Carb Lover requested a beer rec from shoppers corner in Santa Cruz a few threads down. Based upon the following statement:
"Keep in mind that I'm sort of a newbie who finds many beers too heavy...don't want a meal in a glass. Want something smooth and crisp but not diluted or girlified. Have been told that I should start w/ Belgian. Y, OTOH, is more of a dark beer person than the pale ale type. "
my top rec would be to pick up a six pack of Hoegarden. This is a Belgian white beer made with a blend of wheat and barley. (a bit of oats too) It looks a bit dishwaterish but has great flavor- subtle spice and citrus notes and a fairly light crisp body. Good stuff and a perfect summer beer. Do use a 14 or 16 oz glass and follow the pour directions on the bottle. This is a bottle with live yeast in it and this gives the beer some of its depth of flavor.
I was hoping they would have a lambic on hand which is a very old style of beer which is good to challenge people on their perceptions of beer and makes a great aperteif. Any of the dark Sam Smith beers (all singles) would be a nice gift for Y- Taddy Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale.
If this takes I will pass on a few more. My other shoppers booze tip is a while back I picked up one of the hard french ciders they carry to go with crepes. I think it was called CLos NOrmand (they carry 2 above the beer and near the mineral water- I bought the one with the cooler label) It was fairly dry, unlike the US/UK styles of beer like cider, with a crispness, a mild apple flavor, and low alcohol (4%) making it very food friendly. Worth a try with a northern french meal at around $4 for 750ml.