The holiday season is upon us and it's time to think about gifts for beer-obsessed friends and family. Here are some local craft beer-themed items that will make holiday shopping a breeze.
Beer is a good gift, especially when it's a special offering like Parish Brewing's 2014 Grand Reserve, which was released recently in limited quantities. It's available at Stein's Market & Deli (2207 Magazine St., 504-527-0771; www.steinsdeli.net). Every 750-milliliter bottle is sealed with wax and is numbered and labeled by hand. Stein's also has a good selection of Belgian beers.
Local breweries offer a variety of logo merchandise. NOLA Brewing's (3001 Tchoupitoulas St, 504-301-0117; www.nolabrewing.com) shop is open every day and its newest item is a winter-appropriate blue zipper hoodie ($50), available in extra-large sizes. A hop leaf graphic on the back is optional.
Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. (1709 Corbin Road, Hammond, 985-318-0723; www.gnarlybeer.com) offers some merchandise online, but to get the specialty stuff, a trip to the brewery is necessary. Owner Cari Caramonta says people love giving the $20 bullet bottle opener, and 15 percent of profits benefit veterans' charities.
Check out the Great Raft Brewing (www.greatraft.com) website to find posters of the gorgeous graphics found on the brewery's specialty beer bottles: At Arms Length, All My Tomorrows, Grace and Grit and the newest one, Creature of Habit Coffee Brown.
Cajun Fire Brewing Co. (www.drinkcajunfire.com) beer isn't available yet, but people can support the New Orleans brewery by buying a founder's T-shirt. Once it finds a location, the design will be discontinued. Get it while you can.
Another gift to consider is New Orleans Beer: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing by Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp, which was released in March. Labadie and Wolf-Knapp delve into the beer history of New Orleans, once known as the brewing capital of the South, and look at its current state and future.