festive food and beer

Festive food and beer pairings Mark Dredge’s guide to a hoppy Christmas

We're coming up to Christmas time! Consider Beerwulf your personal beer Santa, and give yourself this Brewdolph-delivered gift pack before all the brilliant madness of Christmas begins.

We’ve got beers here to help you jingle all the way through Christmas Day (without, hopefully, getting sleighed). We’ve got beers which go with present wrapping and unwrapping, some choices for breakfast (because it’s the one day of the year when beer is fine for breakfast), for chopping vegetables and for snoozing with a movie.

 

Beers to accompany gift-wrapping

We’ll begin with wrapping presents, because you’ll need a beer to help you do that, of course. You want something refreshing yet full in flavour to gulp between grappling the paper and the odd-shaped gifts. Five Points Pils is a good choice – a lager with delicious depth, floral-spicy hops, and the all-important gulpability. Moor Nor’Hop is another great choice for its bright citrusy aroma and flavour and low alcohol to not impair your practical present-wrapping skills.

Christmas Pack

The perfect Christmas gift: 12 special festive beers!

Can you hear the sleigh bells? Christmas is coming!

This year we’re celebrating with 12 extra special beers: a mix of old favourites and special edition brews from six of the UK’s hottest craft breweries. Get this pack of cans and bottles delivered to enjoy at home, take it round to the in-laws’, or make it the perfect gift to give this Christmas. Cheers, and happy holidays!

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Beers for festive decorating

More of a general one, this: If you like Christmas trees then Seven Bro7hers IPA or Five Points Pale are the beers you want to try, preferable either when you’re putting decorations up or just happy sitting surrounded by fairy lights. They’re both piney and resinous, a bit like the tree, and they have a fragrant orange fruity flavour, which is fairly festive, right? From January to November, the beers are bright and refreshing, in December, they’re wonderfully redolent of Christmas to get you in the seasonal spirit.

 

Beers for Christmas day

Now, assuming any of these beers make it through to Christmas Day, then let’s start to plan what beers you want with all the food and activities.

For breakfast, we have several choices. If you’re a bacon sandwich kinda person, then Moncada Notting Hill Stout, brewed with oats for a smooth body, is a great choice – it’s like a beery coffee on the side. For a Bucks Fizz-y kind of beer, then BrewDog Cybernaut is a 4.5% Session IPA that’s peachy and hazy and smooth like juice (it looks like juice, too). Try it with chocolate coins or a slice of chocolate orange. If you favour smoked salmon or something a bit lighter, then Beavertown’s Dame Melba, a peach and raspberry sour, or BrewDog Quench Quake, a grapefruit and tangerine sour, are both are both zingy and lively – they are also good picks to drink before dinner, with tartness waking up the tastebuds.

Moor Forgotten Glory is like the beer equivalent of Back to the Future: it’s simultaneously old school and yet still super cool and exciting.

Moncada Blueprint Mandarina Blonde is a light and orangey brew that’s simple and refreshing. It pairs very well with slicing carrots and singing carols. Or, keep it in the fridge to go with Boxing Day’s lunch of a leftover sandwich.

 

Beers for Christmas dinner

For the main meal on the 25th, I like to have a strong Belgian beer. A Tripel or a richly raisiny Dubbel or Quadrupel are my go-to choices, with the darker brew carrying through to the pudding. You need that added strength, plus you want something a bit special, and I love how there’s a festive-like spice in those beers which work in a way which a hop-forward beer simply doesn’t.

There’s cheese, isn’t there? Beavertown Gamma Ray is your bolt of citrus, tropical fruit and piney hops which is really great with a strong cheddar and generally good with a whole cheese board (true it with something blue, too), especially with some fruity chutney on the side.

There’s also lots of chocolate, isn’t there? Seven Bro7hers Marshmallow Stout is brewed with toasted marshmallows to go with the smooth base of dark chocolatey malts. Here’s a fun game: open the selection box and try to find out which chocolate tastes best with this beer.

 

Beers for movie-watching

Don’t just pair beers with food; match them to movies, too. Moor Forgotten Glory is like the beer equivalent of Back to the Future. It’s simultaneously old school and yet still super cool and exciting. It's all about Cascade hops and a base of chewy malts, and it’s the perfect beer for drinking when your favourite old movies come on.

Hoppy holidays!

Keep reading about craft beer:

Which glass goes with which beer?
The art of beer tasting
How to decode beer styles

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