The Seven Best Gifts For Beer Lovers

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All those lovey-dovey holiday commercials making you feel guilty about your Christmas shopping procrastination? Don't. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation, only about 11 percent of shoppers had finished up their gift list by December 13. So, everyone's doing it. (Or not doing it, as the case may be.)

If you've got a special beer geek, craft brew nerd, or hops lover on your list, consider yourself lucky. Buying for a fan of beer can be as easy as a gift certificate to Total Wine (or Funky Buddha, Due South, etc.) or a case of tasty brew. For something just a bit more personal, check out the Clean Plate Charlie beer geek gift guide after the jump. Cheers!

See Also:

- Winter Beer Guide: Brew Suggestions for Your Holiday Bash (via Brown Distributing's John Linn)

- South Florida Beer Week is January 19-26, 2013 (Check out the Initial Schedule of Events)

- The Best Florida Beers & a Craft Beer Geek's Holiday Wish List: Sybarite Pig's Daniel Naumko Shares His Picks

7. A subscription to a beer magazine

A beer fan is gonna pontificate about suds one way or the other. At least by regularly reading up on the topic, they'll have something of substance to say in between sips. A few to consider: "All About Beer," $19.99 for six issues or $38.99 for twelve, allaboutbeer.com. Or, "Beer Advocate" (which has a digital option), $14.99 for twelve issues, beeradvocate.com/mag/.

6. A seat in a beer class at Total Wine

This beer lover's haven frequently hosts affordably priced classes that explore a range of beer drinking experiences, from the various types of beer available to niche brews. In January, the store is offering "Tap These!" an introductory level course to explore left-of-center choices. Classes are about two hours and cost $15 and require in-person registration with payment. View the class schedule to select your store location and date.

5. A mix-and-match six-pack

While you're at Total Wine signing your favorite hops fan up for a class, swing by the aisle(s) of single bottle craft beers available and put together a mix-and-match sixer. Know your recipient's favorite style? Great; load up on the imperial stouts or ultra hoppy IPAs. Or, stick to a theme, like winter brews, Florida beers, or "beers with a dog/fish/bird on the label." The good thing about choosing an assortment? Chances are, they'll like at least a few out of the bunch and it may introduce them to something new. Prices vary depending on the cost per individual bottle.

4. Goodies from a local brewery

Loading up on stocking stuffers from a local brewery does double duty: Another gift is checked off your list and you support a local business (bonus if you get to stick around and enjoy a pint after shopping). A great example is Due South Brewing, the Boynton Beach brewery that's quickly picking up steam in South Florida. They carry everything from bottle opener key chains, to pint glasses and snifters, to men and women's T-shirts. $3 and up, duesouthbrewing.com

3. A seat in a home brew class

Sooner or later, a craft fan gets so ensnared in the world of beer that they want to get their hands dirty in the process. Instead of relying on a YouTube tutorial, help your budding brewer to learn the basics in a homebrew class. BX Beer Depot in Lake Worth teaches intro classes, plus they carry the supplies he or she will need to get started. $25 per class and/or $24.99 for a one-gallon beer making equipment kit. Call 561-965-9494. Funky Buddha Lounge in Boca Raton also teaches homebrew classes. Call 561-245-7657 for available dates and more details.

2. A road trip to Cigar City Brewing

Cigar City Brewing is, arguably, one of the finest craft breweries in Florida. Get your favorite beer fiend to ground zero with an overnight road trip to Tampa. There, you can take a tour of Cigar City's facilities and check out their recently expanded tap room. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and includes tons of background information on the beer making process, Cigar City's history, and the evolution of the beer scene in the area. If you're lucky, you'll get a few samples straight out of the tank. Before each tour commences, attendees get a Cigar City pint glass -- to keep -- and their choice of beer to sip on during the tour. Tours are $5. Reservations are required, cigarcitybrewing.com.

1. Tickets to Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

Offer to be the designated driver, or throw in a night at a nearby hotel room, either way, this gift is the schnizz. With it, you give the ultimate beer fan four-plus hours of day drinking with dozens upon dozens of craft beers from around the country. The Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival is 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26, and you can order online. $31 per ticket, jupitercraftbrewersfestival.com.

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