“Brewing Local: American-Grown Beer” (Brewers Publications, $19.95) by Stan Hieronymus: Perhaps the most topical and useful beer book of the year for both brewers and drinkers comes from sage beer historian Stan Hieronymus, who boldly scouts farm breweries, and goes foraging for plants and yeast to show how local ingredients are being used to create distinctive styles.
“Food & Beer” by Daniel Burns and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso (Phaidon Press, $49.95): One of the best and most challenging books about beer and food, maybe ever, comes from the dynamic duo of Daniel Burns, the chef behind the Michelin-starred beer-pairing restaurant Luksus in Brooklyn, and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, the gypsy brewer of Evil Twin Brewing and Torst beer bar in Brooklyn.
“My Beer Year” by Lucy Burningham (Roost Books, $16.95): Journalist Lucy Burningham recounts her journey to become a Certified Cicerone, an industry designation akin to being a “beer sommelier.” Along the way, she meets brewers, hop farmers, pub owners, and other beer drinkers, who all seem to have lots of stories to tell about the beverage they love.
"Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two" by Jim Koch (Flatiron Books, $27.99):
Founder of Boston Beer Co. and brewer of Sam Adams Boston Lager, Jim Koch was among the founding fathers of the craft beer renaissance. But as it turns out, he's unabashedly down to earth and even entertainingly ribald when it comes to telling his success story.
For something a little more hands-on, try these gifts:
Spiegelau Barrel Aged Beer Glass ($39.99/set of four): This new glassware, specially designed for barrel-aged beers, was developed in partnership with the brewmasters from Great Divide in Denver, Green Flash in San Diego, Uinta in Salt Lake City, and Cigar City in Tampa.
Brew Cave Walk-In Cooler ($7,298.99): If price is no object, this beer man cave available from KegWorks is like a mini walk-in cooler at a bar. It has storage for over 30 cases of beer and four or more kegs, plus room for several tap handles on the outside wall.