Beeriety’s Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on December 11th, 2009

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If you’ve been wondering what to get this holiday season for the beer lovers you know, look no further than our holiday gift guide.

Beer of the Month Club – Once a month, the Beer of the Month club will ship a 12-pack of different hand-selected American and international craft beers right to your door step. This is a great way to check out beers not normally disturbed in your area. A member of the Beeriety Team has really enjoyed her subscription, and we’re sure you will too. There are several different price plans available to accommodate a range of budgets. Find out more info at www.beermonthclub.com

Books – There are all sorts of really amazing books out there on all subjects beer; everything from the business of brewing to the history of beer has a book or two devoted to it. Most are available wherever books are sold, but BeerBooks.com is probably the one stop shop for books on beer. Some quick recommendations-

Greatness

Posters – The designs used on beer bottles and advertisements before Prohibition were simply amazing. Check out Beerbooks.com’s poster and sign section for a great collection of antique prints that will look great on any wall.

Glassware – As we’ve discussed, the proper glassware is essential for getting the most out of your beer. With so many varieties of glassware there is a lot to choose from. Check out PubGlasses.com for all your glassware needs.

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Homebrewing kits – As we explained recently, if you love beer there are lot of great reasons why you should make beer in your kitchen. The first step towards homebrew heaven is getting the necessary equipment. Head to your local home brew supply store or homebrewing.org to order all you’ll need.

Videos – If you haven’t seen it, the 2008 documentary Beer Wars is a must see for any lover beer. It’s a fascinating look at the American brewing industry. Pick up a copy at beerwarsmovie.com. Basic Brewing is a fantastic video podcast about beer and homebrewing by two guys in Northwest Arkansas. If you’re interested in learning to brew but want more than a book to guide you, pick up one of their how-to videos.

Ommegang gift pack

Gift Packs – Many breweries will put together their own holiday gift packs which combine several bottles of beer with the proper mug or glass. It’s a simple way to give a beer lover some of their favorite brews and the glassware that goes with it at the same time. Look for them at finer liquor stores in your area.

Beer dinner tickets – Many beer restaurants/bars and brewpubs host beer dinners. This usually consists of several preselected courses of food with specific beers pairings. It’s a great way to see first hand the magic of pairing beer with food. Check with your favorite local beer restaurant or brewery to see what dinners they are hosting soon.

A special beer – No beer lover will ever complain about getting the gift of beer. Why not find something special to show that you really care? Many breweries produce wonderful special brews that make great gifts. Bottles of Thomas Hardy Ale can be found on ebay from as far back as the 1960’s. Fullers produces a great series of vintage ales that will age for decades. Flying Dog’s Wild Dog series are true collector’s items.

These are just a few suggestions. There are plenty of amazing gifts out there for the beer lover in your life. Hit us up in the comments or on twitter to tell us what beer gifts you want this year.

Pairing The Right Beer With Your Thanksgiving Day Meal

Posted on November 19th, 2009

Cornucopia

On Tuesday we introduced the wonderful world of pairing beer with food. Today we’re going to delve deeper into the topic by exploring the beers that compliment a traditional meal many of us are preparing to have next week- Thanksgiving.

Beer with Thanksgiving isn’t anything new. It was a daily staple for the Pilgrims, as it was for most people in the 17th century. The Pilgrims had planned to sail all the way down to Virginia but were forced to make their home in Plymouth, Massachusetts because they ran out of beer. We think they had the right idea, so join us next Thursday in toasting Thanksgiving with your favorite brew.

When picking beer to pair with Thanksgiving, you can either choose one brew to enjoy throughout the meal, or you can go all out and pick a different beer for each course. If you are going with one beer for the whole meal, you want to pick one that’s versatile enough to cover all the flavors and aromas of Thanksgiving while keeping in mind what the dominant tastes are going to be. In my experience, the rich, savory and slightly sweet flavors of Turkey with gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie all go great with balanced beers like bock, Oktoberfest and a little known French style, Biere de Garde. All of these beers are somewhat malty but still crisp and refreshing, which is what makes them great with Thanksgiving. Here are some recommendations for each of these styles:

Biere de Garde – This rare French style is smooth and slightly buttery. It’s seen a recent resurgence from American craft brewers like The Lost Abbey and Jolly Pumpkin with their Avant Garde and Oro De Calabaza beers, respectively. 3 Monts from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre is the classic French version.

Bock – Although it might be a bit too sweet, Sam Adams Winter Lager is a great bock to try. If you can’t find that, try Anchor Bock from Anchor Steam.

Oktoberfest – If you can still find it this time of year, Paulaner’s a great choice. See are our article on this style for more details.

If you choose this second option – pairing different beers with each course – it’s a good idea to progress toward heavier, more intense beers and not the other way around. A more delicate beer like a wit could seem off if you have it following an intense brew like a barleywine. The different food courses work the same way; you begin a meal with lighter fare like salad and finish it with rich desserts like chocolate. Here’s a list of common Thanksgiving items and some beers that go well with them:

Turkey – Oktoberfest (Paulaner), Biere de Garde (3 Monts), Bock (Anchor Bock).

Sweet potato – Brown Ale (Newcastle), ESB/English Bitter (Fullers), Pumpkin Beer (Dogfish Head Punkin).

Stuffing – Rye Ale (Founder’s Red Rye).

Pumpkin pie – Dunkelweiss (Weihenstephaner Dunkel), Dopplebock (Ayinger), Cream Ale (Sam Adams), Pumpkin Beer (Dogfish Head Punkin).

Green beans/veggies – Pale Ale (Sam Smith).

Cranberry sauce – Lambic (Lindemans Framboise).

Of course, these are just suggestions. The best beer and food pairing is the one you like the most. What are you planning to drink with Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Beeriety team!