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The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Urban Hobbyist

Get all the gear that they didn't know they needed this year.
By James Whitton
December 08, 2017
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By James Whitton
December 08, 2017
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in partnership with

From stocking fillers to well planned and executed surprises, Christmas gifting is upon us and we again find ourselves searching for the best presents. If the person you've pulled out of the hat this year is a little more hands-on and a little more inclined towards new tech than gig tickets or a bottle of wine, peruse this list with growing joy. We've compiled some of our favourite gifts for exactly that kind of person. From gadgets to classes and big kid's toys (see: BrewArt's swish home brewing kit), we've done all the thinking so you can sit back and use this time to relax before the flurry of Christmas arrives.

Whether it's a gift for a co-worker you've only just met, someone you've known all your life or anyone in between, this guide has got something for the tech-minded, urban hobbyist in all of them.

SPROUT PENCIL

This multipurpose tool is the perfect kind of stocking filler for the avid home gardener who dabbles with a little writing on the side — or for anyone who needs to write anything down at all, really. The Sprout Pencil begins life simply as a humble writing instrument. But when too many memos have been written, and its size begins to diminish, simply stick the end of the pencil in a bit of soil, add some water and the seeds in the capsule on top of the pencil will sprout into a variety of herbs, flowers and even vegetables.

Sprout Pencil, $6.95. Available here.

TILE MATE

People lose things from time to time, sure. But for some people, the regularity at which it happens is a little more than annoying. So for these people, we give you the Tile Mate. For things that are a little harder to locate, like a wallet, for example, this annoyance is greatly reduced, all thanks to this lightweight Bluetooth tracker. Slide this little sucker in your wallet, and you can track it down, wherever it may journey to. There's also the option of a key ring tile, for those who are of the key-losing variety. It's the perfect gift for that friend who would lose their head if it wasn't screwed on.

Tile Mate, from $25. Available here.

LEGO ARCHITECTURE SET

While dreams of building your own shed or, even more lofty, your own home are all well and good, unless you have architectural training or something of the like, these grand design dreams may remain just that — dreams. For the passionate wannabe (or actual) architect, then, consider a LEGO Architecture set, which is essentially just LEGO for adults. Instead of the colourful bricks and smiling little dudes, these sets put the construction of city icons in your hands. Build your very own Eiffel Tower, towering Burj Khalifa or the Sydney Harbour Bridge complete with the Sydney Tower Eye. Your architecture-loving giftee may never build a massive city icon for all to admire, but they can surely build something special for the family to 'ooo' and 'ahh' at around the Christmas tree.

LEGO Architecture, from $49.99. Choose a city here.

BLACKSMITH INTRODUCTION CLASS

Even though technological advances allow building and crafting to become easier as time marches on, the art of creating doesn't necessarily hinge on the newest toys and fancy gear. For anyone who likes to work with their hands and get that pride from a successful DIY project, the opportunity to pick up a few tips on one of the most ancient crafts is precisely what they'd like under their tree this year. Eveleigh Works run regular courses in the basics of blacksmithing, running over a weekend. From the basic theoretical knowledge to learning the tools to practising the trade, the class covers all the bases to help you master one of history's fundamental professions. Or at least have a bit of fun while learning.

Sydney: Blacksmith Introduction I, $490; book hereMelbourne: Beginners Short Course, $490; book here. Brisbane: Blacksmithing Basics, $410; book here.

BREWART PERSONAL BREWING SYSTEM

The ultimate stage of pursuing the dream of self-sufficiency is the ability to brew one's own booze — and doing it well. For many commercial producers, it's a subtle art, perfected over centuries and, while there is a slew of personal brewing options available on the market, and though a lot of them are pretty good, it's never quite the same as it is straight from the tap at the pub. Enter BrewArt. It's the first personal brewing system that is fully automated, making brewing easier than ever before. Using BrewPrints, the corresponding combinations of ingredients inspired by great beers, the BeerDroid controls every aspect of the brew and can be personalised and controlled by an app, available on your phone. It's a matter of pressing a button on the BeerDroid (or the app) and waiting until the app says that the beer is ready. The BeerDroid also has a partner in the BrewFlo, the state of the art keg-meets-beer-tap. Far from the battered metal bad boys that sit out the front of your local, the sleek BrewFlo looks more like a coffee machine with an authentic looking tap handle. While the BrewArt Kegs keep your brew fresh, the BrewFlo then chills your beer when you're ready to serve.

BrewArt comes in two parts the BrewFlo ($699) and BeerDroid ($799). Available here.

Published on December 08, 2017 by James Whitton
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