Rob McFerren: Tips for craft beer, holiday meal pairings

With the Holiday season right around the corner here are some suggestions for craft beer pairings to enjoy with your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. There is an abundance of great craft beers to enjoy over the holiday season that have flavor profiles to complement your special meal. During the holiday season many breweries will also brew very special beers just for the season.

Some great beer styles to serve with a roast turkey is a Belgian-style Witbier or a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen. These beers have a nice spiciness to them and are somewhat lighter as to not overpower the turkey but enhance its flavor. If you have the talent to deep fry your turkey a great pairing is a hoppy American-style brown with its caramel maltiness and big hop flavors. Farmhouse ales or saisons are another great match for turkey and will also pair well with your homemade stuffing. These beers have a nice subtle spiciness along with a light, tart fruitiness.

If a glazed ham is a part of your holiday traditions, a great pairing for it would be a porter. Porters come in many different forms: chocolate, smoked, or vanilla and each can find a place at the holiday dinner table. Porters are dark, slightly sweet, and have light mouth feel with a touch of creaminess. A porter’s bold flavors will hold up well along the smoky, salty-sweet flavors of the ham.

Prime rib or roast beef will taste amazing on its own but it’s even better with one of many great pale ales! The lightly hopped bready malt body enhances the savory beef. The hops and carbonation will cut through the richness of the beef, allowing the roasted goodness to shine. There are so many more great beers that will pair well with holiday meals and it’s always nice to give your family or guests some different choices and new experiences! 

Life’s short, drink craft! Cheers!

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