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Happy Friday everyone!

I used the "beer gifts" headline last week and then ran out of time before I wrote that part. Turns out that was a good thing because this week I've heard about a whole sleigh-load of great beer-related presents.

Grab a cold one and come check this stuff out!

I want to finish the idea I didn't write last week, where "beer gifts" was in the context of the gift exchange at the homebrew club party. With any gift you should be aware of what the recipient might actually want; for this kind of gift you don't know who it's for and should aim close to the middle of the road. Last year I contributed a bottle of Saison Dupont, which the recipient was not at all thrilled with. Now I've learned that our club is mostly hopheads, and I brought IPA which was unwrapped with smiles. (I think most of the bottled gifts were IPA; I came home with some too!)

On to the beer and other goodies! There's still time to drop some hints.

Jay Brooks reviews several recent books on beer and brewing. I want to read all of them, starting with "IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale" by Mitch Steele, the brewmaster at Stone Brewing in San Diego.

Beer Connoisseur sent me their gift list which has a couple other worthy looking books as well as glassware including a real Hofbrauhaus Maß. If you know where I can get a Franziskaner mug this side of Munich, speak up.

A lucky few might get some Westvleteren XII, described by some critics as the World's Best Beer. The monks need big bucks to renovate their ancient abbey, so for the first and possibly last time they're selling beer outside the premises. But the price is steep: $85 for a six-pack plus logo glass.

For a low-budget gift to yourself, ipad/iphone users can check out this new beer app:

...(from) Storey Publishing and Chicago-based cicerone Randy Mosher, Tasting Beer.  A widely-respected insider’s guide to the world of beer styles and flavors, Tasting Beer on Inkling is an interactive how-to book for beer lovers ...
... we're having a sale on Tasting Beer in the iTunes App Store, where your readers can purchase it for only $1.99 (85% off) from Friday, 12/14, to Sunday, 12/16.
I've got one Flanders Red left from last week's trip to the Expensive Beer Store, and some Green Flash West Coast IPA, my score from the club party. I was quite pleased. :) What are you drinking?
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