Friday, December 12, 2014

Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’s Annual Last Minute Gift Guide

Get your shoppin' on! These gifts are kickass!

Hoppy Holidays!

It’s that time again and I wanted to make sure your Holiday shopping goes that much easier, so look no further than my annual Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ Last Minute Gift Guide! I am launching this one a little bit earlier than usual so that you have time to receive deliveries on all of these cool gift ideas that were either pitched to me, I used, I came across on the Net, or just thought you—my cherished readers—would consider.
I get a lot of love for doing these gift guides (plus I tremendously enjoy doing them) over the years, so here is 2014’s Holiday edition featuring everything from inventive beer paraphernalia to original gift certificate ideas, travel hot spots, books, gadgets, clothing and more! Did I mention beer? 
Anyway, hook up your friends, family, that special someone…or yourself!  

*I will be updating this site until it is hitting the last second so look for my announcements of additions on my Twitter account (@alesharpton).
As promised above, I said I would add gifts periodically leading up to Christmas Day so here ya go!:

Northern Brewing Gift Card
Want a Christmas buzzer beater? Here it is!
To really make things last minute, I added another awesome gift that can be bought even on the day of Christmas (or whatever Holiday you celebrate)!
We have what they boast to be the largest homebrew supplier in the country (which I truly believe)­—Northern Brewer—providing the opportunity to buy an Email Gift Card for beer brewing supplies that’s delivered directly to the recipient’s email address. These great folks also have wine and cheesemaking kits in case you really want to turn your pinky up, so go for it!

Mountain Top Cabins in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Head for the mountains!
At the top of my list for favorite getaways is Blue Ridge, Georgia and staying at one of the luxurious cabins Mountain Top provides. You should certainly consider getting one and taking people you can tolerate and enjoy for a weekend (or week) of woosah!
Indoors, you can do everything from play pool, watch satellite television, start a fire, roast marshmallows outdoors at a fire pit, release stress in a hot tub, make an extravagant meal in a gourmet kitchen, play board games…basically do the things you never get the chance to do during your regular hustle and bustle life. Plus, the fresh air will prompt you to explore the outdoors and visit Blue Ridge’s gorgeous environs, its charming downtown (especially hit up the Blue Ridge Brewery, the Irish pub called Boro Inn, score growlers at Out Of The Blue, and dine at the delicious Harvest On Main); also take the family to the nationally renowned Mercier Orchards (the turnovers are to die for). The best way to do this is to get a gift certificate (see above) so that you or your recipient can plan trips accordingly. They have great deals at Mountain Top so this is the perfect present for anyone including yourself!
Visit for more info.

Zippo Hand Warmer
Show Old Man Winter who’s boss!

Speaking of camping in the mountains, the longtime Zippo lighter and accessory company would certainly enhance the trip and ensure you can literally handle this chrome Hand Warmer. Fitting into virtually any pocket, it comes with a filler cup, warming bag, and up to 12 hours of function time, so anyone can brave the outdoors that much easier for only $19.95.

Buy someone some ‘Uncommon Goods’!
The website has something for even the most finicky individual.
I go hunting for sites that sell extra cool items and this is one of them! Uncommon Goods features extraordinary, yet often practical gifts created by a community of artists, craftsmen and makers. They really got me with their collection of beer paraphernalia. From brew kits to glasses that come with an opener at its base, there is a gang of gifts to choose from. They even acknowledge the creators of practically every item they sell.
The All About Beer Card Deck aka Ace of Brews is one of my faves that they have to offer because I love me some spades and everyone playing gets an insightful beer fact on every card! This is chump change at $15.95.
World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour
Drinking…err, reading is fundamental.
How about a hardcover beer book that's die-cut to the actual size of a bottle featuring 50 of the best tasty ales and lagers the world has to offer? World Bottled Beers: 50 Classic Brews to Sip and Savour is a gangster page turner for your tabletop; it promises to consistently spark up good conversation and earn you cool points on the regular. Award-winning Beer Writer Adrien Tierney-Jones, Art Director Sarah Rock, and Photographer Simon Murrell feature the country of origin, alcohol by volume, and an expert review makes this a no-brainer for any beer enthusiast. MSRP at $14.99, but there are great deals here.
Filson 72-Hour Bag
A bag equipped with a charging station? Bag it!
I truly dig cool bags that are both fashionable and practical, so this Filson 72-hour bag is certainly up my alley. Besides its rugged-meets-hipster look, it boasts a waxed exterior to weather inclement environs, and get this: It comes with a concealed Joey charging system in the front pocket for your gadgets to save you from searching for wall outlets like an electrician! ($425)
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Carbon Watch
For the true ballers who want to know what time it is…
I have received a little feedback from some gents with a heavy wallet asking me to post some items in future gift guides that are, shall we say, lavish? Well here you go! Hublot watches are at the top of the game when it comes to timepieces. (I mean come on, they are getting numerous shout outs in rap songs now so there you go!) Anyway, there are only 100 of these Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Carbon watches available on the market for a mere $29,800. What do you get?
·         The Case: 45 mm. Polished and Satin-finished Black Ceramic 
·         The Bezel: Yellow Composite Resin Lower Bezel with six H-shaped Black Titanium Screws 
·         The Dial and Hands: Sapphire Dial. Yellow Appliques Satin-finished Black-plated Hands with Yellow Luminescent Black and Yellow Chronograph Second and Minute Counter Hands 
·         The Movement: UNICO Manufacture Self-winding Chronograph Flyback Movement with Column Wheel 
·         The Power Reserve: 72 hours 
·         The Straps and Clasp: Black Rubber and Black Schedoni Leather Straps with Yellow Stitching. Black PVD Titanium with Carbon Insert Deployant Buckle Clasp 
Lavish enough for ya? Hit up this site for details...and drooling.
The Innis & Gunn Scotch Whisky Porter
From their seasonal Porter to some recipes with their original, I&G does it big in Scotland!
Spice up your holidays with the new Scotch Whisky Porter straight out of the
Edinburgh, Scotland-based brewing headquarters of Innis & Gunn. These guys have always received accolades for the barrel-aged concoctions that pair well with just about anything (especially cigars), so now it’s time for this tasty Porter that’s matured over oak infused with a Scotch Whisky at a warming 7.4% ABV. Aroma and tasting notes include caramel, toffee, roasted coffee beans and a porter must—cocoa. I dig it and so will your recipient of this gift! More info on Innis & Gunn can be found here
Oh! And if you are a fan of the Original Innis & Gunn brew, grab a few bottles and get your mixology on with these two delicious recipes below:
American Born Moonshine
The only time you would want to be mooned!
Presented in slick, patented mason jars topped with a cork-like closure and filled with the pure ingredients of true moonshine—corn, sugar and water—here comes a line of award-winning spirits straight from Nashville, Tennessee. Just entering the Atlanta market, American Born brilliantly pays homage to the unaged corn whiskey and rum recipes from way back in American history boasting three flavors—Original (103 proof), Apple Pie (83 proof) and Dixie Sweet Tea (83). Find out where these potent winter warmers are on their website, Now let’s get mooned, American Born style!
Prep Sportswear
Represent with these old school gear!

Being a sports fanatic, I came across Prep Sportswear who boast how they offer “the largest array of custom fan apparel” representing all the major sports including baseball, hockey, football, basketball, soccer, and others. Well I had fun going through all the squads they had available from all over the world, so I thought you would too. I also like how they give you the opportunity to customize it down to the color, size and of course, team. So find a city, college, sport and squad you want to rep and order a shirt, towel, hoodie, or whatever and rock it! is the official website and you can find some great deals on especially college t-shirts here. Go team!
The “Can-Era” Lens Drink Cooler
This has a shot of being the coolest koozie ever!
Okay, back to reality for those who may be a few dollars short of buying that $30,000 Hublot watch above. this “Can-Era” Lens Drink Cooler from is one of the coolest koozies I have seen, period. Keeping our hands warms while holding a cold brew for events like tailgating or whatever, this will certainly get some looks your way. Especially from needy photographers who will try to steal it when you put it down. It looks that real. Cop this and other kooky paraphernalia at You have to register in their site to get the prices for some reason, but go old school and call 'em: 1-800-592-0293. Hit up Amazon for a great deal here as well.
The Unibroue Éphémère Canneberge
Cranberries in brew? Hell yeah!
Chambly, Quebec’s Unibroue, the maker of one of my favorite beers in the world—La Fin du Monde—now presents their latest seasonal release, Éphémère Canneberge, a delicately spiced white ale brewed with ripe cranberries at 5.5 percent ABV.
“I'm especially proud to say that we are one of the few breweries in the world to referment 100 percent of our ales directly in the keg, one keg at a time. This is also the case for our Cranberry Éphémère,” Brewmaster Jerry Vietz boasts. “This festive version of the Éphémère is a white ale flavored with fruit and spices, with fine bubbles and a white lacy head. It has a delicate cranberry flavor, with just the right balance of sweetness and acidity.”
As its name suggests, Éphémère is a series of fruit ales that started in the spring of 2001, featuring apple, blackcurrant, peach, and raspberry. Now it’s cranberry’s turn. And the bottle art is kickass. Here’s Unibroue’s Beer Sommelier presenting their Cranberry Éphémère and their Éphémère beercocktail. For more info, hit up
Happy Socks
Kick it in these fly stockings, ya heard?
I love socks. These are hot. I want them. Period. Straight from Sweden for $12 a pair, you will go bowling or try on shoes in random stores just to show these babies off. They have some pretty slick underwear too! Check 'em out here and if you are in Atlanta, hit up the slick boutique store on 1048 North Highland, William Wren.
2015 SweetWater 420 Fest
Grab some early bird special tickets to see the legendary Snoop Dogg!
Now this is one helluva gift you can get while the gettin’ is good. Do you see this lineup? Go here for details and to cop some early bird special tickets for this jam on April 17th through the 19th.


Check out the 2023 World Cup Winners announced during the Craft Brewers Conference!

  Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association Whaddup !   I just got back from the Craft Brewers Conference hosted by the Brewers Association ...

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