The Perfect Beaker
You know quite well that high precision counts. For once, we’ll let your OCD slide: Take complete control over the tiniest droplet of your precious beer with this beaker, where you can measure out your pour in pints, cups, ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons, milliliters and (seriously, it’s really scientific!) cubic centimeters. The sloped sides give you a leg-up on a proper pour, and there’s no guessing game when it comes to a properly drawn pint. There’s no excuse for that missing fluid ounce, right?
As opposed to one of those heavy-duty, thick-walled glass beakers you probably manipulated in chemistry class, this particular vessel is constructed from an exceptionally lightweight polycarbonate. It perhaps doesn’t have the same classy elegance as true glassware, but its durability is perfect for outdoor—or, um, more raucous—taste sessions. The wide base is plenty stable, and the flared opening is a nice touch, but a sharp ridge of plastic at the lip makes less-than-gentle sips a bit of a pinch. But for those beer geeks, who need to precisely calculate the acceleration of dissipating foam in direct relation to lace stickage with time-delay calibration, this beaker’s for you.
There’s nothing like letting perfectly good strangers know about the insane lengths you’ll go toward beer advocacy—namely, wearing a boldly geeky beer t-shirt across your brew-loving belly. For nerds who recognize the value of beer to their neurotic lifestyle, Thinkgeek’s got a couple options for your wardrobe. Paris fashion week, look out.
The designs are screen-printed on Gildan Ultra Cotton tees, which are unisex, heavyweight, 6.1 ounce preshrunk 100 percent cotton shirts sporting double-stitched seamless collars and taped neck and shoulders. And for all you who care about such things (ideally everyone), the wares are manufactured via sweatshop-free, globally responsible methods. In the spirit of accommodating all sizes of beer drinkers and/or button pressers, the tees boast a generous fit and go all the way up to an XXXL. (No excuses, people.)
For those who push the maximum limits of their bandwidth (ahem), the “Loading … Please Wait” shirt is a cute way to turn the tables on those pesky pixels, and specifically calculates how much you (the wearer) is loaded. 26 percent. From booze. Ha. Get it?
The next design is a classic. Check this out: $> cd/pub $> more beer. LOLZ. The “more beer” shirt is hilarious if you are a Unix person, and neutrally unintelligible if you are not. Apologies if translation for the English-speaking world kills the joke, but in the name of universal enlightenment: “cd /pub” means change your working directory to “pub” (yay, we’re entering!), and “more” is technically a command to display the file (“beer” in this case) one screen (pint?) at a time. It’s also a royal thrill to type “more beer.”
We can all drink to that. [Available at ThinkGeek, $14.99-$16.99]
Countertop Beer Cooler And Tap
When it comes to serving a large quantity of beer, there’s certainly nothing wrong with stocking up on bottles. But if you want to simplify serving a sizable crowd, or want to dispense some of your homebrews, you’re veering into keg territory. And what a potentially scary, messy and eye-soring territory that is.
Nothing against fraternal love, but sometimes a little sophistication is in order. This beer cooler accommodates a 5-liter keg within its sleek, silver housing (there’s a peekaboo window that lets you see the label) and hooks up to a tap that fills empty glasses draft-style. But what $300 contraption wouldn’t be complete with lots of shiny buttons and LCD screens? There’s a readout of the internal temperature, which you can manually adjust between 37° and 53°F, plus there’s fine-tuned capability to regulate carbonation. Frickin’ sweet. Included with the whole shebang are an instructional DVD (this, indeed, is what the future looks like), tapping and cleaning kits, three 16-gram CO2 cartridges, and an overflow tray.
You’re probably well-equipped to track down your favorite keg brews, but if you’re poking about for ideas, check out beergeek.biz for a slew of colorful German brews, a selection from Kulmbacher Brauerei at bevmo.com, or serve your own stuff from reusable plastic-coated 5-liter kegs from breworganic.com. [Available at Hammacher Schlemmer, $299.95] ■