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Pikes Pub: For the beer fans on your list, the best gift is self evident

December 7, 2017 Updated: December 7, 2017 at 9:24 am
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Brew-Opoly is a Monopoly-inspired board game for grownups that pits players against one another in a race to own and expand America's favorite "craft" beer brands. Which is, basically, Big Beer's real world business model. Photo by Stephanie Earls

Oftentimes, the gifts we give are as much a statement about our own likes as they are the tastes of those we've targeted for seasonal largesse, which works out well for the craft beer fans on my Christmas list.

Want to make a beer lover happy? Give 'em beer. That said, not all suds-themed gifts are created equal.

Biff Morehead opened Smiling Toad Brewery on East Bijou Street in 2013, after his wife, Patti, bought him the business for Christmas. In 2014, the brewery relocated to S. 8th St. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Local brewer Biff Morehead's wife, Patti, gave us all a present when she introduced her husband to good beer.

"When I first met my wife, meanest woman in the world, I was drinking good ole' American Beer. My wife informed me beer was supposed to have good taste," Biff wrote in an email.

Patti served her husband a Belgian Trappist ale, and his life changed "on a molecular level that day," said Biff, who eventually started brewing his own.

In 2013, Patti bought him Smiling Toad Brewery - now located off 8th Street - for Christmas.

"Best gift ever!" Biff said.

But a brewery is probably not a good gift for general beer-loving audiences, he cautioned.

"It involves work," he said. "I am thinking every novice should receive a home-brew kit. Only then will they understand the amount of endless cleaning it takes to make beer."

- Instead of a brewery, give them: Brew-Opoly. For an entrepreneurial beer experience without all the real-world hassle and tidying up, this Monopoly-inspired board game for grownups pits players against one another in a (pretend) race to own their favorite American craft beer brands, including Fort Collins-based brewer New Belgium. The game is available at local Walgreen's stores and online, starting at $14.99.

Aside from beer itself, Red Leg Brewing Co.'s Todd Baldwin said the best beer-themed gift he's received is a custom KOTA longboard personalized with his brewery's name.

Beer fans gifting on a budget, however, need look no further than the Pikes Peak region's wealth of (swag-selling and gift certificate-issuing) breweries, Baldwin suggested.

"My recommendation for craft beer fans is try some of the great local brew," he wrote in an email. "There are tons of wonderful local options this holiday season."

- Help your giftees navigate the region's rich liquid landscape with an up-to-date map, guidebook and hundreds of dollars in coupons. A new edition of the "Beer, Wine & Spirit Drinker's Guide to Colorado" is due out in time for stocking stuffing. Find updates at drinkingcolorado.com and in a soon-to-come edition of this column.

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