Posted on December 17th, 2009
For many, Christmas dinner is one of most anticipated meals of the year. Full of good food and good company, this meal can be the highlight of the winter. Although wine is the beverage most often served with this meal, beer pairs well with many of the most common items on a Christmas menu.
When enjoying beer with a meal, there are some basic guidelines you should keep in mind. First, try and match the intensity of flavors. A big bold beer like an IPA or a barleywine will overshadow light flavors. Instead, try to keep your beers roughly as flavorful as the food you’re enjoying. It’s also a good idea to progress toward heavier, more intense beers as the meal progresses and not the other way around. A more delicate beer like a wit bier could seem off if you have it following an intense brew like a stout. The different food courses work the same way; this is why you begin a meal with lighter fare like salad and finish it with rich desserts like chocolate. For a more detailed primer on the art of pairing food and beer, take a look at our pairing guide.
For the Whole Meal – Biere de Garde – This rare French style is smooth and slightly buttery. It’s seen a recent resurgence from American craft brewers like The Lost Abbey and Jolly Pumpkin with their Avant Garde and Oro De Calabaza beers. 3 Monts from Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre is the classic French version.
Red meat – ESB/English Bitter (Fullers).
Stuffing – Rye Ale (Founder’s Red Rye).
Green beans/veggies – Pale Ale (Sam Smith).
Cranberry sauce – Lambic (Lindemans Framboise).
Cheers and Merry Christmas!