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Uncommon Goods

11 Gifts for the Beer Geek in Your Life

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Uncommon Goods

The beer lover in your life doesn’t need another hilarious “Will Work for Beer” t-shirt this year. Instead, try one of these options.

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1. 99 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL SCRATCH-OFF; $35

It can be hard to find tasteful home décor that reflects a love of beer, and it can be just as tough to keep track of the brews you’ve tried. This print from Pop Chart Lab cleverly solves both issues by featuring 99 lauded beers—from American classics like Three Floyds’ Zombie Dust to European stalwarts like Drie Fonteinen’s Oude Geuze—in a scratch-off format. When your brew-loving buddy tries a new beer, he or she can scratch it off to track their progress. It’s like an instant lottery game, except they win every time.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

2. UKEG 64 PRESSURIZED GROWLER; $139

Growlers offer a great way to bring home a beer that doesn’t make its way into cans or bottles, but they’re not perfect. Unless you plan to drink all 64 ounces in a single sitting, you’re likely to end up with flat beer. Present a solution: The uKeg 64 Pressurized Growler uses a CO2 cartridge to ensure that the last pour from this growler is as lively as the first, and its custom tap makes it easy to pour one out.

Find It: Amazon

3. THE OXFORD COMPANION TO BEER; $43

Beer lovers can be a little obsessive about their passion, and if you’re shopping for someone who’s thirsty for knowledge, there’s no better place to start than this comprehensive reference. Edited by Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver, the Oxford Companion crams an incredible amount of information about beer culture, history, styles, brewing methodologies, and more into 900 pages. Even the most well-versed know-it-all will learn something from this text. And if you’re shopping for a beer-loving foodie, Oliver’s classic The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food makes an excellent gift, too.

Find It: Amazon

4. BEER CAP MAP OF THE UNITED STATES; $35

Brewers keep making more intricate and beautiful bottle caps, and it’s a shame to just chuck that art into the trash each time you pop a bottle. If your giftee is trying to drink their way through all 50 states, this fun wooden map helps them keep track of progress while preserving standout caps.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

5. LIBBEY CRAFT BREW SAMPLER CLEAR BEER GLASS SET; $25

Pouring a beer into a glass enhances the whole sensory experience each sip offers. By allowing the user to better see and smell what they're drinking, the glass is a valuable aid in fully enjoying each brew. And since different shapes of glasses suit different styles of beer, a beer geek’s glassware collection can never be too large. While there’s a dizzying variety of cool brewery-branded glassware on the market, this six-piece set from Libbey covers all the bases and enables your favorite beer geek to sip everything from dense Russian imperial stouts to refreshing German hefeweizens. Plus, at just $25, it's a steal.

Find It: Amazon

6. BROOKLYN BREW SHOP BEER MAKING KIT; $38

With a little know-how and the right recipe, home brewers can make beers that rival the offerings of their commercial counterparts. If someone on your list wants to dip their toe into the home brewing waters, Brooklyn Brew Shop offers kits that come with almost everything they'll need to make a gallon of beer. With styles ranging from Everyday IPA to Chocolate Maple Porter to Jalapeno Saison, there’s something for everyone.

Find It: Amazon

7. BEER SOAP; $10

For a number of reasons, it can be hard to enjoy a delicious, hoppy IPA whenever you want one. Enter the next best thing: catching a pleasant whiff of brew. Swag Brewery craft soaps made with real beer. Available in nine varieties—including oatmeal stout, IPA, and Belgian witbier—these soaps will finally give you even more reason to wash your hands.

Find It: Amazon

8. DAS CAN-IN-STEIN; $10

Drinking from a pewter tankard is a great way to add a colonial-grog-house vibe to an evening, but it’s not always practical. Das Can-In-Stein changes that. Your loved one just needs to slip their favorite 12-ounce can into the frame and enjoy.

Find It: Amazon

9. BEER CARRYING BRIEFCASE; $40

Traveling with a six-pack can be tricky. You want to be inconspicuous, but you’ve got that bulky shape and bottles inevitably jingling together conspiring to blow your cover. Help a brew-loving buddy out. This padded briefcase securely holds a six-pack of standard 12-ounce bottles, enabling them to safely transport suds from point A to point B—all while feeling just a little bit like a secret agent.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

10. WESTMARK GERMAN HERMETUS RESEALER BOTTLE OPENER; $6

Downing an entire 22-ounce bomber of a boozy imperial stout or double IPA in a single sitting can be a delicious but questionable decision. With Westmark’s clever bottle opener, saving part of the bottle for the next day is a little easier. The Hermetus opener pops caps like normal, but once your giftee is ready to call it quits, it slides across the top of the bottle to form a tight, bubble-preserving seal.

Find It: Amazon

11. BEER; PRICE VARIES

Don’t overthink this. If you’re shopping for a beer lover, you can’t go wrong picking up a six-pack or growler as part of the gift. Free beer is the best beer, and you might get your recipient something they would have overlooked on their own shopping trips. If you’re traveling for the holidays, you’re sure to put a smile on a beer lover’s face by bringing them a local offering they can’t normally get their hands on. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a holiday gift pack that throws in a free glass with a few bottles.

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7 Surprising Uses for Tequila
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Happy National Tequila Day! While you could celebrate by having a few drinks, you could also skip the hangover by unlocking one of tequila's amazing abilities outside of a glass. Many spirits are useful for activities beyond sipping (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), but tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Here are just a few of them.

1. SYNTHETIC BAUBLE

In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?

2. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE

Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.

3. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when it's whipped into a sugary margarita.

4. SLEEP AID

Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can reportedly help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

5. COLON CLEANSER

Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.

6. DIABETES PREVENTATIVE

If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.

7. COLD REMEDY

“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold.

.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C) 

Though some people (including tequila companies) swear by its healing powers, others say it's hogwash.

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What's the Kennection? #158
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