Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – It’s All About Beer!December 12, 2012
Time for some of the Noblers to get in on the Gift Guide mix. Here’s some great beer advice from Luke Fraser, writer of the Beer Style Project…
The upcoming holidays mean two things: holiday parties and gift giving. Whether you are trying to make it through that family gathering, or wondering what to get that hard to buy for person, beer can provide the answer.
When most people think winter and beer they think dark. While I certainly enjoy a dark beer as much as the next guy (see below), the holidays are also a time for celebration, and that always brings to mind something bright, bubbly and refreshing. A fantastic style of beer, that is often overlooked, is Berliner Weisse. This style has been called both the ‘Champagne of the North’ after Napoleon’s troops took Berlin in 1809, and ‘the most refreshing beer style in the world’. A great example of this style is Professor Fritz Briem 1809. This beer is light, highly effervescent and very slightly sour. It drinks like a nice sparkling wine (think Prosecco). It’s a great beer for the beer aficionado, and for those that think they don’t like beer.
If you prefer sticking with dark beers I can suggest another German beer. Schwazbier is another style that does not get enough love on this side of the Atlantic. Mönchshof Schwarzbier has everything you want in a dark beer: it’s roasty, slightly bitter and really complex. After hitting you with a really complex, interesting flavor the beer finishes incredibly cleanly. You get great flavor, and could drink this all night.
You can find both of these beers at fine beer stores around New York City (Good Beer, Whole Foods on Houston, New Beer Distributors, Eagle Provisions).
Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher is a fantastic gift idea for beer geek. It covers all aspects of beer, working through history, how beer is made, flavors, and a very thorough discussion of styles. I enjoyed reading this book cover to cover, and frequently pull it off the shelf as a reference.
One very important, and often overlooked aspect of enjoying beer is glassware. Many styles of beer have glassware associated with them for historical reasons. For my money, though, the stemmed tulip glass is the best glass to use with almost any style of beer. It looks great, the stems helps prevent your hand from heating up the beer and the bulbed shape captures and enhances the aroma. I drink almost all my beer out of Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner Glasses. They are reasonably priced, the perfect size and the glass is very thin so the glass seems to just get out of the way.