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Gifts to Open Twice


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It pains me to write about Christmas when (as of this submission) we’re still two months out, but you don’t want to let opportunity slip by for the ones you love. Let’s face it, some people are hard to buy for; they have their hobbies covered, their Fruit-of-the-Looms have no holes and the bottles of Hai Karate from the ’70s remain unopened (eBay!).

But if your loved one enjoys a good beer or hand-crafted spirit now and again, there are plenty of easy options throughout Colorado. Wrap, drink and be merry. Oh, and save some for us.

Beer

If he or she likes a specific style of beer—stout or India Pale Ale or pilsner—grab the winners list from this year’s Great America Beer Festival and put together the medalists from a specific category. Granted, some of the winners are from brewpubs that won’t be available in bottles, so another option is to put together a sample of local award-winning beers. The ones in bottles or cans (like Oskar Blues’ silver-medal winner, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, or Odell’s gold medal Friek) are easy. But the tap-only winners, like the bronze medal Graham Cracker Porter from Denver Beer Co. will require a growler. That you took the time to hunt down some winners will warm your honey’s heart.

And speaking of the Great American Beer Festival, there’s nothing like scoring a ticket to the hottest beer event of the year. And given how fast it sold out this year, you’ll want to save the dates (nailed down for Oct. 11–13, 2012) and jump on tickets when they go on sale next summer. Sign up for GABF email news at the below web address so you don’t get left out of next year’s GABF festivities or tickets.

If rare, limited-release and high-quality beer is on your wish list, but you don’t have a specific brewery or style, avail yourself of the beer gurus at various local liquor stores. PJ’s Liquors at Sunset Street, north of the Diagonal Highway in Longmont, has an amazing selection of top shelf beers, as does Total Beverage at 770 E. 104th Ave. in Thornton. And of course there’s Liquor Mart at 15th and Canyon in Boulder. These stores have wise guys who know their suds and will help you assemble a high-octane collage of beer.

Spirits

Ahhh, the holiday spirit! Santa likes nothing better than a stiff White Russian (made with 303 Vodka and Roundhouse Corretto Coffee Liqueur and some raw milk—or cream!—from Rocky Plains dairy in Dacono). The spirits are top shelf and the raw dairy (milk or cream) is exquisite tasting and massively healthy for you. If you’ve never tried it, raw milk is a treat.

If you want something a little more refined that makes for a great after-dinner sipping toddy or a tasty flask filler for the slopes, try out the Peach Street Distillers selection of peach, pear and plum brandies made from fresh Palisade fruit. If you miss that juicy, bursting-with-flavor fruit from the Western Slope, these brandies are exquisite and do a stellar job of capturing the taste and aroma in a bottle. Find them at larger liquor stores.

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