Tis the season for beer

by Irina Vishnevskaya, Tastemaker in Residence

It’s that time of year again, and you don’t need me (you have your tightening beltline) to remind you of the onslaught of holiday gatherings. Get togethers with friends, family and everyone in between fill our schedules, and we’re all frantically scrolling through Pinterest trying to figure out what we’re going to bring to the next party in queue.

And then of course, there’s always wine at these events. Not that I don’t love a great glass of red wine, but I think this is a wonderful time to bring beer into the picture (you’ll be considered trendy by being the one who brought the beer, trust me).

Here’s my list of types of beer that go well with just about anything you’re likely to be feasting on this time of year:

Belgian beers
Generally flavorful, spiced, and highly alcoholic (remember, in Belgium, 8 % ABV is beer for babies) I generally find that nearly any Belgian beer, or Belgian style beer brewed in the US goes fantastically with the flavors of the season. And the high alcohol level, well, let’s just say that never hurts.

Make sure to try: Delirium Noel Belgian ale, Samuel Adams White Christmas, Ommegang Adoration (Belgian style strong ale), St Bernardus Christmas Ale (Belgian quadruple ale) \

It’s said that in Europe, the tradition of brewing special Ale beers in time for Christmas is just as old as Christmas itself. Ales are defined by the yeast that is used to ferment them- it’s top fermenting (meaning it collects at the top during the fermentation process), and also adds more of a flavorful character to the beer. Ales pair well with cheesy dishes, flavorful, robust meats and fruity desserts.

Make sure to try: Great Lakes Christmas ale, Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale (Anchor Christmas), Bell’s Christmas ale, Avery Old Jubilation

And remember, pour beer in appropriate glassware to dress up the occasion and make it taste better!

Beer Notes:

Looking for a Winter treat and activity to share with family & friends? Irina's Mulled Beer: A Revived Winter Tradition, could be the hit of the Christmas week.

If Turkey is making an appearance at your table, check out Irina's Perfect Pairings for Thanksgiving.