Get mum some drinkable perfume - beer
Mother's Day – always a tough one, having to think about what to buy that most precious woman in your life.
I can remember the hell that broke out in our house one year when dad, well-meaningly on behalf of us kids, got mum a new vacuum cleaner.
Forgive him, us, it was the 1970s … we didn't know any better.
These days I don't think anyone would get it quite so wrong, yet Mother's Day is also full to brimming with sexist, clichéd gifts. Flowers, chocolate, soap … you know how it goes.
So here's a suggestion – dance to the beat of a different drum and get your mum beer.
Why not? After all, the enjoyment of beer is not the preserve of men alone despite what the advertisers might have you believe.
To be honest, the reason many people still think of beer as a man's drink has everything to do with recent history and culture based around exclusivity of rugby clubs and bars. Who reading this remembers the days of the Ladies' Lounge? Anyway, back in the 50s and 60s in the heyday of the Six O'Clock Swill women were too smart to drink something that tasted like mass-produced swill in an environment that resembled a sweaty wrestling arena.
Now that modern beer actually has flavour and you can drink it in comfort, those old gender boundaries have disappeared.
So here's a few suggestions for mum tomorrow.
Instead of champagne try Tuatara Hefe – this classic cloudy German-style wheat beer is spritzy on the palate, redolent of banana cake and hay, with a tart, dry finish. It's a perfect aperitif.
Don't bake, buy Garage Project Pan Pacific – a seasonal brew from the cult Wellington brewery made with golden syrup and oats and finished with toasted coconut. If that sounds like an Anzac biscuit in a bottle you're not wrong. Rich, malty and fruity.
Perfume? You do know that one the essential oils in hops is used in the perfume industry? Renaissance Grandmaster, released each autumn at the completion of the hop harvest and this drinkable perfume with notes of mandarin and lime on a super-slick sweet base.
Candy? How about candi sugar, which is used in the making of Moa St Josephs – a Belgian-style tripel that has flavours of alcohol-soaked fruit, and caramellised, spiced bananas.
Chocolate, and red wine comes to mind when you open Epic's The Observer Timeless Ale. This is something so special and so complexly feminine I dare you not to love it. There's an autumnal smokiness overlaying chocolate-coated fruit with a red wine richness.
Finally, every mum, no doubt likes a cup of tea in the afternoon so how about a Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta. Made with Earl Grey tea leaves this IPA has the floral orange notes, and a slightly tannic finish, a bit like cold tea, but in a good way.
- Your Weekend