by Arvid Bergström Beer sommelier and author of Beer Taste
Beer for the Christmas dinnerWhich beers will you serve?
People always think that you should drink wine with a multi-course dinner. However, beer actually fits much better with intense-tasting dishes, dishes with lots of herbs, dishes with roasted tones and, in particular, salty dishes. Simply put, beer is the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas dinner!
Tasting is a nice expression to describe how you should drink delicious beer. You can pretty much serve a good beer with every dish, and vice versa.
Below we not only share some tips on how to pair your Christmas dinner with beer, but also three different menus: A four-course dinner with matching beers, as well as a five and a six-course menu. Which one will you try this Christmas?
Different courses, different beers
If you like cooking but don't know that many beer styles yet, the best approach is to taste a beer and then invent a dish.
As an aperitif you can drink slightly sour and refreshing beers, such as gose, saison or traditional pilsner. For starters, choose a beer that matches the intensity of the dish: blond beer or wheat beer fit nicely with shellfish, fish or raw meat.
For main courses with mushrooms or mushroom sauce, bock or saison beer go very well. Double, porter and stout beers can be paired with brown dishes, such as roasted meat, roasted fish and roasted vegetables.
For dessert all options are open. Sweet desserts can be combined with smoked beers, dry and sour beers or heavy beers.
Beer should be shared
If you are going to have dinner with several people, it's fun to share the bottles of beer. This way you can taste different beers and you can enjoy just a glass instead of drinking an entire bottle. It's actually what you do with other drinks as well - you don't drink an entire bottle yourself.
Beer in a dish
If you want to cook with beer, keep in mind why you want to do this. As soon as you heat a beer, the taste changes. Stews with brown, sweet beer are perhaps the most well-known recipes that use beer as a key ingredient.
Beer is used a few times in the recipes of the accompanying six-course menu:
- For the first course we marinate pieces of chopped pepper in a barrel-aged quadruple. As we do not heat the beer, you can taste the beer nicely. It is a wonderfully intense dish to start the meal with. Also, take a small sip of the beer!
- For the soup we pour the beer directly into the plate. It's best to do this at the dinner table. You should serve the soup as hot as possible!
- You can let your guests choose the beer themselves for the third course. Give each guest two glasses and let them decide which beer they think fits best.
- For the main course we don't stew the meat with beer, but we instead make a sauce with it. The beer is slightly sour and goes well with the blackberries used for the sauce. The beer that you open for this can also be served with the dessert. Put the cap back on quickly and then store it in the fridge.
- The beers served with the cheese platter can also be tasted during dessert. So the dessert, with four different beers in addition to the beer being used in the dessert itself, is a great way to end on a high.
Beery Christmas dinners: 4-5-6 courses
We have complied four, five and six-course dinner ideas together with different harmonising beers:
Which menu will you choose?
Four-course Christmas dinner
- Little Gem lettuce, anchovies and aioli - Jopen Life's A Beach Session IPA
- Black forest ham with melon - Jopen Hoppenbier
- Mashed potatoes, jugged hare, green beans and stewed pear - Gouden Carolus Classic and Rochefort 8
- Eggs in the Snow - Emelisse Barley Wine and Emelisse Vanille Ice Cream Stout
Five-course Christmas dinner
- Bruschetta, hummus, beetroot and yellow pepper cubes - Kompaan Thierry Sauvage
- Courgette soup with coconut cream and Chinese herbs - Gouverneur Dubbel
- White beer with scallops with samphire - Oedipus Swingers
- VPork tenderloin with apple and mashed potato - Bax Koud Vuur and Chimay Rood
- Salty baked pineapple with coconut ice cream - Troubadour Magma and Troubadour Westkust
Six-course Christmas dinner
- Chicory with blue cheese and balsamic pepper cubes - Breugem Kracht Hout
- Forest mushroom soup with chestnuts - Orval
- Cold veal roast beef with chervil and lime-mayonnaise - Oedipus Mannenliefde and VandeStreek Broeders
- Venison steaks, duchess potatoes and green beans - Steenbrugge Dubbel and Keizer Karel Robijn Rood
- Roquefort on rye bread - Troubadour Imperial Stout and Jopen Ongelovige Thomas
- Lime pie with a base of Barley Wine - Liefmans Goudenband and De Prael Barley Wine