2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Best beer — and beer related stuff

Great brews from Belgium, California, Colorado and beyond

Holiday Gift Guide

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Beer is good. Bikes are good. Beer and bikes together are great. Get your bike loving significant other beer gifts and they will be happy and love you more. We promise.

Hydro Flask True Pint Holiday 4-Pack

Hydro Flask True Pint Holiday 4-Pack

Travel with it, camp with it, party with it! The 16 oz True Pint is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and the double wall vacuum provides top-notch insulation. Aside from keeping your favorite beverage cold, this pint glass delivers extreme durability while still letting the user feel like they’re still drinking from a glass and not a thick tumbler. The pints don’t get stuck together either, due to some subtle design details. Price: $80 or $22 each | More info at www.hydroflask.com

Ballast Point Sculpin

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

The great Sculpin IPA has powered the Ballast Point company into a billion dollar powerhouse. It is available in bombers, six-packs and cans. Ballast Point Sculpin is a big, bold American IPA weighing in at 7% ABV and it has new variations called Grapefruit Sculpin and Habanero Sculpin. It’s brewed in San Diego and features strong flavors of citrus and tropical fruit from the hops, and a bright, bitter finish characteristic of San Diego IPAs. Price: Varies | More info at www.ballastpoint.com

Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Westvleteren 12 (XII) Belgian Quadruple

Often referred to as “the best beer in the world”, Westvleteren 12 is a Belgian Quadruple brewed by monks at the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus in northwest Belgium. Nicknamed, Westy 12, the 10.2% ABV beer is brewed in small batches and until recently was only available for purchase at the brewery itself (the beer came in wooden crates). Westy 12 features flavors of rich figs, raisins, dark cherries, a malty caramel backbone, brandy, rum and brown sugar. It’s bottle-conditioned and ages very well, mellowing out the alcohol-heavy finish and blending all of the fruity characteristics. This is a very hard beer to find in the U.S., but it’s still available via online vendors and shipped direct from Belgium. A definite must-try beer for any enthusiast who appreciates the complexities of strong Belgian dark ales steeped in history. Price: Varies | More info at www.sintsixtus.be

Modern Times Beer Cans

Modern Times Beer

Seemingly out of nowhere, this San Diego Brewery popped up and started producing great canned beer. Every beer we’ve tried from them has been excellent, especially their Blazing World, hoppy, dark, amber offering. Price: Varies | More info at moderntimesbeer.com

Alpine Nelson

Alpine Nelson IPA

In an industry absolutely dominated by IPAs, Alpine Nelson is a beer that has very few rivals at the top. Brewed at a tiny brewpub 30 minutes east of San Diego in Alpine, Nelson is a 7.1% ABV IPA featuring Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand and a malt backbone fortified by European Rye. It features a unique flavor of grapefruit rind, pineapple, earthy pine and crisp white wine with a light, yet distinct spiciness from the rye in the malt. It has a thin body and a bitter profile that doesn’t linger, but instead leaves the tongue dry and searching for more. Nelson shares the spotlight with Alpine’s other world-class IPA, Duet, which is a perfect execution of more traditional IPA flavors (sweet malt backbone with solid bitterness and a hop profile consisting of citrus, tropical fruit and piney resin). Available only in San Diego before, its partnership with Green Flash Brewery has given it distribution in many places Green Flash is found. Price: Varies | More info at www.alpinebeerco.com

Continue to page 2 for more great beer gift ideas »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Scott Danforth says:

    I agree with Francis and Shawn, though the Modern Times beers, especially the coffee stout, are very well crafted. Bourbon County Stout and its coffee variation are awesome. Beers like that are a bit more in line with the winter flavors than IPAs also. If you can get it, Bruery’s Black Tuesday is pretty epic. Just be careful since its 19.5%.

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