Friday, December 7, 2012

[HOT LIST] A Very Beerie Gift Guide

Detroit neighborhood rocks glasses from City Bird.

Last year I recommended some made in Michigan gift baskets for gift-giving ideas (I'm a big fan of the personalized, thoughtful gift basket). This year I'm going straight beerie.

#1 Clubhouse BFD "Ultimate Beer Bucket"
On Tuesday, December 11 starting at 7 p.m., Clubhouse BFD's "Ultimate Christmas Beer Bucket"goes on sale for $100. Sound pricey? It is. But consider what you get: (1) Founders KBS, (1) Founders Boltcutter, (1) Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, (1) Mikkeller + Three Floyds Boogoop, and (1) $20 "Johnny Cash Clubhouse BFD" Gift Certificate, all packaged nicely in a Clubhouse BFD beer bucket. This is truly the most beeriest of gifts for your most beeriest of friends. No substitutions; very limited quantity. First come, first served; limit one per person. Once they sell out they will release their next bucket (there will be 3-4 more beer bucket packages leading up to the holidays).

#2 Jolly Pumpkin Cafe Rare Beer Charity Auction
Also on December 11, also at 7 p.m. (so I recommend you find yourself a beerie partner and split your time accordingly): the rare beer charity auction at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe in Ann Arbor benefitting the Peace Neighborhood Center. We're talking aged, cellared, secret stash kind of stuff. For the hardcore sour beer nerds in your life (hi), this is the most beerie gift of all. Plus all proceeds benefit charity, and we all like to feel good about our reckless spending benefitting charity around the holidays.

#3 Assorted gifts from Hugh
The newly-opened Hugh inside of the Auburn Building in Midtown has everything you need to honor the classic bachelor pad style of the 1960s, and that includes all of your essential barware, stainless steel cocktail shakers, vintage ice buckets, and also vintage Playboys. (The store's name is Hugh, guys.) Detroit's original pop-up(TM) and first-ever winner of Hatch Detroit, Hugh brings a whole different design dimension to Detroit retail. And that design dimension just so happens to be very beerie. (And bourbon-y and martini-y.) Gifts are available in a wide range of price points, from full glassware sets to smaller items like whiskey stones (throw them in the freezer and they'll keep your whiskey appropriately chilled without watering it down ... pro tip from Hugh owner Joe Posch: wash them a few times before using), and this handy "Drinking Man's Diet" (only $4.95).

#4 VIP tickets to Baconfest Michigan 2013
Remember Baconfest? Remember how much fun that was? Well, we're bringing it back on June 1, 2013 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, and VIP tickets are now on sale. Please note: as of this blog post, VIP tickets are 75% sold out -- they probably won't last through the weekend. VIP ("Very Important Piggy") tickets include early entry, an expanded V.I.P. section with an exclusive bar, six drink tickets (and plenty of Michigan beer, including Jolly Pumpkin), a VIP-only badge and bag, and a signed and numbered limited edition Baconfest Michigan 2013 poster suitable for framing. This Christmas, give the gift of bacon!

#5 Detroit-themed rocks glasses from City Bird
Across the street and around the corner from Hugh is the Detroit-centric boutique City Bird, fully stocked with a wide variety of items ranging from jewelry and soaps made by local artisans, prints from local photographers, books from local authors, and clothing highlighting local sights and events designed and produced in their on-site studio. Also buttons and posters and prints and greeting cards ... you get the idea. You'll also find this collection of Detroit Neighborhood Glassware. These rocks glasses are $20 each (buy them in sets and they get progressively cheaper, up to eight for $120) and are etched with the names of over 55 different Detroit neighborhoods: sure, there's the popular ones like Corktown and Midtown, but there's also Hubbard Farms, Highland Park, Belle Isle, Warrendale, Rosedale Park and many, many more. Decanters are $60, and custom engraving is also available. Rocks glasses from City Bird + whiskey stones from Hugh = ready-made party (just add whiskey).

Holiday bonus round:

Beer baskets from 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company
You pick the theme and name your price range or even hand-select each individual beer and they'll put it all together beautifully in an ice bucket for you! They also have a range of snack items, many locally-made, so you can make a party picnic bucket, or go the more gift item route and pick out some beer-scented soaps, beer bottle jewelry and beer books.

St. Bernardus Christmas Dinner at One-Eyed Betty's
Granted, this is happening before Christmas, but would make a great early gift for beerie friends (or just a fun night out for you and yours). This Wednesday, December 12, OEB will pair six St. Bernardus beers (some of the best beer in the world) with six appropriately opulent holiday courses including escargot, duck fat goose confit, and figgy bread pudding. 7 p.m., $65 per person.

A trip to Grand Rapids, Beer City USA 
Grand Rapids takes their newfound (albeit shared) title of "Beer City USA" very seriously. Now through December 30, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting the "Thank you, BEER!" exhibit that celebrates "beer, brewing and the meaning of life." Also check out the newly-reopened Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Michigan's first certified organic brewery and a revival of the historic old GRBC that first opened in 1893. And of course, while you're there: HopCat (one of the best beer bars in the country), Founders (one of the top-ranked craft breweries in the country and makers of one of the world's best beers), and Brewery Vivant (producers of one of the top beers of 2012 along with Founders). Need more info? I got you, boo. Here and here.