The Top 30 Must-Have Gifts for Homebrewers (to Win Over Their Hearts)

gifts for homebrewers

Whether it’s the holidays, someone’s birthday, a special occasion, or just because – finding gifts for homebrewers can be both fun and challenging.

Fortunately for you, I’ve got you covered!

Even if you’re not looking for a gift and you’re here to find something cool or different to add to your brew stock, you’re in the right place.

A Comprehensive List of Gifts for Homebrewers

Alright folks – this is a big one to sift through. Skip around and read a few ideas or read through them all. Either way, you’ll find plenty of neat things that not only make great gifts for homebrewers, but also make great gifts for you, too!

#1 – Brew Journal

In order to make award-winning beer, homebrewers need to know everything about their process inside and out. The best way to do it? Take copious notes from brew day to the first tasting and beyond.

And while a spiral notebook can fit the bill, there are better and more helpful options out there.

That’s where a formal brew journal comes into play. It allows brewers to dial in and refine their recipes and processes by keeping a log of everything they brewed.

It’s also ideal for identifying problems in the brewing process. Any true homebrewer will appreciate its usefulness.

Most brew journals come packed with other crucial information, such as:

  • Gravity charts (to help determine ABV percentage)
  • SRM guides
  • Information on grain and hops
  • Tips on troubleshooting

Looks like it’s time to exchange that old logbook for something more durable and long lasting!

#2 – Custom Beer Bottle Labels

Anyone bottling their own beer is used to doing either one of two things:

  • Cleaning up and de-labeling bottles from previously purchased beer
  • Buying new beer bottles free of any labeling or previous use

Regardless of what you do, one thing is for sure – those plain old amber bottles can get boring after awhile. It’s fun to dress things up sometimes, so why not truly make your beer your own with custom beer labels?

There are a variety of options out there to choose from, with the most popular being Neato Blank Beer Labels. I’ve heard the software isn’t the best out there, but I believe if you work with it enough, you can get the hang of it fairly quick.

If that’s not your forte, you can always check out my tips on custom beer label design in this post here and pick up some printable templates to match.

#3 – Custom Beer Bottle Caps

Similar to the labels above, custom bottle caps can also make great gifts for homebrewers looking to up their presentation.

GrogTag is a unique site that offers custom bottle caps. You have the option of uploading your own design or adding custom text to a ready-made design.

Like anything else that’s customized, these aren’t exactly “cheap” (About $22 for 50 bottle caps). However, this is all in fun and a gift that a homebrewer would surely appreciate.

On the other hand, you could always splurge on a few packs of regular bottle caps instead, since many brewers who don’t keg will always find them useful.

#4 – Digital Thermometer

Brewing and temperature readings go hand-in-hand. Homebrewers need to take temperature readings of several things in the brewing process, such as:

  • Strike water
  • Mash
  • Cool down
  • Before bottling

One of the handiest tools I have in my arsenal is a digital thermometer. A good one will give accurate readings in seconds.

It is a critical tool in any homebrewers toolbox and one that I recommend upgrading to, especially if you’re using an analog meat thermometer (I mean, they work, but being able to immediately read a digital output over analog is MUCH better in my opinion).

There are a TON of affordable digital thermometers out there, so any one of them should work fine. This is the one that I use and it’s always up for the job with no issues.

#5 – Homebrewing Books

Like anything else, brewing is a constant game of learning and refining. What better way to pick up new techniques or learn new methods by diving into a few homebrewing books?

There are books out there for brewers in all stages. From the ultimate beginner to the incredibly advanced, it isn’t hard to find something that will spark new ideas. It’s one of the reasons that books make a fantastic gift for any homebrewer!

To give you an idea of some of the better books out there, here is a small list of a few of the greater ones that I personally enjoy:

Again, this list isn’t complete, but the books above cover everything from extreme beginners to the highly advanced brewer.

#6 – Bottle Drying Tree

Bottling beer is a labor of love.

Then again, for homebrewers who aren’t currently kegging their beer, it’s a labor of necessity!

Washing and drying bottles can be a pain, especially on bottling day. You want your bottles to dry quickly, but tossing them on top of a towel on the counter isn’t always the best approach.

That’s where a bottle drying tree can save the day!

The way it works is simple:

  • One solid piece of plastic with angled branches sits atop a plastic base.
  • Bottles are inside face-down, allowing any excess liquid to easy flow out and onto the base below.
  • The arrangement of the branches keeps things dry and prevents liquid from dripping onto other bottles.

While there are many bottle drying trees to choose from (as well as various capacities), this one is our favorite. It’s relatively inexpensive and makes a great gift for a homebrewer who frequently deals with glass bottles.

#7 – Inkbird Temp Controller

One of the keys to making great beer starts with proper temperature control during fermentation.

Did you know that during active fermentation, the temperature of beer can increase anywhere from 5°F to 10°F? If temps aren’t controlled, this environment is a breading ground for off-flavors.

Dialing in temperatures can help with consistency, thus allowing you to control the wild fluctuations that can occur during active fermentation. Better control = better beer.

A temperature controller, when combined with a cooling chamber (such as a deep freezer) is the best way to ensure your beer ferments at the temperatures YOU want – not the other way around!

Personally, I use the Inkbird ITC-308 Dual Temp Controller, as this controls both heating AND cooling. When combined with a heating element, my temperatures are usually right on point.

For the price (roughly $35), you honestly can’t beat it. I guarantee an aspiring homebrewer you know will welcome this with open arms.

#8 – Vacuum Sealer

Just like buying groceries in bulk can help save a few bucks, doing the same for brewing ingredients can really drive the overall cost per batch.

One of my main bulk purchases are hops. When you compare the price of hops from my local homebrew store (roughly $2.25/oz) to what I can purchase in bulk online (currently averaging around $0.80/oz), it’s easy to see why buying in bulk makes sense.

Except there is one problem – long-term storage.

In order to keep hops fresh, it’s recommended that they be stored in a freezer. Storing them loosely (in a sealed sandwich bag, for example) can invite oxygen, which oxidizes hops and can alter their taste, aroma, and bittering power over time.

Problems like this are easily solved with one solution – a vacuum sealer!

When hops are vacuum sealed, you can expect them to last potentially years in the freezer. It takes the worry factor out of buying hops in bulk.

I also use my vacuum sealer for dry yeast (when I only use a half-pack, for example) and other brewing adjuncts. I couldn’t imagine storing ingredients long-term without it!

You can pick up the sealer that I use here (for less than $35 too).

#9 – Kettle Upgrade

Many brewers new to the hobby often start out with a kettle that is small, featureless, and basic enough to do the job.

While they work great, they start to wear down quicker than their higher quality counterparts. Cheap doesn’t always mean “better”.

A top-quality kettle is going to be more expensive, but one thing is for sure – when taken care of, these steel kettles can last for years on end.

Many also come with helpful features, such as a ball-valve (which makes it easier to transfer wort from the boil kettle to a fermenter).

If you know a homebrewer that desperately needs an upgrade, now might be the time to give them a gift that will be sure to make them smile!

Here’s a solid boil kettle that won’t break the bank: Bayou Classic 8 Gallon Stainless Brew Kettle (w/Ball Valve and Thermometer)

#10 – Hydrometer

In my opinion, a hydrometer is an essential tool in a homebrewer’s arsenal. It’s the easiest way to measure a beer’s final ABV percentage.

It’s not a necessity, but for someone that is into the science of brewing (like most of us), using a hydrometer can help determine whether or not certain processes are working like they should.

Every recipe has an original gravity and a final gravity. A hydrometer measures the density of wort, which is then used to gauge whether or not a brewed beer hit its specific target numbers. If not, something in the process may not have went accordingly, which can help brewers troubleshoot, refine, and try again until they get it right.

It’s all about the numbers, baby!

Hydrometers can be had for almost next to nothing. I use this one frequently, but any hydrometer will do.

#11 – 6.5 Gallon Fermenting Buckets

As someone that exclusively using plastic buckets to ferment my beer, I have plenty of them sitting around. You can honestly never have enough of them.

Then again, I crank out a lot of small-batch size beers, but still – most brewers (I think) will agree with me.

These fermentation buckets make excellent gifts and will be welcome by any homebrewer. If anything, it’ll give them an excuse to whip up another batch or increase their brew frequency. How can you argue with that?

#12 – Beer Thief

From taking gravity readings to tasting beer as the yeast nears its clean up process, a beer thief is the tool that helps get the job done.

The way it works is simple:

  • Sanitize your beer thief (inside and out) before it comes into contact with any wort.
  • Insert into fermenting bucket at an angle, gently pressing it against the wall.
  • Wort will slowly enter the thief as it descends into the bucket.
  • Once enough wort is available for sample, a sanitized hydrometer can be inserted directly for a reading.
  • If tasting, the beer thief only needs pressed against the bottom of a glass to empty the wort from the device.

Like my hydrometer, this is one of the most utilized pieces of equipment I own. It’s cheap, efficient, and handy to have around.

#13 – Refractometer

Refractometers are pretty nifty and fun to have around. Used as a tool to measure gravity (to determine overall ABV percentage), it works a bit differently than a hydrometer.

Hydrometers measure the density of wort in order to help determine ABV, whereas refractometers use the reflection of light to measure overall gravity.

The key benefit to a refractometer is that it only requires a couple drops of wort. This makes gravity readings convenient and simple.

I admit that I haven’t used my refractometer as much lately, but I’ll probably get back into the swing of it soon. It’s a fun piece of equipment for those “brew geeks” out there that want another way to measure gravity.

The good news? Picking up one of these bad boys won’t break the bank.

Regardless, it’s one of those fun and unique gifts for homebrewers that many most likely do not have in their inventory.

I use this Anpro refractometer that I picked up on Amazon for about $25, which is a steal in my opinion.

#14 – Homebrew Apparel

Who doesn’t love a good shirt that shows their love and affection for homebrewing?

Any sort of homebrewing apparel is a fantastic gift. It’s also one of the easiest ones to pick up. I mean, how can you go wrong with this?

BrewerShirts.com has one of the LARGEST selections of brew apparel that I know of. Not only do they carry men’s and women’s apparel, but they even have a few things for your furry friends and little future homebrewers. Check ’em out!

#15 – Stir Plate

When working with liquid yeast and standard 5-gallon batch sizes, it is fairly common to create a yeast starter. Doing this increases the volume of yeast cells by giving them some wort to feed on and multiply.

As a result, the more yeast cells that go into an unfermented wort, the better the chances of hitting those final target gravity numbers.

One key piece of equipment that can help grow a starter quickly and effortlessly is a stir plate. Through the use of magnets, stir plates create a “whirpool” effect, constantly stirring wort to agitate the yeast enough to get them up and moving.

For any serious homebrewer who is looking to up their yeast game and start brewing big beers, this is the tool to make it happen.

While I don’t use a stir plate (as I currently don’t do too much with starters at the moment – dry yeast is my go-to for now), I have heard great things about the Maelstrom Stir Plate. It’s an investment, but a lot of brewers seem to be happy with it!

#16 – Beer Ingredient Kits

A lot of us all-grain brewers have a bunch of fun formulating our own recipes. It’s kind of like cooking – when you dream up something, manage to pull it off perfectly and get rave reviews, it feels good.

Then again, when you can make something that is proven and doesn’t take as much effort but STILL comes out good – well, that can be a good thing, too.

That’s why beer ingredient kits can be a fun way to break up the craziness of homebrewing. I still brew a few various kits from time to time, especially when time is minimal, but I still want to squeeze in a “brew day”.

MoreBeer.com (my latest go to for all of my brewing ingredients) has a wide variety of beer kits available to homebrewers of all types (extract, partial mash, and all-grain).

In my opinion, picking up one of these is one of the easiest ways you can toss a gift to a happy homebrewer!

#17 – AHA Membership

The American Homebrewers Association® is the premier organization for homebrewers all around the world. Members get access to special perks, such as:

  • Various member deals with AHA partners.
  • Subscription to Zymurgy magazine (digital or print).
  • Access to exclusive events (such as the coveted National Homebrew Convention, which you must be an AHA member in order to enter the biggest competition of the year).
  • Access to seminars, articles, recipes, and so much more to help you brew better beer!

Make gift giving easy on yourself and pick up a membership for your favorite homebrewer here.

#18 – PBW and Star San

Cleaning and sanitizing are to brewing like peanut butter and jelly are to bread. Ask any homebrewer and they will all say the same thing – they spend a LOT of time cleaning and sanitizing equipment.

It’s just a part of the process. That said, it doesn’t hurt to have a hefty stock of PBW (powered brewery wash) or Star San (sanitizer) hanging around.

If you ask me, a homebrewer can’t have enough of either. As long as it’s stored correctly, the shelf life of this stuff is quite long.

Get Star San and/or PBW for a homebrewer and they will be thanking you for life!

#19 – Storage Containers

Between ingredients and equipment, I utilize a lot of storage containers of all shapes and sizes. What I use depends specifically on what I am storing. For example:

  • If I am storing hops long-term, I use my vacuum sealer with sealer bags (usually a roll so I can cut my bags to size).
  • If I am storing grain, depending on volume, I use Vittles Vaults or standard plastic canisters with a twist-on lid.
  • If I am storing small parts or brewing additives, a variety of Glad containers usually fits the bill.

Storage containers, while not one of the most exciting gifts for homebrewers, is a practical one.

#20 – Digital Scale

At this point, you’re probably aware of all of the useful tools and equipment of a homebrewer, but we’re not done yet!

With hops, grain, priming sugar, brewing additives, and so much more requiring an accurate weight, a digital scale is a handy thing to have around.

I use my digital scale on a regular basis. From weighing my grain to be milled to splitting up my hop additions, I couldn’t make my beer without it.

It is, hands down, one of those no-brainer items a brewer has to have around.

If that weren’t good enough, the price of a decent one can be had for the cost of a cheap fast-food meal. I picked up mine on Amazon for around $11, and I haven’t regretted it one bit!

Here’s 10 More Fun Gifts That Homebrewers Will Love

#21 – Surprise Order of Hops

Hops are essential in beer. With so many to choose from, why not keep a few different varieties on hand?

Better yet, why not surprise a homebrewer with a couple bags of hops for a gift?

I personally use YakimaValleyHops.com for all of my bulk purchasing needs. Their prices are fair and shipping is reasonable.

Go check it out and tell ’em we sent you!

#22 – Beer Decor and Swag

Know a homebrewer who has their own brew station setup in their house (such as a specific room dedicated to brewing)? If so, consider grabbing them some cool stuff to spiff it up a bit.

#23 – Grain Mill

Any brewer thinking of buying grain in bulk is going to need a way to mill their grain. A grain mill is the perfect solution.

Depending on your budget, you can either go with a hand-crank corona mill (works great – better for smaller batches) or an actual grain mill that can be modified with a drill (to avoid operating by hand).

#24 – Muslin Bags

These bags are good to have around for extract brewers who want to utilize specialty grains. They also work well for holding hops (if dry-hopping) and keeping together additives added to the mash (such as pumpkin) in order to avoid a stuck mash.

#25 – Hop Spider

This nifty little tool hangs directly onto a boil kettle and minimizes the amount of hop particulate that’s behind after the boil. It’s design helps contain hops so beer finishes clearer while retaining most of the hop flavor and aroma.

I still have yet to use this, but I know of a lot of brewers who use it frequently and love it.

#26 – Immersion Wort Chiller

Typically a standard piece of a equipment for a serious homebrewer, the immersion wort chiller is an affordable way to rapidly cool down wort to near pitching temperatures.

Before I had a wort chiller, even my smaller batches (1.5 gallons) could take up to an hour to cool using the traditional “ice bath” (ice water in the sink). When my wort chiller did the job, the same batch size was cooled down to near pitch temps in roughly 5 minutes.

Talk about a major time saver!

If you’re looking for a gift that will keep on giving, this is the one!

#27 – Mash Paddle

From stirring up grain to gently swirling around fermented wort and priming sugar to let it blend together, a mash paddle is great for both.

Some people go as far as getting custom, one-of-a-kind mash paddles created. Others will settle for a simple plastic one. Regardless of what you decide, there is no right or wrong way to do it.

Here is a simple mash paddle that I use regularly. Does the trick and has worked just fine for me!

#28 – Quality Beer Glass Set

Every homebrewer needs a good set of glasses in stock. How else are they going to finish off the fruits of their labor?

With so many varieties to choose from, any type of beer glass will do.

One of my favorites is the beer can glass. It’s pretty unique and fun to have sitting around for the next brew that’s ready to be poured.

#29 – Brew Bag

Brew bags are made out of a fine nylon mesh and used for brewers who use the BIAB (Brew-In-A-Bag) method.

In other words, these bags make it easier for small batch brewers to get into all-grain with ease. It’s what I use for all of my small-batch brewing, and my beers have turned out great!

While there are many different sizes to choose from, I have found this one to be more of a universal size (and it’s inexpensive too).

#30 – Insulated Fermenter Cooling Jacket

Temperature control is crucial once beer starts fermenting. If you can control the temperature, you will significantly impact the finished product.

Fail to control temperature and well, it always doesn’t turn out like we all hope it would.

Fermenter cooling jackets are a neat way to help maintain fermentation temps. It works similar to what a lunchbox with ice packs would. Simply place your fermentation bucket in the jacket, insert an ice pack or two, then monitor as necessary.

It can be an investment, but for those not ready to convert a deep freezer into a fermentation chamber, it’s a great solution!

You’ve Got Options

I hope that through this list, you have been able to get some great ideas on what to buy as a gift for a homebrewer you know.

I know it’s quite large, but my goal was to give you all of the ideas and options I could think of. I also hoped that, as a homebrewer, you might find my recommendations worth it.

With that said, if you ever have any questions or want some more information on any of what you see above, feel free to reach out! Just head on over to the Contact Us page and drop me an email. I’d be more than happy to help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *