Hoops on Hops: A holiday gift guide for beer lovers

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s a lot of fun to be had in searching out great gift ideas for the beer fan on your list. Let’s take a look at some.

Beer of the month club. A simple internet search will yield dozens of options that ship right to your door. Some will deliver only pilsners; others offer “rare only” selections. You can also find Minnesota-centric packages or imports-only, featuring foreign beers. It’s a great place to start and arguably the best gift idea there is. Many breweries now offer a crowler of the month club as well, with 3-6 options.

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Beer T-shirt of the month club. Just as it sounds, a T-shirt will show up in the mail every month. Some outfits even offer a six-pack of the T-shirt’s beer.


Gift cards. This standby is as simple as it gets. Every local brewery sports cards, and the gift-giver can mix and match or go big for their brewery of choice.

Beer tourism. The Duluth Experience is really the go-to here. They have been an early adopter, and they offer many platforms to enjoy. Check out their website, .

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Beer foods. There are many good choices here: Sierra Nevada Stout & Stone Ground mustard, beer nuts, beer bread mixes, also bockwurst and weisswurst sausages, beer pretzels and more.

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Beer books — probably my favorite. I have a very large library of beer books that I intend on adding to for the rest of my days. A search on Amazon under beer books nets 88,484 results; that’s one way to go. I recommend visiting the Brewers Association’s website, . I’ve mentioned this outfit before. They’re the education arm of American brewing and offer hundreds of amazing books, wearables, trinkets and cool stuff about beer for your gifting needs.


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Home beer dispenser. Either a mini-keg or kegerator would be a dream of many a beer drinker. The kegerator is a refrigerator that holds a keg of beer and sports a tap for pint pouring. You can find these at major retail stores and online. Kegs can be purchased with a deposit at local liquor stores. Another cool option is called the BeerTender from Krups . This unit receives 5-liter kegs, which equals about 14 cans of beer. It is a compact, easy-to-use draft system that is affordable. Many breweries offer their beer in the popular 5-liter keg. It's a fun way to serve beer on tap at home for a considerable discount.

Beer videos. There are thousands of DVDs and streaming videos about beer. Search a beer topic that you think will interest your beer lover. In my opinion, the greatest beer video ever produced is The Beer Hunter , by the famous beer writer Michael Jackson . This three-volume edition produced by the Discovery Channel is quite rare and highly sought after. I highly recommend it, and I dare say your beer lover will see you as a hero if you can find it.

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Beer movies — another of my favorites. Here are my choices in no particular order: "Strange Brew," "Beerfest," "Smoky & the Bandit," "Drinking Buddies," "Beer Wars," "Beer," "Crafting a Nation," "Young Einstein," "Kings of Beer," and of course "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, as they enjoy beer in all three movies.

Beer festival tickets. Pre-purchasing tickets to a local fest for your beer lover will be very popular. My choice is a pass from the MN Craft Brewers Guild for the three annual festivals they sponsor. They also have a sweet swag shop with lots of Minnesota-themed beer stuff.


Happy holidays, everyone! I hope Santa brings you what you wish for.

Dave Hoops lives and works in Duluth and is a veteran brewer and beer judge. Contact him at

Dave Hoops
Dave Hoops

Dave Hoops
Dave Hoops

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