by Alain Schepers
5 tips for a beery ChristmasHow to best enjoy beer during the holidays
I like the holidays! Chilling out, spending time with family and friends and of course good food and drinks. Still, the run-up to Christmas and New Year's Eve comes with some stress. How do you treat your guests then - and yourself - when it comes to beer? Here are our 5 tips.
1. Vary and experiment
As a beer drinker you have your preferences. Nothing wrong with stocking up your favourite beers in the house. Keep in mind that your guests may have a different taste: you need to go out of your comfort zone. There is so much to discover, so many brewers and beers. Dare to push your limits!
2. A good build-up
Nice, a few days off! It's afternoon and it's time for beer. A strong beer, such as an Emelisse Espresso Stout ( 9.5% ABV), might be tempting, but not a good idea if you still want to experience the end of the evening. Start quietly with a beer with little alcohol, or even alcohol-free.
As the day progresses you can slowly build up in intensity and alcohol percentage. If you have a long day in front of you, it is recommended to drink a glass of water in between.
3. Sharing is caring
Why would you keep a bottle of beer for yourself? If you are together with several beer drinkers, it's fun to share. Pour a bottle over two or three glasses and taste together. Discuss with each other what you smell and taste. This way you can taste several beers and you can also learn from each other.
4. Small glasses
If you share a bottle of beer, pour it into small glasses. Tulip glasses or small wine glasses are just perfect. Also, during dinner avoid large full glasses of beer, because you'll be already full after two courses. Instead, opt for a small glass and serve regularly. This way you keep a nicer head.
5. Not too cold
During the holidays we like to treat ourselves with amazing beers. To enjoy fully, make sure you serve them at the right temperature. A Malheur 12 straight from the refrigerator is too cold. A lot of aromas and nuances will be lost because of the low temperature. The bouquet of this beer gives its best at temperatures between 10 and 12 degrees.
Generally speaking, you can say that the alcohol percentage of the beer is the suggested drinking temperature. So if you want to drink a Gouden Carolus Tripel (9% ABV), you should drink it at a temperature of at least 9 degrees.