▪ Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA
$9.99 for a six pack; local retailers including BevMo; www.sierranevada.com
While Sierra Nevada has become a leader in the craft-beer industry, its emphasis on innovation has never waned. The company started making fresh-hopped IPAs about 15 years ago (standard IPAs use dried hops) and has long wanted to duplicate that wet-hop style year-round. To accomplish that, it has developed a steam-distilling process that produces hop oil in the field moments after the harvest. The oil is used in Hop Hunter, a new, bold, very fresh IPA with a vibrant hop aroma that’s lively but smooth to drink.
▪ “Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favorite Restaurants”
$24.95; 976 pages; Amazon.com and local retailers; also available as an app on iTunes
Covering 3,000 restaurants in 70 countries, this encyclopedic tome reveals industry stars’ dining recommendations for major metropolises across the globe. The front section gives an alphabetical listing by chef, so you can browse favorites of culinary darlings such as L.A.’s Suzanne Goin (Lucques) or New York’s Daniel Boulud (Daniel), while the back of the book makes recommendations by location. Even if you never make it past San Francisco, it’s fun to browse the in-the-know picks.
▪ Craft Brew Nuts
$8 for a 6-ounce bag; www.pralinepatisserie.com
The makers of Samuel Adams Boston Lager know that you’re likely going to want something salty to go with their brews, and if that snack features some beer in its batter, the match between munchies and suds can taste sensational. Through the “Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream” program, the company teamed up with San Diego confection-maker Praline Patisserie for the “Craft Brew Nuts,” a salty, slightly sweet and crunchy treat with Boston Lager in the coating of mixed nuts (including Brazil nuts and cashews).
▪ “Olive Oil: A Field Guide”
The Extra Virgin Alliance has published what it hopes will become an indispensable reference for anyone with an interest in olive oil. The pocket-sized book by Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne covers such topics as how to evaluate, cook with and store olive oil. It also tries to clear up misconceptions and myths.
▪ Sugarfina gift set
$25 for set of three 3.25-ounce candy cubes; www.sugarfina.com
A majority of pet owners prefer Valentine’s Day kisses from their four-legged friends over those from their sweethearts, or so says a Petplan survey. Online luxury candy boutique Sugarfina wants to improve your human-smooch odds. Its “Pucker Up” gift set includes three cubes filled with artisan candies (heart-shaped jelly beans, lip-shaped gummy treats and fruity butterflies) labeled with sweet sayings: “You’re my sweetheart,” “Pucker up” and “You give me butterflies.”
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