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RVA Beer Explorer

RVA Beer Explorer: I come beering gifts

Light on the news but heavy on what you should buy for the local beer drinker.

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BEER

This one should be obvious, beer drinkers like beer. The holidays are awash with holiday beers and the days off to drink holiday beer. RVA Mag has compiled an excellent list of RVA brews to get you into the holiday spirit which makes an excellent shopping list.

Of the beers listed I’m most interested in Final Gravity: Funky Drummer. Final Gravity is a brewery I love but don’t seem to talk much about. I hope to change that next year. I know that my Hub cohort would pick Isley Brewing: Boozy Mother Bourbon Barrel Peanut Butter Porter. It’s a fact that Trevor has happily lost entire afternoons at Isley when stopping in for just one. Those are RVA Hub favorites but really you can’t go wrong with anything on that list.

HATS

Not any hat will do. For proper beer drinking you need, ye olde trucker hat. The venting helps with the beer sweats and it says to others, “I’m just an honest working guy like you. You should buy me a beer and let us discuss hunting, car engines and beer,”. Don’t wear the trucker hat with your pressed gingham shirt or a tucked in tee shirt you lose all trucker hat cred with either of those moves. Nearly every brewery has hast but I’m recommending the Triple Crossing yellow and black beauty. Triple Crossing has a matching winter hat that can be used impressing the folks on the ski hill or when shoveling the walk.

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SHIRTS

This one is a no-brainer. Strangeways Brewing has more shirts than Old Navy. I’m pretty sure that not all are listed on their online store so head over there for a beer and more selection. Their heavy reliance on chimps, apes and other simians is the reason for my selection, as well as the live motto, Think Strange – Drink Strange. Of the ones listed online it’s Woodbooger that gets our nod. Also any brewery that has a Dickies work shirt will be a solid choice. If you want to go the extra mile take the work shirt to an embroidery spot and get the recipient’s name sewn in or pick up the appropriate name patch from your favorite patch retailer.

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GROWLERS & GROWLER ACCESSORIES

I love my Hydroflask and it would be perfectly acceptable gift but it lacks the “wow factor”. Shine Craft Vessels have the WOW in gallons. This past summer the Richmond Kickers and Shine worked together to produce an exclusive Kickers growler. Being a soccer and beer geek I had to get one. If you fall into that category you can get a Kickers growler as they still have very limited number left if you’re not a soccer geek you can choose one of the many other colors here. Every single time I take my Kickers Shine growler into a brewery to get it filled someone comments on how nice it looks. It has the conversation starting power of fluffy puppy. If you can’t deal with people looking at your growler with envy, you can’t handle the Shine.

Carrying growlers can be such a burden, not to mention that one quick turn of the wheel while driving home and your growler goes for a tumble. To solve these problems pick up a Richmond Grid Growler Crate. It’s made from the recycled oak pallets that Grid magazine is delivered on, laser etching and a brass handle. C’mon it’s rugged yet good looking just like Grizzly Adams but with beer instead of a grizzly bear.

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BEER TOUR

First off let’s cover what you shouldn’t do. Don’t attempt to do the tour yourself and just sample a few beers along the way. If you do that at every brewery it could have a tragic ending. Instead leave the driving to the professionals and get inside information about the beers, breweries, and brewing process. Richmond Brewery Tours will treat you and your drinking buddies right. Get on the bus. They offer public and private tours so you’ll be able to find the perfect match. The best part about this gift is that you can reap the benefits and take part in the tour as well.

COASTERS

Coasters add a bit of class to the drinking process and actually serve a purpose unlike the previously mentioned drinking buddies. CapWorks makes all sorts of amazing bits of art and functional fun with beer bottle caps. Everything from flowers to masks with the bits of refuse I usually find in my pocket after it’s been run through the washer and dryer. The flowers are pretty nice and will never wilt only rust. However I like the coasters. Select your favorite beer as a subtle reminder to the gift recipient to stock the fridge with that particular beverage and reap the rewards next time you visit.

coasters

That concludes the RVA Hub Beer Gift Guide. I’m thrilled to admit that there are a ton of local beer focused gifts that I missed. We’re lucky that we’re in the golden age of beer here in Richmond and there enough for everyone’s taste.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.