.com/homebrewing-equipment/everything-a-carboy-complete-brewing-package-equipment-kit-2.html

    buy your man this – he will be eternally happy

    December 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  33. plaztikjezuz

    All great ideas.

    The Coopers can kits are cool for your for first batch or two. But you should quickly move on to recipes that have speciality grains and hops.

    Some other good shops, that are not bonded to one company, like the Coopers site.

    http://www.homebrewing.org/

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/

    http://www.morebeer.com/

    December 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Tyrone Smith

      Arrest Eric Holder – for giving thousands of assault rifles to cartel members and then letting them be used to kill border patrol Agent Brian Terry.

      Impeach Obama – for "Operation Fast and Furious" and committing treason against the American people.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
      • agropeach

        Relax man, and have a beer.

        December 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
      • THA BOSS

        your sir are a total d'bag

        December 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
      • hawaiiankine

        and Bush for lying about iraq and wmd!

        December 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
      • Huh?

        Arrest Vin Diesel for making "fast and the furious " movies.

        December 8, 2011 at 6:03 am |
  34. clev313

    If you really want to get somebody a homebrew kit, do not follow the suggestion in the above article. Support small business and buy from your local home brew store. They will do a much better job of getting you started with the equipment, and more importantly the knowledge to get started.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • MeatyPortion

      Agreed. I went to my LHBS and bought an extract kit and some basic equipment. I've heard mixed reviews about Cooper's, Mr Beer, and the like. Now I'm into AG and haven't looked back.

      December 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  35. 7saturdays

    I like the stock photo of the guy pouring from a cocktail shaker. Fail.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Not a stock photo - that's the bartender, Kevin Diedrich.

      December 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  36. Hey

    Beer of the month club? How about beer of the day club?

    December 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • MartinMI

      That's more like it, or mabye beer an hour, one better.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
      • kip

        24 hours in a day....24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not!!

        December 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  37. Plug1

    Look at that drunk...

    December 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  38. Brandon

    A top five list of gifts for beer lovers and not one of them is beer? Fail.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • female beer snob

      hmmm I think you need to re-read his article. His first suggestion is a gift of beer.

      December 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Jules432

      Lol!

      December 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
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