With the holiday season winding down toward the final few weeks, it’s time for the annual Beer Town Gifts for Beer Lovers Guide.
Every year, I always encourage everyone to support Georgia breweries by buying beer lovers what they love most — beer.
This year, that’s easier than ever with the recent and rapid growth of local breweries selling limited-edition, seasonal and one-off beers directly to consumers during special release days and tasting room events.
>> RELATED: The state of beer in Georgia
Some of the places to visit where you can drink beer while you’re shopping include Atlanta Brewing, Burnt Hickory, Creature Comforts, Cherry Street, Monday Night Garage, Orpheus, SweetWater the Woodlands, Three Taverns, Variant, Wild Heaven, and the Wrecking Bar.
And don’t forget, almost every local brewery and brewpub has plenty of merchandise for sale, too — from koozies, glassware and tap handles to sunglasses, socks and sweatshirts.
Books about beer are always a welcome gift for curious beer lovers and homebrewers. Here are five favorites from 2018:
“Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint” by John Holl (Basic Books, $26) — Award-winning veteran beer writer and editor John Holl challenges readers to think critically about beer in this entertaining and thought-provoking trip though history and sensory experience.
“Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer for the Modern Era” by Fal Allen (Brewers Publications, $19.95) — With this on-point guidebook aimed at homebrewers and fans of a historic German style that has become popular among craft brewers, Fal Allen offers a how-to with a host of recipes.
“Homebrew World: Discover the Secrets of the World’s Leading Homebrewers” by Joshua M. Bernstein (Sterling Epicure, $24.95) — An expansive book about brewing from food, drink and travel writer Joshua Bernstein, who goes on a tour to take in tales from homebrewers around the world.
“The Noma Guide to Fermentation” by René Redzepi and David Zilber (Workman, $40) — More culinary than zymurgy, this one is for nerds and home cooks who want to learn about koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, lacto-ferments and more from the two chefs behind the four-time “world’s best restaurant.”
“Western North Carolina Beer: A Mountain Brew History” by Anne Fitten Glenn (American Palate, $21.99) — Anne Fitten Glenn has been a big part of the Asheville beer scene since the 1990s, but this regional chronicle goes back to the 1880s to celebrate one of the best places to drink craft beer in the country.
If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, or even a little crazy, try these three beer-related gifts:
Hopped Up Coffee — For all the coffee and beer freaks, this small batch blend combines the two with two flavor profiles, Chocolate Stout and Black IPA, sold in two 12-ounce bags of ground coffee for $24. Available from uncommongoods.com/product/hopped-up-coffee.
Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler — I love coolers. And coolers that can be dragged around without breaking your back are even, well, cooler. At $199, this Amazon’s Choice is a splurge. But it’s made to haul a ton of beer over rough terrain. Available from amazon.com.
Home Kegerator — Perhaps the ultimate gift for the beer lover in your life, the Kegerator is the original draft beer dispenser. A single tap model starts at around $350 on sale, and can go beyond $1,500 for outdoor triple tap models. Let your budget be your guide to draft beer at your fingertips. Available from kegerator.com.