Wednesday, 28 November 2018 10:55

Holiday Gift Guide: Beer Geek

Written by  Jack Raymond
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Holiday Gift Guide: Beer Geek Illustrated by Shi Briggs

The Beer Geek has somehow transformed alcohol into a fashionable hobby a-la, “It’s OK Mom, I’m drinking art.” They chase the cutting edge of beer trends, lapping up any barrel-aged beet gose they can get their hands on. Still, a good Beer Geek knows a good time is simple: put some friends and a few pints in the same room, and voila, fun. 

BUY

With all the perks of  being a trappist monk and none of the Gregorian chanting, Brewery Vivant offers a sacred membership that should please any Beer Geek. Monk Club incentives include discounted pours and growler fills, but the kicker is a personal chalice kept behind the bar, embossed with whatever alias you so choose. It’s like a vanity plate for your mouth! Enrollment opens Dec. 1 — fingers crossed for a silk robe in next year’s package. 

Brewery Vivant Monk Club
925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
$60 annual fee
breweryvivant.com

LISTEN

This year, Rockford Brewing Company hosts a rockabilly Christmas, and they’ve invited Delilah DeWylde to mutate holiday melodies into something punk. Pair the tunes with Beer Geek-approved drafts like Sheehan’s Irish Stout and Rouge River Brown, and you’ve got a subversive alternative to Saturday night mass. Given the venue, maybe she’ll even cater some classics to the craft enthusiast. We’re holding out for Grandma Got Run Over By a Beer Truck. 

Delilah DeWylde Christmas Show
Rockford Brewing Company
12 E. Bridge St., Rockford
Dec. 22, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
rockfordbrewing.com

DO

Santa upgraded his sleigh, and he got some sick insurance for it too. This is a four-hour drinking trolley, headed from New Holland’s Knickerbocker to the ballpark of lights and back. BYOB suits the Beer Geek — a mixed six-pack of curated favorites can reignite the magic lost from the bumper-to-bumper procession. Plus, they’ve decked the vessel out to feel like an adult Polar Express. All aboard!

Christmas Lights Tour on the Grand Rapids Beer Trolley
$65 tickets, dates throughout December
holidaylightsgr.eventbrite.com

DRINK

A beer geek is a Beer Geek’s best friend, and there’s no more discerning a pal than Allison Hoekstra, resident cicerone at Craft Beer Cellar. A festive riff on her Tuesday Tasting series, this course revolves around the holiday ale. The Beer Geek will delight in winter warmers, Christmas ales, stouts — all the styles that can make any Grinch warm and fuzzy. With seven guided tastings, each paired with the spices that inspired the brew, this is a perfect Beer Geek gift: a palate exam that doubles as a palate party.

Tuesday Tastings - Holiday Beers
Craft Beer Cellar
404 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $20
grandrapids.craftbeercellar.com

EAT

King of the skosh, master of the flight board, Zoko 822 indulges the Beer Geek’s try-it-all mentality with a menu of adventurous tapas. Confit octopus and grilled head-on prawns excite taste buds in the same way a bonkers sour does. In the spirit of a bottle trade, share everything you can and maybe steal some bites off your friend’s plate. 

Zoko 822
822 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
zoko822.com

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