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Bottled-Up Creativity

Have you ever considered home brewing but didn’t know where to start? Hayneedle.com has a new selection of home brewing kits and tools. Guest contributor Michael Campbell shares his favorite finds and some advice for the newest of brewers.

They’ll never come out and say it, but just about every guy secretly dreams of brewing beer, to have the admiration of his friends, be the life of the party, maybe grow a stubbly little beard. He’d like to be seen as an artist. A craftsman. A brewmaster. So if you don’t know what to give a guy, if you’re tired of buying baseball caps, ugly ties, and gag bobble-head gifts, have I got a no-fail gift idea for you.

The reason guys don’t get started brewing beer is they’re afraid they’ll screw it up, poison all their friends, blow up the house, and be left standing alone like Yosemite Sam in a black and smoldering wasteland.

Fermenting a Rebellion

The truth about beer brewing from a kit is that it turns out exactly how you hope it will: safe, satisfying, and fun. There’s no pressure-cooking or distilling, and all the ingredients are wholesome and natural. Nothing really to go wrong, and the results are so delicious that friends will raise their eyebrows and say, “You? Made this?”

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Beer Kit

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Beer Kit

For an easy intro, try an all-inclusive starter set, like the Mr. Beer Premium Gold Beer Kit. Your lucky guy will be making beer right out of the box. Beginner kits have everything: yeast, grains, bottles, even labels. No trips to the store, no “batteries not included.” Just instant fun. And in almost an instant, fresh homemade beer.

Put a Lid on It

Now comes a gift to yourself: you’ll never wonder what to buy him next time, because beer-making accessories are endless and affordable. Want to try an Oktoberfest lager? Get a refill kit for Father’s Day. For Christmas, decorative storage barrels or brewer’s stock pots. For his birthday, my favorite: the Craft A Brew Capping Kit. For the price of a case of beer, this Italian beauty crimps caps atop any standard bottles, and includes enough supplies to home-package 5 gallons of beer. Get extra caps: it’s so fun to use he’ll burn through the first bag putting lids on everything in the house.

A beer brewing kit is no trinkety toy. You’re giving him a taste of success, a sip of exploration, and a foaming future of excitement and pride. And really, a guy can only wear so many baseball caps.

- Michael Campbell, guest contributor

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