Whether you're heady enough to attend the Great American Beer Festival (kicking off tomorrow) in Denver or not, there's nothing holding you back from celebrating — more than usual, of course — tasty brews from your favorite local and regional shops, or even your own garage. These picks will put you in the right spirit. Drink on, brother.
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Pretentious Beer Glass Company Full Set- $171 First thing first: enjoying the smooth, or hoppy, or dark, or malty, or whatever-you-prefer brews. Whatever those brews are, these glasses are the perfect set for you, the different and distinct designs allowing each style to stand out the way it was supposed to. It's not to say it doesn't taste great out of a can, bottle, even a boot; beer tastes great however you drink it. [More... ]
DropCatch Bottle Opener - $45-65 Actually, first thing would be opening the bottles (unless you have kegerator of home brews lying around, which we'll get to later...). Sure, there are keychain bottle openers, novelty bottle openers, and even other wall mount bottle openers. But few of them are as beautiful and magnetic as these. With different woods for different styles, they're practically wall art on their own. Add some bottlecaps and you have a new sculpture of sorts — and everyone will know your eclectic tastes.
Tanner Goods Artist Series Coasters - $25/Coaster Back to drinking: where do you put your mugs handcrafted, brew-specific glasses? Well, we'd hope you keep them in your hands, going back and forth between your mouth and being poured more to "top it off." But if you need to take a leak or grab some more beer from the fridge, these embossed leather coasters are the perfect home for your all-the-way-empty-while-you're-delightfully-full glasses. [More... ]
Newberry Beer Taster Paddle - $20 With craft beer, it's often less about quantity and more about quality (though no one here is necessarily arguing against quantity). But which qualities do you prefer? Find out through a beer tasting using these paddles modeled after the old mash ones used to do the actual brewing.
Pop Chart Lab The Magnificent Multitude of Beer - $72 Still not sure what exactly you're drinking, even with the label? This is a five by 3.5-foot flowchart breaking beer down into 100 different styles. Basically a now-relevant and much more rewarding swap for the old flora map from high school biology. [More... ]
Field Notes Colors "Drink Local" Edition - $9.95/3-Pack Getting really into beer, enough to want to take notes on each one you try? Inspired by the different styles, these pocket pads are a great place to do it.
Untappd - Free (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone) A pocket pad that you have to literally write in a little, er, antiquated? This app is basically a Facebook-Instagram mashup for beer. It not only let's you take notes, rate beers, and see what others are drinking, but will make recommendations based on your tastes as well as find new bars and brews — and bars carrying your favorite brews — in the immediate vicinity.
BeerGram - Free (iPhone) Cross-country but want to congratulate your friend on the new gig? A gorgeous knockout pictured with a friend and want to swoop in, but they're in Miami and you're stuck in DC? Or simply want to share a new brew you're excited about? Doesn't matter with this app: you buy the beer, send it to whoever it's intended for — wherever they might be — and they redeem it at their participating local hangouts.
PicoBrew Zymatic - $1,599+ All this drinking making you want to whip some up yourself? Whether you're a beginner to the brew-haha, or simply don't have the time to sit around all day, this tech-savvy alternative to the laborious and tedious process of cooking up your own batch is the slightly more serious enthusiast's perfect evening or weekend "project." [More... ]
Beermeister Dual Tower Home Brew - $1564.99 This home bar stores one full-size keg, or multiple small ones — so if you're home brewing and want to put a couple batches up against each other, then go for it. The price signals that this is definitely for those whose obsession has gone from slightly more serious to full-on serious, but this kegerator is top notch if that's the case.
Drink Tanks - $69 Taking the brew camping or on a day hike instead? This stainless steel growler (that doesn't sweat) keeps it fresh up to 24 hours, and will stand up to dinks that occur at the site or along the trail.
TapIt Cap - $45 (Pre-Order, Estimated Delivery November) Throw this on any growler for your own portable pony keg.
Cold Creek Brewing 6-Pack Beer Carrier -$45 Maybe you want to individually bottle your home brew instead of pouring it into a couple growlers? Or have a handful of beers but threw away the case? Put them in this, which also comes with a bottle opener (the end of the copper handle) if you happen to be without.
Bark4Beer Collar - $19.95 Can't forget about man's best friend. Sometimes the best way to enjoy a craft beer is on a walk with Wolfie. Don't forget about MacGyvering a bottle opener here either. He's got you.