2011 Gift Guide for Beer, Wine, and Cocktail Lovers

By RYAN NEWHOUSE

It’s that time of the year when we take the time to appreciate what we have around us, and in Missoula that’s an appreciation of snow, ski hills, and good drinks. Of course we’re thankful for our friends and family, too. So this week, I’ve put together a little (mostly local) gift guide for the “liquid connoisseur” in your life – just in time for the holidays!

23 Free Beers! – The Montana Brewers Association’s “Brew Crew Card” is perfect for those who like to get around…Montana that is. The punch card is good for one free beer at 23 of the state’s participating breweries, including two right here in Missoula, Draught Works and Bayern Brewing. ($25)

Stainless Steel, Insulated Growler from Tamarack Brewing Co. – Tired of seeing the same old glass growler sitting on your loved one’s shelf waiting to be filled? Of course, it’s safe and sound there, being glass and all. But now Tamarack is offering a 64-ounce, insulated, stainless steel growler that won’t break and will actually keep your beer cold! ($40, unfilled)

Make Your Own Drinking Vessel – Why not throw your man or woman a one-of-a-kind stein, mug, or wine cup at the Clay Studio of Missoula? Or you can sign up your loved one for a class and let them do it themselves. (Classes vary from $85 to $205)

Canvas/Leather Chalk Bucket (doubles as a beer holder) – Goertzen Adventure Equipment offers a sweet fleece-lined leather and canvas chalk bucket for those fit climbing types you hang out with. What I like about this bag is that when you’re not using it to carry chalk blocks for dangling off cliff faces, it easily holds a couple bombers of beer or bottles of wine while riding your bike across town. ($60)

Vintage Highlander Beer Cap Earrings – For your favorite barmaid, a pair of vintage bottle cap earrings from Missoula’s Highlander Beer Co. might just lead to a romantic evening of kilt modeling.($10)

Worden’s Wine Club – For the oenophile closest to your heart, why not give them a gift membership to Worden’s Wine Club? Members get two bottles of wine every month, plus discounts on wine reorders, stemware, accessories, and books. (Starts at $30/month)

America’s New Barstool – Straight from Missoula’s Vinoture, this exquisite barstool is crafted from reclaimed wine barrels and will serve as the highlight of any home bar. (Call for quote)

iBottle Opener – Okay, so this one isn’t local, but it’s darn cool. With this sturdy iPhone case you can now pop a cap whenever the call arises (pun intended). Now your iPhone really does do everything! ($20)

Free Beer for a Year! – But there’s a hitch – you have to run and you have win. Run Wild Missoula is hosting a contest until Dec. 18 for coming up with the best Beer Run Slogan that will appear on their new Beer Run coasters. The winning slogan earns one free beer at each Run Wild Missoula Beer Run in 2012. Beer Runs happen every month from various locations. (Free to enter!)

This list is far from comprehensive, but I would like your help to improve it. Leave me a comment below about your favorite local, drink-related gifts!

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Thirsty for more? Missoula’s beverage expert, Ryan Newhouse, has more on tap: Beer Brings Jobs to MontanaBeerTrips.com Creates Getaways for Beer Lovers, and The Best Bars for Celebrating a Birthday.

Looking for a local bar or pub? Check out our Missoula Restaurants and Dining and Missoula Nightlife sections.

   Visit the Drink It Missoulaarchive.

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Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is (in no particular order) a full-time writer, husband, and parent, and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for Wild Game.