I’m now at the age that having a dozen beers during a holiday just doesn’t (always) sound appetizing.   Especially when the food needs to be the center of it all.  But, if you do choose the right brews, beer can share the spotlight with your delectable holiday favorites.  So what beers should you pair with your starters, entrees and dessert?  Hint: the key is to choose high ABV so you don’t need to save room for more beer to reach your desired buzz.  Check out my suggestions to keep you relatively sober with room for seconds. 

Starters.  Whether it’s paired with cheese, sausage, charcuterie or that weird thing your aunt brings, start with a versatile beer.  My recommendation is to go with your favorite Belgian-style beer.  In this case you can feel free to go import but there are so many from your local breweries.  This style is so diverse and can cover the full spectrum of the hors d'oeuvres menu.  This week, I will be searching this for a Tripel.  I think this will go the farthest for you so ask your local craft beer shop to point you in the direction of a few of their favorites. 

Main Course.  With the richness of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and potatoes, the main course calls for something that can stand up to many different flavors.  Ale Asylum’s Imperial Nut Brown, Pantheon is packed with malt and an 8+ % ABV punch that will keep you cheerful enough to avoid talking politics with your parents’ neighbor.  The oven does all the work on connecting all of the flavors from your plate to your glass.

Dessert.  Mmmmm…I can taste it now.  Pumpkin, pecan and my favorite, Dutch apple pie all topped with whipped cream.  No matter how many slices you choose, your after-dinner beer should be complex – bursting with caramel and chocolate malts. My pick is Plumptuous by Next Door Brewing, a scotch ale gushing caramel and plum notes. This will pair well with any dessert choice and leave you primed for a nap.  

Justin Hines