The holidays are upon us, unless you celebrate Hannukah which just past and now you're waiting for Purim (which, for your reference coincides with Valentine's Day), but that's not really the focus of this post. The holidays are time for giving. And what is the best gift to give?
Besides a "What's best in life?" t-shirt? Beer, obviously.
What's better than giving beer? Having that beer magically show up to your friend or spouse's abode (if someone who isn't drunk and over the age of 21 can sign for the box). Actually the box full of beer I'm eventually going to talk about has a label that basically says that. Really.
Last year, for the holidays, I receieved a year membership was the Beer of the Month Club at www.beermonthclub.com from my sister-in-law and it's been fantastic. Each month a box showed up with four different beers, three of each, from two different breweries making for one happy beer lover.
It's a little expensive for 12 beers, with this club and others running approximately $38 a month, which also includes a nice newsletter with tasting notes, a column from the "Original Malty Dog" Murl, and a picture and short story about the member of the month, which will make everyone feel better if they think their beer obsession has gone too far. Hint: It hasn't.
These boxes are also great for sending 12 ounce bottles of beverages to friends. But not alcohol, obviously, since that would be bootlegging. And bootlegging is bad.
One of the best parts of this was getting to try some beers from other regions in the United States that may not broadly distribute out to California. Also, of the 44 beers I've had so far, I think I had only had maybe five of them before.
Some highlights this year:
Golden Seas Breweries: Uber Pils
Sea Dog: Hazlenut Porter
Tommyknocker: Pickaxe IPA
Matt Brewing: Saranac Red Ale
Erie Brewing: Railbender Ale
There will always be beers that someone won't like and there were a few who I didn't love the style. Then there was that one brewery who just didn't make very good beer (tasted like it had an extract base). The positive was that it made my homebrew (also extract base) my third least favorite beer I tried this year, so that was a nice self esteeem booster. So if you get this and a brewery isn't doing it for you, it happens sometimes.
Another thing I noticed was some hoppier beers from the west coast didn't always taste the freshest. This might be because they were shipped back east before coming west, pressumably all unrefridgerated.
I'm also not sure if they can ship to our Canadian friends while in the US, they can't ship to Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah. If someone wants to start a change.org petition on this: let me know and I'll sign it.
There's a few different versions of these out there. If you're looking for someone, read up and see if one leaps out at you as being better for the beer lover in your life. And if you don't currently have a beer lover to buy this for, let me know and I can send you my information so you can feel great about yourself this holiday season.