People like beer. As of the end of November, there are now 4,144 breweries in the country, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873. The industry has grown tremendously in the last couple of years, and that influx of interest in drinking the good stuff has spurred interest in how to make it. Luckily, it's pretty simple to start brewing from home, and any beer enthusiast would be excited to find one of these gifts in her stocking.
But where to begin? Here are some suggestions to get you started, or to email to the Santa in your life (hint, hint, wink, wink, say no more!)
The amounts below are the generally available list prices unless otherwise noted.
Because even a brewing genius can't create amazing beer without the right tools.
Brew Share Enjoy Homebrew Starter Kit
Special Price $99.99
An easy all-in-one package to get someone interested in beer. Move past the basic one-shot beer kit with this collection of equipment. It includes a Block Party Amber Ale recipe kit, two beer buckets, brew kettle, siphon, sanitizer, capper, and more.
Dark Star Burner 2.0
While you can brew on the stove, switching to a 65,000 BTU propane burner will shorten the time it takes to raise the water to boil, and keep your aspiring Sam Calagione from endlessly occupying the range top.
Siphonless 6.5 Gal. Big Mouth Bubbler - Ported Plastic Fermentor
I speak from experience when I say that traditional glass carboys are a ridiculous invention. Bypass the struggle of a small opening and heavy breakable glass by giving the gift of plastic for your homebrewer to ferment her beer in. As a bonus, it has a port at the bottom to make transfers a breeze.
Big Mouth Bubbler Harness - Plastic
Don't let your loved one strain their back lifting 40 pounds of sugary, alcoholic water. Get him this harness to make lifting so easy, he'll think you gave the gift of fitness.
Because even the best equipment is useless in the hands of he without knowledge.
How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time
Learn from engineer and homebrewer John J. Palmer with information presented in a straightforward manner.
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Fourth Edition: Fully Revised and Updated
This classic book from master brewer Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association and Association of Brewers in 1978, has been updated with the latest techniques. It includes everything you need to know to brew beer at home from start to finish.
Homebrew Beer Recipe Journal
What good is brewing beer if you can't reproduce it? This beer journal provides space for recording up to 50 beer recipes.
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Because cool shit.
Refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation (0-32 Brix)
Science, bitch! You can write that on the card. I don't mind, no credit needed. What's a refractometer? It allows a brewer to measure the density of a solution using light. This lets her know how much alcohol the yeast has created. In other words, let her know you care about what she's eventually going to have you taste.
American Homebrewers Association Membership
If there were ever a lobbying and social organization to be a part of, it's the AHA. Give a membership for a year, and watch as his brain implodes from all of the beer knowledge that will get shoved in his face for the next year. He'll get to enjoy discounts on beer and food at pubs across Americ;, keep in touch with the homebrewing community and ask questions by registering for the AHA Forum; receive Zymurgy, the longest running homebrewing magazine in the world; and have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the members-only session at the Great American Beer Festival.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.