Jingle jangle my peoples. It is certainly the most wonderful time for a beer. Before you go for your two weeks of resolution diet and workout binge, make this last hoorah count! Below you will find a list of interesting beers to pair with whatever festivities and meals you have planned. And if you procrastinated and need last minute gift ideas, why not choose some liquid cheer?
I have been saving a giant bottle (called a Methuselah) of St. Bernardus Abt 12 since last year for the right occasion. Sunday after Christmas with my Dad’s side of the family appears to meet the quantity and quality attendee specifications. Thus, I will be encouraging (forcing?) relatives to imbibe some Belgian quad from solo cups. Since I am also gifting Belgian Christmas beers, my pushing of similar product should make them excited for their gifts. Or, at least confirm their plans to re-gift these beers at their next holiday gathering. Either way, there are many seasonal options that are fun to sample with family/friends. Seek them out and share your favorite.
In the early days of my love of all things hop-forward, my folks gave me a box of IPAs they ordered from far off places (mostly CA and CO). What followed was a glorious week off in which I had something new to try everyday. For that reason, I encourage you too to try something new this holiday. My family had a tradition of surf and turf on Christmas Eve. Based on my experience, I can confirm your favorite IPA will pair well with a fish or steak dinner. But rather than play it safe this year, branch out a bit and try one of these styles:
- Gose – Many brewers are now offering a rendition of this salted, sour German style. The surprise hit of my Thanksgiving weekend was Prairie Flare. Though I haven’t tried this pairing yet, I can imagine this with a fish or lobster tail dish being something unique and wonderful.
- Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy – When my wife was pregnant with my son, we had a quiet new year’s eve celebration. It included a Equinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel for me and some light jealousy from her. Since this may not be released in time for your celebration, an Oskar Blues Old Chub is a very different but equally delicious friend for your steak or roast beast.
- Flanders Red Ale – Rodenbach Caractere Rouge is a beer I may have overlooked had it not been shared with my brother as a gift. We enjoyed the balance of sweet and tart with a buffet of Italian food. That is not the right pairing! Try this one with your dessert of almost any kind.
- Porter – OK, so I am breaking from the “new and different” theme here. I simply couldn’t deny you a great experience that I had last week. Night Shift Awake with cookies is for making Christmas Merry. Do it.