So it’s that time of year again. Time to find the “perfect” gift for dad. In this case, “Dad” might be your actual father, but possibly the father of your children, a brother, brother in law, grandfather, or someone who is really just a “dad kinda guy” in your life. His role is important, and often overlooked. Dad is bedrock. Dad is strong. Dad is your beacon and symbolic of the masculine ideal, right?
So does he really want another tie? More grilling equipment? Another “Best Dad” trucker hat? As a father myself, I can answer unequivocally… no. So now you are flummoxed; what do I get for the man who has and IS everything?! Well, if he is not into craft beer or homebrewing, I am afraid all I can do is recommend duct-tape wallets or gift cards from Cabela’s or Home Depot.
But if the Dad in your life is a beer man, and I mean a real beer man, I have several can’t-miss suggestions for your man-of-quality.
Beer Swag – Every beer lover also loves the beer swag. T-shirts, keychains, hats… you name it. Many breweries now offer their logo merchandise online, but it is always great to visit your locals and peruse it for yourself. Wouldn’t he just love a Pliny the Elder T-shirt from Russian River Brewing or a Castro-style hat from Cigar City Brewing? Of course he would. Want something truly original? Check out Hop Cloth.
Beer Gear – Just like swag, but beer-functional! Branded cozies, bottle-openers, and so on abound. For dad who likes a cold one in the shower (yes, you read that right!), how about the Shakoolie? It’s a standard neoprene cookie, but with a Velcro patch and an accompanying “launch pad” that you can stick to the wall, out of the stream of water, but still within reach. It is also perfect for boats, workshops, or around the grill or pool.
Beer Books – With the growing popularity of craft beer, it makes sense that there would be a flood of new books on the subject. Brewer’s, business owners, foodies, and others have put out numerous titles in the past few years. Is your dad an Arrogant Bastard? Then he will love “The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance” by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, with Randy Clemens. It’s a fun but informative look at the origins and growth of Stone Brewing, complete with recipes, insights, and gorgeous pictures. For the travelling dads, there are a whole slew of area-specific beer lovers’ guides, but for the true adventurer, pick up “Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey” by Brian Yaeger. Ride shotgun with Yaeger as he drives around the United States uncovering and exploring some of the great craft beer spots in the country.
Homebrewing – If dad loves beer, he might just love making his own. It is fun, easy, and opens him up to a whole new world. The homebrewing community is full of interesting and supportive people, and just think of the great beer he can make right there at home! Startup kits are reasonably priced, and readily available at your local homebrew shop or online. Already a homebrewer? Maybe dad would like to expand his operation. Or maybe some personalized homebrew labels to impress his friends. The folks at GrogTag.com offer a wide range of customizable labels that can bring that personal flair to dad’s brews.
Beer – When all else fails, buy dad a beer. With so many choices out there, you can’t go wrong with a sampler pack of beers from your local craft beer shop, a gift card to a local brewery, or a special tasting session at his favorite craft beer bar.
Remember, for all dad does for you through the year, he’s earned it.