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6 Craft Beers to Pair with Your Holiday Meal

amandaphillips
amandaphillips
|
Posted 12/14/17
Photo: Chefs-table.homebrewchef.com

Thanksgiving has passed, but we haven’t stored away our oversized pots and pans just yet. There’s joy in preparing a wide variety of delicious food for family and friends over the holidays, and there’s a multitude of local brews to pair with every meal! Eliminate the anxiety of your commitment to cooking for the in-laws using some of our suggested pairings below. Each beer is paired with a suggested recipe from allrecipes to elevate your holiday meal.

 

Trekker Trippel | Belgian Golden Ale | 9.5% ABV

Somerville Brewing Co. (Slumbrew) | Boston, MA
Fig and Toasted Almond Brie Recipe
Photo: Brewers Association, Craftbeer.com

 

 

This Belgian-style trippel is a soft, creamy beer with complex flavors ranging from pineapple to caramel and honey malt. It has a dry, spicy finish, and the combination of citrus and spice makes this a great palate cleanser. Enjoy this with many earthy, natural flavors, like cheese, and sip on it with hor d’oeuvres.

Sip slowly, folks, the night is only beginning and we don’t want you to have to go to bed before your guests!

 

 

Love Stout | Dry Stout | 5.5% ABV

Yards Brewing Co. | Philadelphia, PA
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

 

This dry stout is creamy in texture with chocolate and coffee flavors that mingle with the dark beer’s roasted barley aroma. Pair this with smooth foods, like soft cheese or chocolate cake, and especially salty, raw oysters. Love Stout, a rich, romantic accompaniment to grilled vegetables, highlights their caramelized preparation and contrasts their salty flavor. It’s a great pairing for those holiday guests who are looking for alternative dishes to the main course.

 

 

Aurochs Brown Ale | 4.5% BV

Aurochs Brewing Co. | Pittsburgh, PA
Honey Duck Recipe
Photo: Brewers Association, Craftbeer.com

 

 

Aurochs Brown Ale highlights the style’s balanced qualities, but this beer’s balance comes from roasted quinoa and millet instead of barley, making this an entirely Gluten Free pairing option. This makes it the perfect pairing for heavily flavored and textured meals. Fats in certain meats like roasted duck or pork contrast the spicy hops while simultaneously enhancing the roasted quality of the beer’s grains–a perfect balance between holiday spice and toasty memories.

 

 

 

Ignite | India Pale Ale | 6.5% ABV

Hellbender Brewing Co. | Washington, D.C.
Herb Roasted Pork Recipe

 

Ignite is a bold, citrus IPA that has strong hop bitterness and a dry finish. This beer is best enjoyed with intensely flavored foods and desserts with high fat content to balance the hop aroma and flavor. All pork dishes, particularly pork loin, pair well with citrus IPAs, which in turn bring out the subtle flavors of the dish. The vibrant holiday citrus, orange, is a flavor enhancing addition to many winter-seasonal meals. Ignite even has a deep, orange color!

 

 

 

Ralphnator | Doppelbock  | 7.3% ABV

Diamondback Beer Co. | Baltimore, MD
Honey Glazed Ham Recipe
Photo: Brewers Association, Craftbeer.com

 

 

Hints of toasted bread is a distinct quality of this style, and Ralphnator combines this with favorite holiday flavors like toffee and dark fruits to add complexity to this German-style, sweet beer. Opt for highly spiced dishes, like Cajun salmon, when looking to cut the sweetness. To enjoy to its fullest, pair this with slow-cooked beef or pork for a toasty, flavor-balanced meal on the delectable, sweeter side. Why not revel in the holiday sweets?

 

 

 

Munich Dunkel | Dunkelwiesse | 5.5% ABV

Queen City Brewery | Burlington, VT
Fresh Strawberry Tart Recipe

 

 

Munich Dunkel, a German-style dark lager, finishes with a bready taste thanks to the use of dark malts. The holiday sweetness is balanced by a subtle nutty flavor. The dunkel is a crowd pleaser because of its versatility, allowing it to pair well with both proteins and vegetable sides but this year we recommend you enjoy this medium-bodied, creamy beer with tart and spicy desserts, like cranberry tart or ginger cake, after the main course.