6 gift ideas for the Petaluma beer lover in your life

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The saying goes, “Friends bring happiness into your life at the holidays, but best friends bring beer.” If there’s a beer fan on your shopping list, you may graduate to best friend this season with these tasty, simple and fun holiday gifts. Many craft beer treats are locally produced and sold in Petaluma, making this a filling holiday season for beer lovers.

Liquid gold

No beer lover would turn down a sample pack of new-to-me beers, and many breweries and retailers allow you to mix and match four- or six-packs with different varieties of IPAs, pilsners and seasonal beers. Willibees (Petaluma) even gives a discount for some variety packs. Local breweries like Lagunitas, HenHouse, 101 North and Dempsey’s serve up fresh beer in growlers and crowlers for quick gifts. ($4 - $20).

One of our favorite beer gifts is the Brewer’s Advent Calendar available at Costco for around $70. Patient beer fans can count down the days of the holiday season marked by 24 high quality German imports, and try new styles like kölsch, dunkel, weiss, and zwickel beer. Impatient beer fans who don’t want to count down to Christmas can chill the whole pack and then pop out cans whenever they feel the urge. Other retailers like BevMo and Bottle Barn offer holiday packs of seasonal and winter beers.

Fresh beer is always in season, and Hopsy now makes a countertop mini-keg system for an in-home draught beer experience. This allows beer fans to sip locally brewed Lagunitas, Marin Brewing Co. and 101 North at home. ($180). Hopsy is a Richmond-based business, so this gift is still fairly local. Find it at hopsy.beer.

Subscribe to imbibe

For a longer lasting gift, sign up for a beer membership at Beer Craft, a taproom and bottle shop with locations in Novato and Rohnert Park. With a broad assortment of quality ales and lagers, this is a great way for beer followers to sample harder-to-find beers like Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (Capitola), Pure Project (San Diego), Cellarmaker (San Francisco, and the Rare Barrel (Berkeley). On the pricier end, The Bruery (Orange County) offers beer society membership subscriptions for wild and sour ales, and barrel-aged bottles. Beer of the month clubs also offer rare beers and international beer samplings. ($25 to $60 per month, subscriptions $280 to $450 per year).

Beer events

If the timing is right, look for tickets to local brewmaster dinners or beer pairing events like Lagunitas’ recent four-course dinner paired with seasonal beers hosted by Brewsters, the first in their “Makers Series Dinners,” which are tentatively scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month. Stockhome currently has a brewers’ dinner planned for Wednesday, Nov. 28, revolving around a special collaborative Brut IPA between HenHouse and Social Kitchen Brewery, and featuring caviar and Swedish specialties. (Check EventBrite or Houston Porter’s “Tip of My Tongue” column in this paper for upcoming beer dinners). Beer pairing dinners also give beer fans a chance to geek out over kettle sours, barrel-aged anything and hazy IPAs with their favorite brewers in smaller settings. Expect a cost of around $75 per ticket.

You can also give the gift of experience with tickets to annual beer tasting celebrations like San Francisco International Beer Festival (April), or our local Lagunitas Beer Circus (September) and Sonoma County Battle of the Brews (April). Prices range from $30 to $150 per ticket.

Stay glassy

Beer people get giddy when a taproom offers the correct glassware for the beer (beer tip: a standard shaker pint glass is almost never the proper style unless a martini is involved). Impress your beer fans with a glass appropriate for the style: tulip, stange, long and tapered pilsner, snifter or a pint with a bump out for English ales. We have occasionally found perfect pilsner glasses at the Dollar Store. Also try ILeoni, BevMo, and local breweries like HenHouse for proprietary glassware. We also stock up while visiting breweries during our travels because they often offer glass styles (and logos) we will not find elsewhere ($1 - $20).

Field Works at the corner of B and 4th streets in downtown Petaluma seems to always meet our hoppy needs with pint glasses etched with Petaluma and California artwork, prints and cards featuring hops and other beer recipes, beer cocktail books and other beer accoutrements.

Beer reading

If your beer person also loves to read, check out these top beverage titles at Copperfield’s or other bookstores: “Tasting Beer” by Randy Mosher; “The Audacity of Hops” by Tom Acitelli, “Cheese & Beer” by Janet Fletcher, “How to Brew” by John J. Palmer, “So You Want to Start a Brewery: The Lagunitas Story” by Tony Mage, and “Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer for the Modern Era” by Fal Allen ($15 – $20). (Beer tip: Before buying on Amazon, we always ask if Copperfield’s can order beer books. It usually only takes a few days with no shipping charges, and ensures all money stays local).

Eat beer

We found Regrained Supergrain protein bars to be a great stocking stuffer. Regrained figured out a sustainable way to repurpose the spent grain leftover after brewing, making high protein, low sugar bars like honey cinnamon IPA, blueberry sunflower saison and chocolate coffee stout (regrained.com). Available locally at Sprouts, Raley’s and Oliver’s Markets (under $5).

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