Eugene Weekly's Gift Guide 2009:
Tak a Cup o’ Kindness Tippling under the tree
The Art of Holiday Shopping Campus museums make the season bright
Beyond Water Pipes Alterna gifts from the “pipe & tobacco” shops
Won’t You Light My Bike Tonight? Seasonal cycling gifts
Purl It Together The joys of fuzzy yarn shops
Plantin’ in the Rain Winter supplies to brighten a gardener’s heart
First Time’s A Charm Two artists take on the Holiday Market
Annex of Art DIVA delights in new holiday space
Tak a Cup o’ Kindness
Tippling under the tree
by Shaun O’Dell
When the silver bells and caroling are just about to drive you up the decked halls, a bottle of alcoholic holiday cheer may be the best gift of all. What better way to let someone know you can recall their love of local libations than picking out a few holiday selections from around the Eugene area?
First is a beer that has seen a holiday or two before. Ninkasi’s Sleigh’r returns to taps in the Eugene area, but for the first time ever, this dark double alt beer can be purchased in stores in a 22 oz. Bomber bottle. This beer is dark and malty, a perfect combination for those switching form their hop-heavy habits of spring and summer. With an ABV of 7.2 percent, this beer packs a little extra punch for the holidays when grandpa won’t stop yelling about what’s wrong with kids today with all their crazy music and haircuts and piercings. Sleigh’r is available at Ninkasi Brewery, the Bier Stein, Beer Nuts Bottle Shop, Cafe Perugino and Market of Choice. The cost at Market of Choice is around $5.50/bottle plus deposit. Sleigh’r is only available for a limited six-week run, so grab it quick.
Oakshire Brewing of Eugene is also offering a holiday beer this season. Ill Tempered Gnome is a hoppy brown ale with its own share of malty goodness. This beer was released to the public for the first time in early November. Brewer Matt Van Wyk said of the public reception so far: “It’s been amazing. We’ve had to slow down our sales to outside distributors so our Eugene vendors didn’t run out.” If a quick perusal of Oakshire’s previous seasonal selections are any indication, this beer is also going to have a limited run. Ill Tempered Gnome has an ABV of 6.8 percent and is available at Kiva, Sundance, The Bier Stein, Beer Nuts, Oakshire Brewing and all Market of Choice stores. At Market of Choice, it’s about $4.50/bottle plus deposit.
For those looking for something a little stronger, Side Pocket Corp. Distillery and Beverage of Cottage Grove is the local hard liquor. Side Pocket, run by the Meyers family, offers a wide selection of booze for swanky holiday office parties and for New Year’s Eve bashes. The Meyers offer two kinds of whiskey: Meyers Premium Canadian Whisky and Octane Premium 100 Proof Whiskey, both perfect for a holiday Manhattan to light a fire in your belly. Those looking for a warmer cocktail might consider one of Side Pocket’s rum selections like Vixen or Exit 172 rum for a hot rum toddy or some hot buttered rum this holiday. Side Pocket also offers gin, vodka, tequila and schnapps in a variety of flavors, as well as a host of non-alcoholic cocktails mixers and caffeinated cocktail mixes for the bar aficionado on your gift list. For more information, call Side Pocket at (541) 767-9146 or find a complete product list at cottagegrovedistillery.com/home.cfm
Local Stocking Stuffers
How about stocking stuffers to go along with your gifts meant to be imbibed? Those little gifts always seems to be the last thing we remember the night before Christmas. But no need to panic: We’ve got a few ideas.
Candy is the stocking staple beloved by almost everybody. Chocolate lovers will rejoice at the trip you made to Euphoria Chocolates to pick up some of their tasty truffles. For the wine lover, Euphoria offers Oregon Wine Truffles made with Oregon wines instead of the usual dairy products. This makes them perfect for hanging in a stocking because they don’t need to be refrigerated like a classic truffle.
Coffee fans will be excited to wake up to a bag of Wandering Goat coffee beans sticking up over the mantel. Bags of coffee beans can be purchased by the pound (so get an extra strong stocking hanger), and all Wandering Goat’s coffee is sustainably grown for the ecologically minded coffee drinker. Wandering Goat also offers herbal, green, black and mate teas for those who might not be looking for an extra-strong caffeine fix on Christmas morning after the party the night before.
And finally, cookie lovers can look to Monster Cookie for a local treat as a stocking stuffer. This company, founded in Eugene in 1977, makes a variety of cookies from snickerdoodles to chocolate chip peanut butter. They can be found at most Dari-Mart stores and are a great last-minute gift!