The last time we met in this space, we shared the reasons to be thankful from 401 beermakers. In this Holiday Gift Guide, we’ve collected a few suggestions for 401 beer-related gifts, which will engender waves of thanks from your beloved giftees – and we have some beer news for youse, natch.
But let’s start with a charitable drive that exemplifies the spirit of the season and the camaraderie of the beer community. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is based in Chico, California, near the epicenter of the site of the devastating Camp Fire. They are supporting relief efforts with the release of Resilience, a “Butte County Proud IPA.” Sierra Nevada reached out to brewers nationwide to make their own batches of Resilience, with 100% of sales to benefit the Camp Fire Relief Fund; malt, hop, and yeast suppliers provided raw ingredient donations to the 1000-plus breweries who answered the call. Locally, Grey Sail, Newport Craft, Shaidzon, Isle Brewers Guild and Taproot brewed Resilience last week; the big-hearted beer will be available any day now. We implore you to drink as many as you (responsibly) can to aid the cause.
Okay, back to the stocking-stuffing: Grey Sail has a boatload of gift-worthy special beers. The latest entry in their Wheelhouse Series is a milkshake IPA called Kegnog, made with Amarillo hops plus lactose and vanilla. It’s available through the holidays. And head to their Westerly HQ for some brewery-only beauts: Small Craft Advisory highlights adventurous concoctions from their new three-barrel system, available on draft and very limited tallboy four packs. Current offerings include Peach Sour (cans only), Mosaic IPA (cans and draft) and Coffee Brown Ale (draft only; proceeds are being donated to Stand Up For Animals). Event-wise, they’ll host a Holiday Flea Market on December 8 from noon to 4pm; local vendors will sell beer/wine/spirit-related crafts, a brewery-only barrel-aged beer will be tapped that day, and patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable items for the local food bank in exchange for raffle tickets for “some cool items.” And the new “Wednesdays in the Winter” series will present expos and craft nights at the taproom, including a “Sip and Script” calligraphy class on December 12. Check facebook.com/GreySail for details.
Newport Craft Brewing offers these gift enticements: three types of holiday baskets, tailored for the beer, rum, and outdoor lovers, with a combo of gear and products at a discounted rate. And when you buy a gift card of $50 or more, you get a free piece of retro Newport Storm merchandise. And be sure to get a bottle of NCB’s Annual Release ’18, a potent (10.2% ABV) barleywine aged in oak barrels that housed Thomas Tew Rum. You can get a taste of that and the rest of their offerings on December 7 at a Prohibition Party, celebrating the 85th anniversary of Repeal Day (December 5). The event features live music and light food, and the brewery will be decked out like a speakeasy! Get tickets at newportcraft.com.
Shaidzon Beer Company has some sweet options for the holidays, including First Anniversary glassware and new T-shirts emblazoned with Rhody-style directions – “Where Proclamation used to be.” Beer-wise, they’re unveiling a new look for cans of Never Tomorrow IPA and brewing a few beers that debuted last winter.
And give yourself an early present by attending Foolproof Brewing Company’s fifth annual Barrel Reserve Night on Saturday, December 8 from 7-10pm, with rare brews and food and brrrrr-y fun; get tix at facebook.com/foolproofbrew. And while you’re there, load up on gift cards and new Foolproof Ts.
Quick sip: LineSider Brewing Co. is the fifth (!) 401 beermaker to open its doors in 2018; they cut the ribbon at their East Greenwich home (1485 South County Trail, Suite #201) the day after Thanksgiving. Congrats to former New England Patriots center Dan Koppen and partner Jeremy Ruff on their new endeavor!
For more beer news, check Lou’s blog, bottlescansclaphands.wordpress.com, or follow @Bottlesandcansclapyouthands