CHRISTMAS PAIRING GUIDE
Two days to go, beer fans. With that in mind, hopefully you will have already sorted the most important thing for Christmas – the amazing selection of beers you will be reaching for on the 25th of December. That priority taken care of, you can then turn the attention to buying thirty presents, four courses of food and shinning up that ever-rickety ladder to staple some tinsel to the ceiling. But that’s why Christmas Eve exists! So prior to the final twenty-four hour whirlwind of activity, you’ve plenty of time to sit back and think of the ultimate Christmas dinner pairings.
And we can help you out with that.
Even before the food appears you can start with a festive tipple (unless the Miniature Heroes appeared before breakfast time). Sure, you could join your Great Aunt in a glass of sherry or whatever, but for a perfect start to the day ensure all cobwebs leave your cranium with a sip or three of the world’s biggest smallest beer – Hop Shot. [LINK] Enjoy in polite company with little finger cocked, or whilst hiding from the tiny terrors destroying your decorations – but start as you mean to go on, by taking on-board as many hops as possible. Just make sure you leave one out for Santa too.
Alternative – Lambic, Kriek or any tart Belgian beer works really well to enliven the palate and prepare it for what’s about to arrive. Any prosecco fans in the house? Try them on Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait and watch a lightbulb moment take place in your living room.
The festive feast usually begins with one of three options. Melon, pâté or prawn cocktail have been the opening act to every Christmas dinner in the UK since Roman times. The latter in that traditional trio will go really well with a heavily hopped beer, as it cuts through the rich creamy sauce and stands up to the sweetness of the prawns. So Jack Hammer, for instance. Talking of richness, nothing matches pâté in that category, so take the edge off with a highly-carbonated Belgian Dubbel (Westmalle Trappist Dubbel, for instance). And as for melon? Well, if you drink beer with melon then kudos to you – try Ace of Equinox for a very similar flavour profile!
Alternative – With the heaviness about to appear from the kitchen, keep it light with a fruit beer such as Beavertown Tropigamma. There’s plenty of time to hit the dark side later on…
Turkey; the driest of all meats. There’s a reason why it usually comes served with pigs in blankets, bread sauce, sage and onion stuffing and everything else that can eke out some flavour. So let’s rock this (birdy) joint with an uplifting saison. These beers are the ultimate weapon for Christmas afternoon (even more so than the latest Minions movie). With a herbal background Saison Dupont can take on any vegetarian alternate and form perfect symbiosis with the stuffing. The carbonation cleans out the palate if the white meat is dry, and cuts through the fat if it isn’t. Originally designed for summer, saisons are a true year-round treat.
Alternative – Red meat? 5AM Saint. We say it every year. It’s still true.
Now the fun can really begin. It’s time for decadence as the puddings appear. Whether the Christmas variety or something with chocolate, toffee, sweet icing or tart fruit – everything you can heap into a bowl goes with a beer. It’s something that amazes non-beer drinkers, this idea of having a beer with your dessert. But what are the usual suspects in this regard? Port. Switch up with a barrel-aged stout or porter with dark stone fruit. Dessert wine? Keep the stickies in the cupboard and uncap a barley wine like Great Divide Old Ruffian instead. And if you have cheese in the house, that barley wine will become an even better prospect.
Alternative – Retire to the nearest armchair with an Abstrakt, Belgian Tripel or Double IPA of your choice. Let the washing machine and Downton Abbey box set take things from here…
From everyone at BrewDog to all of our readers, drinkers and friends – Merry Christmas!