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The best moment of Christmas Day has to be the first ten seconds. You wake up, bleary-eyed, and have that instant ‘what is happening today?’ thought – which immediately gets pushed aside when you realise it’s the 25th of December! Christmas! (Although if small children are in your house, you may already be awake and fully aware of this).

With family, friends, food and fantastic craft beer – it’s a day like no other. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without its challenges. The best way to deal with these small but compounding trials is to break the day down into a series of manageable sections.

And pair each one with beer.

Christmas Morning

Buck’s Fizz at breakfast time is something that should only be witnessed in the Eastenders festive special. Outside Albert Square, in the real world nothing enlivens the palate more than Nanny State. Our alcohol-free hop bomb will fire those tastebuds into life for what is the most important eating day of the year. At the same time, it will wake you up better than anything else save stepping on a toddler’s already-opened Christmas gift.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and nothing highlights this better than the 25th of December. With the main event hours away, and lots of eager unwrapping to be done, Nanny State is a fantastic match to the ultimate Christmas starter – the loaded bacon sandwich. Why? The beer’s hop bitterness is balanced by the saltiness and the fattiness of the meat, leaving each bite a perfectly complementary event.

Alternate Food Pairing – Having pancakes? Try Almanac Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry with the be-fruited fluffy morsels!

Christmas Afternoon

Several hours and the odd tantrum later, the big moment has arrived. Your gran finds the sherry. Whilst she’s happy, it will shortly be time for the epic family meal. Whilst turkey is a perfect match for our Simcoe-laced Hoppy Christmas (it pulls all the flavour out of what is – let’s face it – a pretty dry meat), other big-day-dishes go just as well with a craft beer in one hand, the small half of a cracker in the other, and a fortune-telling fish floating tail up in your gravy.

Take a mushroom-based main. Strudel, Wellington, Pithivier; however you dress them up they still major on deep, earthy flavours that pack loads of umami savouriness into every meat-free mouthful. For this, the Munich and Dark Crystal malts in 5AM Saint act as the perfect counterpoint, with the resinous hops on the finish then lifting each mouthful and preparing you – in the true spirit of Christmas – for the next.

Alternate Food Pairing – Smoked salmon starter? Hoppin’ Frog Wild Frog Wheat contains zero frogs, but plenty of clovey flavours perfect with smoked seafood.

Christmas Evening

As the serotonin levels rise towards the inevitable #FoodComa, it’s time to draw the curtains and settle down in a heap in front of the television. As Downton Abbey reaches that unmissable alien-invasion finale (spoilers), another helping of dessert is the only thing that could make the evening any Christmassier. So reach for the Xmas pud, the next notch on the belt...and a bottle of Dog D.

Yes, as Lady Edith grapples with the Alien Queen, a much smoother meeting will be occurring in your living room. The brandy-laced dessert and our barrel-aged birthday beer are a match made in heaven – with the dark fruit and richness of the Christmas Pudding meeting the perfect foil in our warming, toffee rich imperial stout, with the hint of chilli in the beer bringing everything into focus.

Alternate Food Pairing – Any dessert with caramel or the prefix ‘sticky toffee…’ would be made complete by AleSmith’s Old Numbskull barley wine!

Later on Christmas Evening

Finally, as bed seems like an ever-welcoming prospect – it’s time to soldier on by breaking out the supreme festive treats. More barrel-aged beers. The rich, potent cheeses. The Bruce Willis boxed set. New Year might be a time for big, celebratory beers – but Christmas Night is the moment when you can truly enjoy them. It’s Abstrakt time.

Our latest one-off iteration of the series, AB:19 (we are only a few ahead of the Die Hards) is a blend of barrel-aged saisons, and works amazingly well with strong cheese. Anything Imperial is a welcome friend to blue cheese, but the liquorice and star anise on the finish also clean up any creaminess from milder cheeses. Heck, why not take down an entire board? It’s (still) Christmas!

Alternate Food Pairing – Did we mention Black Eyed King Imp pairs well with whisky?

Don’t think about tidying up or the Boxing Day sales just yet; today is all about family, relaxation, and really, really good beer.

From everyone at BrewDog – Merry Christmas!

You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at

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Pete H 23.12.2015 @ 1:02pm
Downton Abbey reaches that unmissable alien-invasion finale .....
If only .....
Jimbo 23.12.2015 @ 1:01pm
Got a nice wee AB:18 ready and waiting to go!