Here at TapRm, we believe the gift of beer is the best gift of all. That can mean beer, itself, or anything from beer-themed earrings to books on beer: the world of craft is its own little world with different hobbies and interests that will appeal to anyone and everyone on your list. To make your holiday gift shopping this year both refreshingly easy and actually fun--because we all sure do need that in 2020--we’ve rounded up our picks for presents that promise to wow.
Moody Tongue Smoked Meats & Beer Pairings
If someone on your list is a foodie, your gift search ends here: this is the holiday present with the ultimate wow factor. It comes from Moody Tongue Brewing Company in Chicago, and if you know Moody Tongue, you know any beer and food pairing situation from them is going to be both masterfully executed and uniquely mouthwatering. Nine-time Michelin-starred Executive Chef Jared Wentworth and Brewmaster Jared Rouben have curated different packages of smoked meats exquisitely partnered with Moody Tongue brews, and the result is a dream holiday meal for any of your lucky loved ones.
Choose from packages including slow-smoked barbecue chicken and the Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison; South Side Chicago ribs and the Sliced Nectarine IPA; brisket, ribs, and chicken and the Juiced Lychee IPA and Toasted Rice Lager; and a Chicago meats sampler with the Juiced Lychee IPA and the Lemon Saison--all include fun extras like sauces and keychains. Moody Tongue ships the food vacuum-sealed with cold shipping materials, and TapRm sends the beer. Order here.
The Highway to Hops Mix Pack: Christmas in New York City
Even your most jaded New Yorker and your most hardened Grinch will admit: there’s something magical about the holidays in the city. It could be why it seems that, oh, every Christmas movie takes place in the midst of a Manhattan set a-twinkle, and why at destinations like Rockefeller Center, you can find tourists mingling with lifelong New York dwellers. From Brooklyn to Queens, too, you’ll find decorated markets offering artisanal wares and bars that have completely transformed themselves into Santa workshops and winter wonderlands.
Since most of that is put on hold this year, the Highway to Hops mix pack captures what’s so joyful about December in New York through one of our favorite mediums: beer. This 12-pack includes some of the most festive offerings from some of the best breweries in NYC, bringing New York holiday cheer into any home. Proving that holiday beers don’t have to be stouts, there is something for every taste here--perfect for anyone on your list (or, you know, you) to spend some time in NYC right from their own living room. The variety pack runs the gamut from versatile lagers to bright sours to chocolatey stouts, from breweries like KCBC, Five Boroughs, Interboro, SingleCut, and Gay Beer
KCBC Jingle Zombie Sour: The always in-demand fruited sour, but make it Christmas. Heavy metal Bushwick brewery KCBC has applied quintessential holiday flavors to this bright beer, including tangerine, plum, and cranberry. Pair it with rich, chocolatey desserts to cut through the sweetness and create a fresh flavor combo.
Interboro Spirits & Ales Mixin’ It Up Fruited Gose: Elsewhere in East Williamsburg, Interboro collaborated with Greenport Harbor Brewery to brew this fruited gose with guava and lactose for a smoothie effect. In addition to rich desserts, sours are great for balancing fatty meats and complementing funky cheeses.
Bronx Brewery Some Like It Hopped Vienna Lager: No holiday feast or festive (albeit downsized) celebration is complete with a beer that’s more straightforward, masterfully brewed and strikingly simple so it can pair with almost any dish, appease any preference, and match any mood. Enter this Vienna lager from Bronx Brewery. This beer raises money and awareness for the LGBTQ+ community, making it especially perfect for this season of giving.
EBBS Stout No. 1: While holiday beers don’t have to be stouts, stouts do of course make for heavenly holiday beers. Options like this straightforward, pitch-perfect offering from Brooklyn’s EBBS will always be a go-to. It’s roasty yet smooth with notes of coffee, chocolate, and citrus, like chocolate-covered oranges in your stocking. It’s as good with cookies and coffee as it is with roasted meats.
Five Boroughs Brewing Co. Winter IPA: In the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, Five Boroughs Brewing Co. has gussied up the IPA for the holidays. Building atop of the crowd-pleasing hop punch of the quintessential IPA, this version is brewed with red malt, oats, and citrus-forward hops to play up Christmasy notes of warm breadiness, spice, and not-too-sweet candied fruit.
Rubsam & Horrmann Brewing Company Holidaze Strong Ale: Meanwhile in Staten Island, R&H taps into a traditional holiday style with its strong ale, hearty yet refreshing and appropriately celebratory. It’s spiced with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and chicory--in other words, the most Christmassy of aromas and flavors.
Little Blind Deep Learning DIPA: Brooklyn’s Little Blind has incorporated a fresh hopping technique of combining different hop products from pellets to powders to yield big, bold, beautiful hop flavor with no hop burn. The Deep Learning DIPA is how to head into the new year, with a new level of IPA impact. It’s a lovely partner to fruity and citrusy desserts, and a party in a can for however you’re feting the holidays.
Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. Rabbit Island Pilsner: This Greenpoint brewery has presented yet another exceptional execution of a failsafe beer style. They’ve taken the drink-anywhere, drink-anytime, drink-with-any-dish pilsner and elevated it with hops that create notes of spice and tropical fruits, balanced brilliantly by a bready malt backbone.
Transmitter Brewing G1 Golden Ale: A Belgian golden ale is a lovely teammate for holiday eats. It’s complex with notes that spotlight different flavors in food, yet it’s light and refreshing. Brooklyn-based Transmitter’s take is simply spot-on, and extra special with seasonally perfect pine and citrus.
ICONYC Brewing John Blaze NEIPA: You’ll be sleeping on Christmas Eve with visions of orange, pineapple, lemongrass, and lime dancing in your head after sipping the John Blaze NEIPA from Long Island City’s ICONYC. With a balanced bitterness, this hop bomb is a great match for seafood and for cutting through rich foods.
SingleCut Beersmiths Kim Hibiscus Sour Lager: This sour lager from Astoria’s SingleCut is just as refreshing for the holidays as it is in summer months. With its hibiscus character, this crushable brew is tart, bright, just the right amount of acidic, and herbal. Blackcurrants add decadent fruit flavor, and wheat malt keeps things crisp and dry. In other words, this beer will cut through heavy festive meals with a welcome bit of lightness.
Gay Beer Golden Lager: Speaking of refreshing, Gay Beer’s golden lager was made to be the kind of beer that just works with every meal in every setting for every occasion--so it’s a natural invite for any holiday celebrations. As brewers Jon Moore and Jason Pazmino told us for Thanksgiving, this easy-drinking burst of deliciousness sings with rich, sharp cheese plates and roasty vegetable dishes.
Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher
No beer lover should be without this end-all, be-all resource, and that’s not an understatement: ask most brewers, beer writers, and beer experts what one book they turn to and consider an essential for anyone who cares about beer, and you’ll hear Tasting Beer time and time again. It’s the favorite study material for those working toward the beer sommelier-like Cicerone certification. And that doesn’t mean it’s dry. Tasting Beer is fun and accessible, easy to flip through over a pint. Whether you’re shopping for a newbie or a connoisseur, this book is a true treasure.
Drink Better Beer by Joshua M. Bernstein
Joshua M. Bernstein is a seasoned beer journalist, consultant, tour guide, and author with tons of knowledge and enthusiasm to share with readers. His fifth book, Drink Better Beer, collects every aspect of beer information and drops it into today’s real-life, real-world context. Books like Tasting Beer can help you understand the nuances of every different style, and Drink Better Beer will help you actually apply that education when you’re shopping a dizzying selection of craft beers in all those styles at a bottle shop or, ahem, website. Bernstein turns to over 100 experts in the beer world to help readers literally drink better beer, from the taproom to their own homes, and that’s a gift anyone can benefit from.
The Craft Beer Cookbook: From IPAs and Bocks to Pilsners and Porters by Jacquelyn Dodd
There are two other ways to enjoy your beer other than cracking open a can: baking or cooking with it, and mixing it into a cocktail. Craft beer lovers know how versatile beer is and want to keep exploring those different, fun ways to experience it. There are lots of beer cookbooks out there, but Jacquelyn Dodd’s The Craft Beer Cookbook strikes the perfect balance. The recipes for both sweet and savory dishes are inventive and unique, and will certainly impress, but they’re also totally approachable. Dodd breaks everything down so even a first-time baker can master any selection. Whoever you gift this to can start their day with a sausage and pale ale frittata and end it with a chocolate stout cake, and what’s better than that?
Cocktails on Tap by Jacob Grier
For the mixology end of things, treat your beer-loving friend or family member to Jacob Grier’s Cocktails on Tap. With a comprehensive book on the matter, they’ll be able to keep trying fresh flavors and experimenting with various cocktail styles and beer styles. No matter what their go-to beer style is, there are a whole bunch of soon-to-be favorite tipples in here, from a Mai Tai with an IPA to a Dark and Stormy made with porter.
Prints from Pints & Panels
Em Sauter is an Advanced Cicerone who happens to be a standout cartoonist, too. She combined her beer expertise and artistic talent to create Pints & Panels, which illustrates an education in beer through fun comics. Releasing drawings daily on her site, Sauter’s work tallies up to be a Cicerone syllabus that anyone can have a blast studying. The Pints & Panels shop is full of colorful prints that are perfect for any beer lover. If someone on your list is studying for the Cicerone or just interested in more educational aspects, there’s a beer flavor standards poster, an SRM poster, and hop variety prints like this one. Or, you can pay homage to their favorite brew with dedicated beer prints like this or this.
Hop Earrings and a Beer Coloring Book from Boozy Craft Corner
Sabrina Rain Grimes is another talented artist who champions diversity in beer through her illustrations, as beautifully done as they are impossibly cool. Working under the name Boozy Craft Corner, Grimes not only captures how beer is truly for everyone, but also the fun lifestyle that comes with loving craft beer. Her tees and accessories are a hit with beer fans--we have a feeling you’ll recognize her designs from your usual Instagram scroll. We especially love the hop-print earrings, a unique way for someone on your gift-shopping list to wear their beer fandom. And because 2020 is definitely the year of at-home activities, we can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than with the Boozy Craft Corner coloring book.
Tees from Beer Chick
Beer Chick is the brand created by Eugenia Brown, a beer wiz, professional, and fan who works tirelessly to improve diversity, equity, representation, and inclusion in craft beer. Supporting Brown’s efforts by shopping Beer Chick merchandise is enough motivation to put this e-shop on our gift recommendation list, but it helps that everything Brown has designed happens to look super cool, too. You’re giving a loved one a fun tee with an impactful story with this More Bridges, Less Barriers style, created by Brown to raise funds for her Road to 100 initiative, in which she granted scholarships to women of color to study for and take the Cicerone in order to help them enter the beer industry. Some other guaranteed hits include this cozy hoodie, this Black Girls Drink Beer Too tee, and this very on-trend tie-dye design.
Bitter & Esters Homebrew Kit
If the beer lover on your list is a little more hands on, nothing compares to the gift of a homebrew kit. It’s not just an afternoon activity, it’s a new hobby--a new calling even. There is no better place to find such a gift than Bitter & Esters. New York City’s only homebrewing shop, B&E has been a sherpa to so many homebrewers who went on to open some of the best breweries in the five boroughs. They don’t just sell kits, they offer tons of guidance and support and have a whole roster of classes as fun as they are informative and helpful. Their kits, in different sizes, are accessible for beginners but stimulating for seasoned homebrewers. If you’re feeling extra generous, get that someone special the kit and a homebrewing class; classes are currently--conveniently--virtual. Plus, B&E offers recipes kits for lots of New York City breweries’ beers, so your lucky recipient can copycat their own brew from the likes of KCBC, Threes Brewing, Sixpoint, and Bronx Brewery.
An Investment in TapRm
Maybe someone on your list (or, again, you!) wants to get even more involved in craft beer than studying it or homebrewing it: maybe they want to actually be involved in the business of it. One of the most exciting developments this year at TapRm has been being able to open up to crowdfunding. We’re hurdling forward on our mission to modernize craft beer and make the country’s best purveyors easily accessible, as they should be! So, it’s a pretty big deal that we get to now include the people inspiring us to do that--all of you--in on this journey.
When you invest in TapRm or give the gift of an investment, it’s an immediate step across that line from beer fan to beer mover-and-shaker. But if you thought we were going to leave it at the thrill of officially being in the beer biz, think again: there are perks, galore. $100 gets you incentives like a 5% TapRm discount for life and access to exclusive beer and merch releases; $250 includes a TapRm hat and the investor’s name on the TapRm site (if desired); $500 includes an invite to the annual TapRm shareholder meeting and a TapRm-led NYC bar crawl for the investor and two friends; and well, the hits keep on coming from there. Learn much more here.