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Joe Sixpack: Gift guide for beer lovers

If you're looking to stuff a stocking with something a little more special than a sixpack (not that there's anything wrong with a sixpack, hint-hint), Joe Sixpack has just what you're looking for - from bottle openers to worldwide travel.

If you're looking to stuff a stocking with something a little more special than a sixpack (not that there's anything wrong with a sixpack, hint-hint), Joe Sixpack has just what you're looking for - from bottle openers to worldwide travel.

For your dog

The gift shop at Victory Brewing (420 Acorn Lane, Downingtown) is fully stocked with glassware, apparel and beer-infused foods. But what about Fido? Get your pooch an "I love Victory" leash. $10.

For the cellar

A share in Joe Sixpack's holiday case club is a great way to taste a big variety of Christmas beers and winter warmers. Most of the selection can be aged for a year or more. Twenty-four different bottles for $50.

For the laptop

Those fold-down tray tables on Amtrak or cramped jetliners aren't big enough for a laptop computer and a beer. A bit of turbulence, and you've got a lap full of suds. Northern Liberties beer drinkers Amy Taylor and her husband, Jeff, came up with a nifty solution: The Laptop Butler. It easily clamps to a tray, a chair or even your computer, and safely holds a bottle or can of your favorite travel beverage. $16.95.

For the cyclist

Toting sixpacks and growlers home from the local bottle shop is a snap with the right bike gear. The Bottle Shop, at Local 44 (4333 Spruce St., West Philly), will have 'em riding smooth with a handlebar carrier at its holiday gift shop.

For the cyclist again

I'm a big fan of the beautiful beer jerseys from Philadelphia's GoCycling because I look sharp while pedaling along Kelly Drive, and the back pockets are big enough to hold a sixpack of tall boys. Available in Yards and Flying Fish designs. $69.

For the ring bearer

Neighborhood Map Coasters not only save your coffee table from water rings, their attractive, laser-engraved Philadelphia nabes will show you where you live. $36 for set of four.

For the pocket

I'm a big fan of gimmicky bottle openers, and my new favorite is mostly an excuse to put the new KeySmart into my pocket. It's the super-cool Swiss Army-like holder that can hold up to 100 keys, a flash drive and a bottle opener. Starts at $19.98.

For the clumsy

Worst beer nightmare? Dropping a pricey bottle of a favorite brew out of one of those flimsy cardboard holders from your local bottle shop. The solution: The PuzzlePax sixpack carrier - it's custom-engraved, lightweight, personal, wooden. $34.99.

For the traveler

In October, I'll be leading an exclusive, 7-day craft-beer and whiskey tour to Ireland. We'll visit new, small breweries in Dublin, Galway, Killarney and elsewhere. And, sure, we'll raise pints of stout at Guinness. Starts at $2,349 per person. Info: (610) 398-2444.

For their ears

The Esoteric Ramblers, out of Norfolk, Va., the beer-focused country/bluegrass band I told you about a few years ago when they released "Keg of Love," are out with their second CD. It's "Beer and Now," and you'll want it in time to cue up "Santa Claus Is Comin' (And He's Bringing Us Some Beer)." $8.99 download at Amazon.

For the whale hunter

Those hard-to-find one-offs that beer freaks brag about landing are known as whales, and sometimes they're available only to members of brewery clubs. The newest is the Saucony Creek Cask Collective, with members getting 6 large bottles, glassware, a t-shirt and more. $160.

For the DIYer

Thanks to wider availability of better ingredients and equipment, homebrewing is bigger than ever. Newbies and pros alike will love a gift membership to the American Homebrewing Association, including a subscription to the excellent Zymurgy magazine, discounts at homebrew shops and a free recipe book. $43.

For the dinner table

EssenTiles are a cute way to dress up a goblet. They're "up-cycled" Scrabble tiles custom-printed with beer terminology, photos or names, and designed to be hung from a glass. Beer-drinking craftswoman Hilory Wagner has a cute assortment at $30.

For the oldtimer

Shibe Vintage Sports, that great Center City collectibles shop, carries a few retro beer shirts, including a classic from Ortlieb's ("Before the game or after the game, it's Ortlieb's Time"). Esslinger and Poth's available, too. Starting at $15. 137 S. 13th St.

For the head

Dogfish Head teamed with central Pennsylvania outdoor outfitter Woolrich to produce Pennsylvania Tuxedo, a superb spruce-infused pale ale. Grab a bottle at local stores and pair it with a cool Woolrich hat. $45.

"Joe Sixpack" is written by Don Russell. For more on the beer scene, download Bar Talk with Glen Macnow and Joe Sixpack, and sign up for his weekly email update at Email: