If there was ever a year during which many of us could use a good stiff drink, 2020 is it.
That said, brewers, distillers and retailers could also use a little holiday boost this year, to, so why not consider one of these boozy Brew City gifts for your beloved this holiday season?
And, of course, please drink responsibly.
I believe Santa said it best, when he raised a glass of rum-enhanced nog and bellowed, "414 let's have one more!"
Gathering Place Member’s Society Membership
Many local brewers have loyalty programs and any one of them would make a great gift for the craft beer fan in your life, but Gathering Place’s new society membership gets you unique one-off brews made on its new innovation brewing system, as well as other perks. Find more information here.
Milwaukee Brewing Company’s Crate Club
Another membership opportunity is the crate club. Buy the crate for a small one-time fee and you’ll get monthly chances to fill it with MKE Brewing beers, from flagships like Louie’s Demise to seasonals and more at a hefty discount. More information here.
MobCraft Brewing Advent Calendar
Although sold out at the brewery, local retailers are still selling MobCraft’s 24-beer Advent Calendar packs, which include six core beers, six seasonal brews, eight limited release beers and four oak or spirit barrel aged beers. They retail for $65. More information here.
Central Standard Red Cabin bourbon aged in cabernet barrels
As I’ve written in the past, Central Standard’s bourbon aged in cabernet wine barrels has always been one of the most popular whiskeys made in Milwaukee and now it’s got a new look. Bottled with a new label under the name Red Cabin, the whiskey now has a hint more of that red wine overtone thanks to the fact that it spends a bit more time in the barrels now. More information here.
Great Lakes Distillery bottled in bond gin
Rehorst's bottled in bond gin – the first in the world – is aged four years in oak casks and bottled at 100 proof. It’s smooth and complex and it almost drinks like a nice bourbon, but with some gin botanicals. More info here.
CVNE Imperial Reserva 2015 Rioja Alta
OK, so Spanish wine isn’t especially local, but Waterford Wine & Spirits, 2120 N. Farwell Ave., sure is. Head over there to get a bottle of this delectable red made from grapes that come from more than 40-year-old vines. It’s 85 percent tempranillo and 15 percent garnacha, graciano and mazuelo. It’s deep garnet in color and boasts a nose that oozes wild berries, tobacco and liquorice. It’s complex with smooth tannins and a long finish. Pair it with a cheese tray or a nice roast or savor it in front of the fire with a box of chocolates. Come on, it’s almost winter.
“Wisconsin Cocktails” book
The story of Wisconsin’s takes on the bloody mary and its beer chaser, the brandy old fashioned, grasshoppers, hot toddies and more, all in a slim but stylish and handsomely illustrated tome that’s also dosed with some great cocktail recipes. Read an interview with the author here.
“The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous” book
This extremely readable (and weighty) tome – which is half encylopedia of every Wisconsin brewery ever – is the one book every Badger State beer lover should drink in. It’s informative, fun to read, useful as a reference, beautifully designed ... it’s really a lovely gift. Read an interview with the author here.
Good City Brewing beer boxes
Great beer in specially themed boxes seem just perfect, don't they? Easy peasy.
“American Spirit: Wild Turkey Bourbon” book
Bourbon afficionado David Jennings took his love for Wild Turkey in all its expressions and used it to dig deep into the history of the brand, the distillery, the whiskey and the personalities behind them all. The result is a passionate, breezy read that conveys Jennings' passion for this American classic. There are also tasting notes, tons of photographs and cocktail recipes.
Dewar's Discovery Pack
It might not every whisk(e)y lover's dream, but it is mine: a selection of 200ml bottles to taste different expressions without committing to expensive 750ml bottles of each. This one offers the flagship blended Scotch whiskys from Scotland's Dewar's: White Label, 12-year and 15-year. Best of all it retails at $24.99, which is less than you'd spend on a single bottle of any of the three expressions alone. For the record, I found on first go 'round that 12-year's vanilla and caramel, with a bit of smoke on the fade, was the one I enjoyed best neat.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.