Beer & Food - The Holidays Are Approaching
As the cold weather settles in & the festive season approaches, you might be starting the think about the scents of roast turkey, freshly baked gingerbread, and spiced cocktails. However, for homebrew & beer enthusiasts, the perfect holiday feast is incomplete without the ideal brew to complement the array of traditional Christmas foods. Let's take a look at the amazing harmony that arises when you pair the best beer styles with classic Christmas dishes.
- Roast Turkey and IPA: A Classic Duo
As The Community Brew Shop's resident hop head I needed to get this one out first. The centerpiece of many Christmas dinners, roast turkey, deserves a beer that can stand up to its rich and savory flavors. Enter the India Pale Ale (IPA/NEIPA), with its hoppy bitterness and citrusy notes. The boldness of the IPA complements the flavour of the turkey, cutting through the fatty richness and providing a refreshing contrast. The hoppy bitterness also complements the herbs and spices often used in turkey seasoning (I'm a big fan of rosemary), creating an amazing flavor experience. We often talk about The 3 C's (cut, compliment & contrast) when pairing beer with food, and I can think of no better contrast this holiday season than turkey & my favourite IPA.
- Christmas Ham and Bock: A Match Made in Heaven
Glazed ham, with its sweet and savory profile, demands a beer that can balance and enhance its flavors. A malt forward bock, with its caramel sweetness and toasty notes, proves to be an excellent companion. The maltiness of the beer harmonizes with the sweetness of the glaze, creating a delectable combination that accentuates the flavour of the ham. The toasty elements in the bock also provide a satisfying contrast to the meat's richness, making each bite a delightful experience. Personally I am not much of a ham guy myself, but I'll never turn down a well made bock.
- Herb-Stuffed Roast Beef and Stout: A Stout Companion
For those who opt for a more hearty roast beef adorned with herbs, a Stout is the perfect beer companion. The robust and often chocolatey notes of a Stout complement the savory depth of the beef, while the beer's roasted character marries well with the herbs, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The carbonation in the Stout also helps cut through the richness of the meat, leaving your palate refreshed and ready for the next bite. If you are looking for a good stout for Christmas, our Black Capped Extra Stout beer kit is a full bodied flavourful brew that just might do the trick. The Black Capped features a large helping of locally made Crosby's molasses to enhance the flavour of the beer.
- Spiced Gingerbread and Belgian Dubbel: A Sweet Symphony
No Christmas is complete without the warm and comforting aroma of spiced gingerbread. To enhance this classic treat, consider pairing it with a Belgian Dubbel. The caramel and dark fruit notes of the Dubbel complement the sweetness of the gingerbread, while its malty backbone provides a complete foundation. The Belgian yeast characteristics can also add a subtle spiciness that resonates with the holiday spices in the gingerbread, creating a delightful symphony of sweet and spicy flavors.
- Fruitcake and Barleywine: A Decadent Affair
Fruitcake, love it or hate it, finds its ideal companion in a rich and complex Barleywine, often refered to here in the Maritimes as a Winter Warmer. The sweet, malty profile of the Barleywine complements the dense and fruity nature of the fruitcake, creating a combination that is perfect for indulging during the holiday season. The high ABV of the Barleywine enhances the overall experience, providing warmth and depth to every bite of the decadent fruitcake. Maybe I would like fruitcake a bit more if I found the right winter warmer to pair with it lol.
As you gather with loved ones this holiday season, elevate your Christmas feast with the perfect beer pairings for traditional dishes. Whether you're enjoying the richness of roast turkey, the sweetness of glazed ham, or the warmth of spiced gingerbread, there's a beer style that can enhance and complement the flavors, creating a memorable experience.
So, raise your glass and toast to the festive spirit with the delightful mashup of flavors that only the right beer & a Christmas feast can provide. Cheers to a season filled with good company, delectable dishes, and, of course, fantastic beers!
Leave a comment below and share your best beer pairings for the holidays with community, and if you need advice, ingredients, or just want to chat beer, drop us a line via our Contact Us page.
Cheers, & Happy Holidays.