Welcome to the 2014 Modern Times Gift Guide! These are things that inspire us, that we've used in various design elements, or that speak to who we are. And we made some of them, too.
1. Artwork from these two books figures prominently in the design of the North Park Flavordome. Andreas Cellarius: Harmonia Macrocosmica is a stunning reproduction of a Dutch-German star atlas first published in 1660; it adorns the walls of our bathroom. Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra is a gorgeous art book featuring distrubing, allegorical, anthropomorphic paintings from the amazing contemporary artist Walton Ford; we put a collection of images from the books in gold frames above the corner bench.
2. Music from our tasting room playlist! Country Funk is deep fried, breaded-'n'-battered, slow jammin' funk from the psychedelic fringes of the country/folk revival in the late '60s & early '70s. Bossa Nova And The Rise Of Brazilian Music In The 1960s does a solid job of representing the country that dominates our playlist and keeps the upbeat, jazzy, indecipherably foreign vibe going. Soul Explosion from The Daktaris is a recent addition, but embodies the unrelenting radness of Daptone Records and the 90s revival funk bonanza that is omnipresent on the playlist.
3. A Modern Times Coffee Subscription! New for the holiday season, our coffee subscription is a bonanza of coffee radness featuring our amazing barrel-aged beans, single origin one-offs, and the persistently amazing Black House Blend. Upcoming barrel-aged releases include rye, port, madeira, and rum, and coffee subscribers will get them delivered right to their door!
4. Now that you've got all of this cockstaggering coffee coming your way, you'll need a suitably outstanding way to prepare it. A Hario V60 Drip Station Kit will get you most of the way there. Pour overs are a fantastic way to extract the mind-bending flavors contained in our carefully roasted coffee, and the brewing process will help you appreciate the delicate nuances of proper coffee making.
5. Brewers Publications--the publishing arm of the Brewers Association--has been on a roll of late, releasing a series of exceedingly well-written, useful books on timely topics in the world of beer. Most near & dear to our hearts is, of course, American Sour Beers by our very own sour homie-in-residence Mike Tonsmiere. It is the single best resource in the world on brewing sour beers, and the accessible yet detailed writing makes it a joy to read & reference. For The Love Of Hops by Stan Hieronymous is a similarly useful introduction to the most obsessed about brewing ingredient, and will be a valuable tool to anyone who loves brewing & drinking hoppy beers.
6. This beautifully reproduced geological map of the United States from 1870. Anyone who has spent time in our tasting rooms know that we love us some maps. The good people at Vintage Visualizations have taken it upon themselves to faithfully reproduce some of the best maps found in the Library of Congress as high-quality posters, allowing you to bring some of that Fermentorium vibe to your crib.
7. During the time between brewing and stressing out, some Modern Times folks like to read books. These are three of our favorites from this year, and each will figure prominently in our upcoming Secret Santa gift exchange, so if you work at Modern Times and are reading this, don't buy them. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a can't-put-it-down mystery about books, relationships, and the limits of life lived with technology. Papillon is the single greatest adventure story ever told: relentlessly entertaining, utterly immersive, and deeply satisfying. Ready Player One is pure geek hard candy: a compulsively readable action-adventure novel that takes place in a post-apocolyptic virtual reality game world.
8. A subscription to the California Sunday Magazine. This bold new magazine has only been around for a couple of issues, but it's already kicking serious ass and taking a plethora of names. For anyone who loves spending Sunday with a bomb ass cup of coffee and seriously engrossing journalism, a subscription to Cal Sunday is a must. If you're lucky enough to get it with your Sunday newspaper, there's no need to sign-up, but if not (like all of us in San Diego), a subscription is well worth it and a great way to support a creative, exciting project that's making the world less dumb.
9. This glorious poster reproduction of the 1864 edition of Johnson's Mountains & Rivers Chart. Not only is a magnificent & whimsical piece of art, but buying it supports The Public Domain Review, a non-profit online journal that helps draw attention to all of the ridiculously amazing shit in the public domain.
10. This jaw-droppingly awesome glass mosaic of Jesus Quintana by the sublime geniuses at Velvet Glass. This thing is 15" x 18" of pure artistic genius. Sure, you'll have to drop $450 to buy it, but it gets you the best Lebowski fan art in the galaxy.
11. Bottles of Empty Hats & News From Nowhere! Our red wine barrel-aged sours took 18 excruciating months to make, and they were worth every second of it. Both of these beers are incredible, and I've never been more proud to put our name on a bottle. They will be available at both of our tasting rooms starting this Friday for either drinking on-site or taking home.