Best Gifts for Homebrewers
Whether shopping for yourself or someone else, the gifts on this list will please any homebrewer. Several things listed can improve the brewing process and product to make it easier and more efficient. Each item meets a different homebrewing need. In no particular order, some gifts for homebrewers:
Beer Recipe Kits
Admittedly one of the best homebrewing gifts I prefer to receive are beer recipe kits. What’s better than receiving everything you need to brew a batch of delicious homebrew? Experimenting with new recipes is a fun and exciting when you finally get to see the end product and if it’s what you were aiming for. However, sometimes you just want to brew something you know will produce delicious beer. The variety of homebrew kits available has grown tremendously. You can purchase extract or all-grain and they come in every style, from IPA to stout, Belgian to German, and everything else. If you are buying this for someone else, this is your opportunity to have them brew a beer you want to drink (hint hint). Below is a list of mixed extract and all-grain homebrew recipe kits that are some of my favorite. Most come in both extract and all-grain if you find one you like but is not your format of brewing:
- 7 Deadly C’s IPA – All Grain
- Brülosophy Series: MACC IPA All-Grain Kit – All Grain
- Widak Saison Recipe Kit – Extract
- Chocolate Stout – All-Grain
- Belgian White – Extract
- Mositra Session IPA – All-Grain
- The Darker Lord’s Imperial Stout – All Grain
- Hip Hop American Amber Ale – Extract
If you or your gift recipient is like me, keeping good notes during the brew day is essential. This ensures no missed steps, notes to look back on when you are tasting the final product, and most importantly repeat-ability. Tweaking recipes to get the desired taste, aroma, bitterness and mouth-feel is a fun and somewhat scientific component of homebrewing. Without good notes tweaking recipes would be difficult due to unforeseen variables not taken into account by homebrew software. The beautiful leather-bound journal pictured is a great gift. It’s stylish yet practical, and offers a variety of charts, tables, and references to help design homebrew recipes or to quickly looking up information during the brew day.
Beer Making Kits
Know someone who has expressed interest in brewing or looking to get started yourself? Homebrew kits are the best placed to start. They include everything you need to make 5 gallons of beer. The options for homebrew kits range in price and options to meet your needs.
|Everything you need to get you started.
Requires your own pot or kettle
|Everything included in the Basic
Requires your own pot or kettle
Bottling equipment and bottles included
|Includes kettle and extra fermenter
Chiller not included
Bottling equipment and bottles included
|Everything needed to become a serious homebrewer
Includes kettle and wort chiller
Bottling equipment and bottles included
|The ultimate kit includes everything in the premium and basic kits
Bonus: includes starter kegging system
If you know an all-grain brewer then a mash paddle is the perfect gift. What’s even better is you can impart your own style into their brew day due the variety of beautiful and interesting mash paddles available. They can be found in both wood and stainless steel with cool and unique designs. Pictured are examples you can find, both are available for purchase by clicking on the images. Find more options by searching through stores listed on the Best Homebrew Stores page.
Healthy yeast are a vital component to making good homebrew. In order to achieve that, the use of a stir plate is recommended. This is a fairly easy setup to obtain with stir plate kits available. Adventures in Homebrewing offers a great starter kit. The deluxe yeast starter kit is priced at $75.99. It includes the stir plate, a 2000 ml flask, a stir bar, anti-foam drops, 1 lb of dry malt extract, and a stopper and airlock. This is a great kit and an absolute must for every homebrewer who truly wants to make great beer. Get this kit and get everything needed to get started except the yeast.
I’m not talking about beer goggles here. Drinking out of pint glasses can be considered boring nowadays when taking into account specialty beer glasses designed specifically for a style of beer. Whether you are an IPA hop head, a stout lover, a wheat and German beer purist, a Belgian beer connoisseur, or a sour beer fanatic, there is a glass for you or your gift recipient. This is a perfect gift for those that enjoy serving their delicious homebrew out of the “proper” glassware. If entertaining is their thing, a beer flight glasses with chalk board set is a great addition to their bar.
An infrared thermometer is a good tool to quickly read specific things related to homebrewing. While it should not be used for everything, it comes in handy when it becomes a hassle to sanitize a regular thermometer when you don’t have any sanitizer ready and available. The best applications for an IR thermometer including measuring a starter flask to make sure it’s cool enough to pitch yeast, checking the temperature of the side of a carboy to see if you are within optimal fermenting temperature, measure the serving temperature of the homebrew, and more. I would not recommend using it for measuring mash or sparge temperatures as it reads surface temperature which will not give the actual internal mash or sparge temperature. The Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer (pictured) offers a ±2% accuracy, gives a reading in less than 500 ms, and can convert quickly between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
BeerSmith, in my opinion, is the best homebrewing software available. It’s a powerful tool to easily manage and create homebrew recipes using built-in databases of ingredients that offer 99% of what most people have available to them. It works on both Windows and Mac, and there is even an app on Android and Apple products, all of which syncs to the cloud providing easy access to all of your recipes on all platforms. Other than recipe building, Beersmith offers a large variety of calculators, tools, and features giving any homebrewer an all in one solution for all things homebrewing related.
Sharing homebrew is one of the best parts of the hobby. Wether it’s to gather critical feedback, test a new recipe on an unsuspecting audience, or simply just sharing with friends and family, sharing homebrew should be quick and easy. If you bottle this is less of a concern, but as a kegger and with the growing number of keggers, having the ability to quickly and easy package homebrew to take with you is not easy when you only have bottles. Beer growlers are a great addition to any homebrewers bar. The price range of growlers is pretty large based on the features offered. Starting at around $13 you can get a simple brown glass 64 oz growler. Ranging from around $35 to $50, you can get a 64 oz vacuum insulated growler that keeps beers cold longer outside of the fridge. Another option at around the $35 price range is an insulated double wall stainless steel 64 oz growler. If you or you recipient really wanted to show off, at around $140 you can get a 64 oz pressurized growler that allows you to repressurize the beer to optimal pressure and view it on its’ gauge, pour from a tap, and view how much delicious homebrew is left. I’ll be honest, it’s overkill but a very cool option. Some growlers can also be found in 32 oz format.
Bonus item for the homebrew bottlers out there: a 6 pack Wooden Beer Carrier makes for a great presentation when taking homebrew to friends and family, and includes a build in opener.
Who doesn’t love fun t-shirts and socks? There are so many options in this category, but I will list some of my favorites to help you get your thinking caps on.
- Pursuit of Hoppiness T-Shirt
- Homebrew Superpower T-Shirt
- Beer Mug Socks
- Christmas Beer Socks
- Evolution of Man Homebrew Apron
- Beer Brewing Schematic T-Shirt
- Respect the Craft T-Shirt
- Lucky Beer Socks
Bonus item for the hat lover: a Hops and Beer Bottles Hat.
Kegging Systems or Extra Kegs
If you or your gift recipient does not keg, this might be the time to look into upgrading. Kegging has some major advantages over bottles. A few off the top of my head; don’t have to individually bottle 52+ bottles, cuts down on the time it takes to move homebrew from fermenter to serving vessel, achieve consistent carbonation every time, can be ready to drink in 48 hours if needed, less to clean and sanitize which means less risk of infection, and many more. My personal favorite kegging store is Adventures in Homebrewing. They offer a number of different kegging systems as starting points to build the kit you want to meet your exact needs. First, pick your base system which includes keg, regulator, serving faucet, hose, and disconnects; ball lock kit, pin lock kit, kegerator kit, or a tower kegerator kit. The kegerator and tower kegerator kit assumes that you plan to convert of fridge or chest freezer into a stationary (mostly) keg serving vessel. Then add a CO2 tank, any upgrades, extra o-rings, and keg lube. Most of the systems listed can come with 1 to 3 kegs, but if you would like to add more, and you definitely will at some point in the soon after you stat kegging, you can find more of both ball lock and pin lock kegs here. If you do purchase extra kegs, make sure to match them up with the disconnects as they are not interchangeable, ball lock or pin lock. If you would like to build your own kit with upgraded parts like, like a Tap Rite regulator, you can find all the part you need located here. There are a fair amount of options and configurations you could pick from to create the perfect system for yourself or your gift recipient. If you feel you don’t know which options to choose, these are my starter kit recommendations:
- Basic kit with 1 ball lock keg, regulator, and serving faucet or equivalent pin lock kit, just add a CO2 tank to either
- Dual keg kit with a dual gauge regulator, and 2 serving faucets or equivalent dual pin lock kit, just add a CO2 tank to either
- Upgraded kit with shiny brand new keg, regulator and serving faucet or upgraded dual keg kit with 2 shiny brand new kegs, just add CO2 tank.
Tap handles, just like a mash paddle, can add some personality and style to your home bar. If you use a fridge or tower faucets, tap handles can be interchanged on the fly. Here are some of my favorite, but there are many out there with a lot of personalized options.
- Square Chalkboard Tap Handle
- Round Chalkboard Tap Handle
- Handmade Customizable Chalk Tap Hand with custom logo or graphics engraving
- Handmade Engraved Tap Handle with your custom image or logo
- Darth Vader or Storm Trooper Handle
- Skeleton Tap Handle
- Bride and Groom Skeleton Tap Handle for serving his and her homebrew
There are many more options available from simple to complex. You can even make your own with a dual threaded insert. Whichever you choose, it will be the highlight of the party.
All the items above make for great gifts. However, if you know someone who has everything listed above, might be the type of person that is very particular about what they use, or just completely unsure of what to get as a gift, a gift card is the way to go. Amazon is always a safe option for gift cards. If you want to homebrew store specific you could purchase a gift card directly from one of the homebrew stores listed on the Best Homebrew Stores page. Some of them include; MoreBeer, love2brew, Adventures in Homebrewing, and Great Fermentations.
*Prices listed are subject to change.