I'm at the age where a lot of my friends have decided it's time to get married and as a result I've gone to 5 weddings in the past 5 months. Each time I find myself looking through their wedding registries and being underwhelmed with the choices of gifts. I've been friends with some of these people for 10+ years and buying them a towel just doesn't seem right. So it was for my best friend's wedding that I thought of a way to incorporate my homebrewing and love of beer into a gift. It just so happened that my friend Andy was marrying a girl called Shana and they had always gone by the couple name of Shandy as some couples do. Their wedding was going to take place in New Orleans, as they had lived there for a few years and their wedding's nickname was Shandygras (Shana + Andy + Mardigras, get it?!).
It must have been fate that as I was thinking how to homebrew a gift that I was going to a wedding for someone who called themselves a beer style, Shandy. I set about looking for Shandy recipes (typically consumed in Europe this combines beer and lemonade in different ratios depending on the region), designing a label and figuring out how I was going to pull this off. I ended up making up 12 bombers, printing custom labels with details of the beer on them and waxing the lids in Mardi Gras colors and giving it to them as my wedding gift.
They loved the gift (or so they told me ;) ) and I have subsequently made the gift as birthday presents and another wedding gift. I only do it for people I know would appreciate beer and although I may not be a world class brewer, I think people like the uniqueness of a beer made just for them and I love being able to give a more personal gift then a towel or ladle.