Craft beer continues to grow, even while the wider beer industry is shrinking. That means more people are becoming curious about craft beer. Some of them are going full-on with their bandwaggon jumping and have turned into overnight beer wankers.
So if there is someone in your life who has suddenly talking about barrel-aged India Black Pale Ale or sour beers aged over yuzu, you’ll want a few ideas over what to get the insufferable bore for Christmas. So we’re here to help!
Obviously, they’re going to have to look the part to fit in with their new tribe, so here’s the pre-beer hipster starter pack:
First and foremost: Tattoos.
Without these, they’ll stick out like a sore thumb and be spotted as a fraud from a mile off. Beer wankers can be a brutal bunch, so make sure your loved ones’ skin is hidden with these fake Tattoo Sleeves
until they can book in a few hours at the tattooist. Don’t want the pack turning on them and inflicting a horrible Heineken enema.
Second, the man bun. Even if you’re buying for a lady. Can’t be too careful.
This signals to the other beer wankers that the owner has hair to let down, but is weary of it getting in their 2/3 glass of Nitro Chocolate Milk Stout.
Last but not least, the beard.
Again, even for ladies. One thing beer wankers hate is sexism, but there will still be a couple of snorts at the sight of a lady with a triple IPA. Unless you want to be stuck with fruit beers and saisons, beard up!
It being December, you’ll want to keep warm too, so I suggest killing two birds with one stone and opting for this lovely knitted number to complete the beer hipster look.
Once they look the part, they’ll need to act the part. Being a beer wanker is all about confidence, so here are some props that will help instill it.
Yes, bars serve your beer in glasses, but the correct glasses? Chance would be a fine thing! Your beer hipster will need to carry around an armoury of glassware if they are to deserve the title of beer wanker.
The absolute minimum requirements: one teku glass, one Speigelau IPA glass, one Trappist Goblet, one American shaker from an obscure US micro brewery and one authentic German hand-carved stein.
Perfect for describing the brew in hand. But not for the beer wankers themselves to refer to, oh no. The flavour wheel is the beer nerd’s Bible. The Good News of the beer evangelist.
The best ways for your loved one to carry one of these is a) as an actual wheel on their Chopper Bicycle, b) a handmade, pyrographed wooden board that you commissioned from an Etsy store owner you know, or c) as their first tattoo. Any of the above would be a perfect gift.
Mark Dredge’s work is best, as other beer ponces will own all of his books. (Also good gifts.)
Get down to your favourite forensics supply store and buy a set of blood slides – just like Dexter uses. You can repurpose these so your loved one can collect a sample of all the craft beers they drink. Untappd is sooo 2014.
They’ll be able to use the microscope imagery for that beer themed art installation they’ve always wanted to do since they visited a BrewDog bar for the first time.
Now they’re all suited and booted, it’s time to invest in a little self improvement.
Of course, all efforts are futile until somebody gives you a certificate, so why not pay for your beloved beer bore to become a Certified Beer Server? That way, they’ll not only have the confidence to correct the meek teenager behind the bar – they’ll have the authority.
Plus, it’s another line for the CV.
The certificate will mean they’re qualified to correct bar staff, but what about correcting brewers? How do you go about getting to the level of informed criticism? Easy.
Get them an Off-Flavour Sensory Kit to give them a full ride through the world of bad tasting beer. Once they’ve experienced that, they’ll have the chance – no, the obligation – to tell others that this particular batch of Belgian India American Pale Ale is a little heavy on the diacetyl. They should probably send an email to the brewery.
But the very best gift you can get is an experience day, where your loved one will be able to have a hand in the process of making beer. Not a brewery experience though. To be truly craft, it’s going to have to be outside the box, like on Brew Dogs. Get them to make a gose on a zero gravity test flight. A braggot on a log raft floating down the Blue Nile, picking Ethiopian coffee beans for the brew. A Kvass in the caves at Dan yr Ogof with a team of Druids. The possibilities are endless!
The emerging craft wanker will be forever grateful. At least until they discover artisanal lassi or small-batch Bovril.