Looking for Michigan beer gifts? Bryan Esler of MittenBrew.com has compiled a list of gift ideas that are sure to please the Michigan beer lover on your list!
Beer keeps growing in Michigan. And with Christmas upon us, there’s a ton of beer lovers out there who would appreciate a Dirty Bastard over a Guinness, or a Christmas Ale over a Sam Adams.
So, what do you get the beer aficionado in your family?
The Ultimate Winter Six Pack
Several more bottles and cans have made their way to store shelves in 2013. We gave you a list of some of our favorites in 2012, but this year, we’re limiting ourselves to these six holiday specialties:
- Founders Sweet Repute – The latest in Founders’ Backstage Series, Sweet Repute is a wheat wine aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. At 12.6% ABV, this is a great brew to warm you up on those cold nights. Available in stores December 2.
- Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza – Back for round two, this sour ale is still near the top of my list for holiday brews.
- Frankenmuth Christmas Town Ale – This commemorative brew was released Nov. 1, celebrating Frankenmuth and Christmas extravaganza store, Bronner’s. Subtle spices make for a great uniqueness to this winter warmer.
- Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Warmer – This winter warmer is certainly a treat. Featuring highlights of fruit and spice, this beer screams cold weather and the winter season. If you can find it on tap, it’s just that much better!
- Bell’s Christmas Ale – You can’t have a list of holiday beers without mentioning Bell’s. This, along with Bell’s Winter White Ale, is listed on several top Christmas beer lists. You can’t go wrong — this is an easy-drinking, spiced up holiday brew.
- Short’s Gingersnap – Only available through the brewery’s variety packs, Short’s Gingersnap is just what you’d expect. Relinquish in the feeling of a ginger cookie by the fire this holiday season, with cinnamon, molasses and ginger flavor. For those looking for something a bit more hoppy, Short’s releases its Juicy Tree in December — an experimental IPA with blue spruce tips, juniper berries and cranberries.
What About Growlers and Specialties?
A lot of newer breweries make some great beer, but they’re not widely available. Look no further — pick up a growler (or special bottle) for Christmas this year!
- Perrin Brewing Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter – Like chocolate? This specialty from Comstock Park-based Perrin has quickly become the talk of the West Michigan beer scene. It’s luscious, rich and full of chocolate flavors.
- Kuhnhenn Stollen Christmas Ale – Available at the brewery’s Winter Solstice party in December, Stollen Christmas is a brew that reminds you of all the best things of Christmas. Cranberry, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel and other fruits and spices make this brew a special treat.
- Founders Sweet Repute – Another one of Founders’ Backstage Series beers, Sweet Repute is a wheat wine aged in maple syrup barrels. If you’ve liked Founders’ other maple syrup brew offerings — like CBS or Curmudgeon’s Better Half — this one is sure to please as well. Available in bomber bottles the week of Dec. 2.
Other Gifts for the Beer Snob:
Let’s be honest here; drinking isn’t the only part of being “into” beer. Books, glassware and more are becoming increasingly more available from breweries and big-name stores.
- Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing – Written by David Bardallis, this book dives into the history of Ann Arbor beer, and shows you how breweries like Arbor, Wolverine and more came about, and what came before them.
- Tickets to the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival – Arguably the best beer festival in the state, Fifth-Third Ballpark gives host to nearly 500 beers from Michigan. There’s only one way to warm up in February — a nice, dark stout. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at mibeer.com — but be quick — last year, tickets sold out in less than 13 hours.
- The Michigan Beer Film – Created by Rhino Media, this new film digs into Michigan beer — hops, breweries, beer lovers and more. If you are even the slightest bit interested in craft beer, you’ve gotta watch this! You can purchase the DVD at mibeerfilm.com.
On a dark, cold winter night, you can’t go wrong with any Michigan brew. Stay tuned to MittenBrew.com for beer coverage throughout Michigan!
~Bryan Esler: Web designer by day, beer nerd by night. A lover of dark and sour beers, Bryan is a co-founder of MittenBrew and a freelance photographer. During the day, Bryan works at Mindutopia, a full-service web development firm, as partner and creative director.