Six Beer-Appropriate Ideas For Your New Year’s Bash

RealClear Staff


     With New Year’s Eve right around the block, it’s time to take a look at what you have in stock. But when you’ve a foam fanatic throwing a festive party, it can’t be any, old ale to toast to a new year, and appropriate party favors will only add an influx of fun. Here are some sure-fire selections that will kick up the class level at your end-of-year congregation.

[Source: video from MoMoMoYouth]

Waiter’s Corkscrews

When battling a bottle topper, no ordinary opener will do. It’s likely folks have already amassed a mighty amount of key-chain openers in an overflowing drawer. However, an assortment of bottle openers will work wonders at any beer drinker’s party—a waiter-style corkscrew being a crucial component in an aler’s arsenal. In addition to clipping off the cap, the foil knife will easily gnaw through any wax seal on those specialty bottles—or that odd bottle of wine. Either spend a few bucks on the generic ones, or kick over a cool $100 for a Laguiole-branded version in an array of handle materials—from French oak to antler. While these anti-topper tools might not make your party memorable, they’ll certainly give your guests years (perhaps a lifetime) of use.

Champagne-Bottle Stoppers

A Champagne stopper is another accessory sudsers will swoon over. While beer bottles are rarely abandoned long enough to go flat, it’s likely your craft-beer bash will avail large-bottle-toting attendees—e.g., barrel-aged stouts or acerbic sour ales. That kind of equipment demands a slow-sipping situation. Every-day wine stoppers won’t work in this respect, as the carbonation will ultimately escape (and the vacuum sealers are a bust, as they’ll quickly kill the brew’s carbonation). It would be optimal to obtain a Champagne stopper that clips onto the bottle neck to hold the rubber seal firmly inside the bottle—e.g., Crate & Barrel’s six-dollar denomination.

Brewery Socks

While socks are never an exciting gift at Christmas, brewery-themed socks would be a fun favor for your party—it’s cold out there! But where to find such festive feet warmers? A lot of large, craft brewers and some, smaller breweries burgeon socks and sell them on Etsy, Amazon and oddly Target. These foot fuzzies are often adorned with mugs, foam or sudsy slogans. Some Sierra Nevada narwhal socks would certainly add welcomed softness to your soiree.

[Source: The Charlotte Observer]

Tasting Journals

Cyber sites have folks rating foam on their smartphones and desktops—everybody’s doing it—but there’s something special and superior about hand-printed words on a paper pad. Beer connoisseurs would appreciate such a keepsake amid their party prizes. These writable record keepers are not only effective for recalling all the foam you’ve feasted on, they’re excellent for educating new drinkers who’re delving into the world of wort craft. There’s the 33 Bottles of Beer pocket journal from 33 Books Co. These pocket-sized pads were assembled with smart layouts and graphics that aid in your ale-ingestion experiences—only $5!

Gift Cards And Beer-Club Memberships

Perhaps they’re not the most original of party favors, but craft-brewery credit can create a conversation to keep everyone interested in your theme—e.g., what to buy (endless, ale possibilities)? Choose from imbibing behemoths such as BevMo! or Total Wines. But the indie outfits are more fun in flavor, photos and flow of imagination. There are infinitely many...Echo Park’s Sunset Beer, Select Beer in Redondo Beach, Southland Beer of Koreatown or either location of Craft Beer Cellar (Eagle Rock and Torrance) are even better. Almost any artisan aler offers gift certificates. To be the talk of your town, you could go all out and have a growler as a raffle prize—and enough credit for a fill up or two.

...want to be the king of the chronological transition? Have an end-of-night offering entailing a subscription or club membership to a local brewery. You might get regarded as the host(ess) with the mostest as your compatriots behold a $300 annual membership to Phantom Carriage’s Barrel Guild. If that’s slightly too steep, the $60-per-quarter membership to the Bruery’s Preservation Society’s still a safe bet. Newer, brew crews Dry River (Boyle Heights) and Cellador Ales (North Hills) are also slinging membership subscriptions at an array of prices.

If none of those would get your guests geeked on ale, another option is an Enthusiast membership to the L.A. Brewers Guild. For fast $50, pop up a prize that entitles Enthusiasts to discounts on drinks, merchandise and food at over a dozen bars and restaurants across Los Angeles, a T-shirt or tank top, a map & guide to L.A.’s beer scene and discounted VIP tickets to the annual L.A. Beer Week kickoff festival and this year’s inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival.

A Fool-Proof Bottle Of Beer

And if memberships don’t dazzle ’em, go for the instant-gratification option—beer itself. But is there truly one beer to bring a smile to any beer lover’s face? Well, we recommend something top tier—a Trappist brew from Orval. In addition to this pale ale being one of the most amazing in the world, Orval’s secret formulation keeps it immune to time itself—no stale surprises there. It’s easily obtainable at local, liquor shops (around eight dollars or less). You’ll get top marks if you manage to find a branded Orval glass—supposedly designed by the very architect who conceptualized the Orval Abbey west of Luxembourg.



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