Home brewers are equal parts scientist and artist – two vocations known for their meticulous natures. That doesn’t always make us the easiest folks on your list to buy a gift for. If you’re still stuck on what to get the home brewer in your life, here’s a few questions to ask yourself on the way to that perfect present.
Where are you?
Yes, I once got these for Christmas. I’m not bitter or anything.
If you are not in a store that specializes in craft beer or home brewing put the Corona pajama pants down and walk away. Just because something is beer-related does not make it perfect for your brewer. There are great outlets that specialize in craft beer and home brewing and heading to one of these places is step one to finding the perfect gift. Looking for the best spots in Charlotte for home brew needs and craft beer? Check out Cheers Charlotte’s sponsors. Charlotte Beer also offers a great list of local shops.
Are you asking questions?
We craft beer enthusiasts are a friendly folk and trust me when I say that one of our favorite things to do is talk about beer. Now that you’ve taken yourself to a store that specializes in home brewing or craft beer the people who work there are going to be your best allies. If you’re at a store that specializes in home brewing tell them about your brewer’s situation and goals. If you’re at a bottle or growler fill shop tell them about the styles of beer your brewer enjoys drinking or which beers they always have in their fridge and allow them to make a recommendation.
Propane burner from ebrew.com.
Is your craft beer enthusiast already brewing?
If you have a stove and pot you’re half way to your first batch of beer. Refuse the urge to buy the Mr. Beer kit. Extract kits will give your brewer the option to choose the destiny of their very first beer. Grab a carboy for fermentation and a gift card to your local home brew shop and they’ll have the fun of picking out their first brew.
If your loved one is already brewing, where are they brewing?
If you have a kitchen extract brewer you can help take them to the next level with equipment forall-grain brewing or partial mash. You’ll be setting yourself up to be a taste-tester with a gift like a burner, a large pot and extra carboys.
Is your brewer all-grain or do they already have a more advanced setup?
Wide mouth carboy from Northern Brewer.
Put the last time they talked your ear off about their brewing process to work for you. Have you heard them say “I wish I had a better way to cool my beer”? A plate or coil chiller will save them time and ease the cooling process. Have you heard them say “I wish I could brew more beer”? If they’re hoping to brew more volume, a larger pot is a great gift. Perhaps they’re hoping to brew more often in which case they’ll need more carboys based on their formation space. Do they say to you “Cleaning takes forever”? A new wide-mouth carboy will make cleaning faster and easier.
Now you’re ready for that last minute shopping! Click over to check out my fellow Cheers Charlotte blogger Sam Perkins who has some great ideas for stocking stuffers in his piece about local beers to age.