Holiday Beer and Food Pairings

Holiday Beer and Food Pairings

The holiday season is officially here, and before you know it the FA-LA-LA’s will start and Thanksgiving will be a recent memory as we roll into the New year. Pair your favorite traditional and signature Thanksgiving foods with the right beer to soak up all of the flavors of the holiday season. Not sure where to start? Start with your favorite beer (listed below by category) and find the perfect holiday food pairings. There is something for everyone!

Lagers and Pilsners will forever remain light on the palate, but can complement the likes of nearly any food on the spectrum. Bring the heat with any of your favorite spicy dishes, or stick to a grain diet while pairing with wild rice, creamy risotto, and polenta over the holidays.

Let the yeast do the talking while Hefeweizens and Saisons with beans & legumes. The yeast forward beers like Paulaner Hefeweizen and 8th Wonder Weisstheimer balance out the salt and acidity while adding a layer of richness. If shellfish is on the menu, and why wouldn’t it be along the Texas Gulf Coast, stick with local favorite Galveston Island Brewing Tiki Wheat. Tiki & Tails make the best memories on island time.
Other Brands to Pair:
Saint Arnold Daydream – brie cheese, grilled red meats, Asian/Middle-Eastern dishes, and anything with garlic and herbs
Franziskaner Weissbier –  smoked salmon, fried fish, fall veggies, and light fresh cheeses

These styles truly highlight the roasted character of any dish.  Beef short rib and pork shoulder are not only perfect pairings, they are easily prepared in your crockpot. Plan to prep the night before, turn it on low, and enjoy a few extra brews before the family shows up.
Other Brands to Pair:
Karbach Crawford Bock
Saint Arnold Guten Tag

For our bold and ambitious Hop Heads, Thanksgiving wouldn’t make sense without having an IPA or something hoppy focus in their hands. From bright Pale Ales to the maltier Imperial Double IPAs, there is a beer to compliment nearly any dish. The balance of malt and hops pairs great with the rich and savory flavors of turkey, stuffing, and seafood.  Grab a Karbach Rodeo Clown or Saint Arnold Elissa to expand your taste buds.  If hop forward and bright is more up your alley, be sure to have a sixer of Saint Arnold Art Car or Galveston Island Brewing Citra Mellow in the fridge for that deep fried turkey, blue cheese salad, pork belly, or anything off the grill.
Other Brands to Pair:
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – mac & cheese, rice dressing, boudain balls
Karbach Light Circus – ceviche, mango-habanero glazed pork loin, pepper crusted tuna
Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing – roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and grilled veggies

These beers can be a dessert on their own and are perfect to polish off that holiday feast! Stouts and porters cut through and balance strong flavors and allos for a complex finish for even the richest desserts. Not to mention, 8th Wonder Rocket Fuel or Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout are great substitutes for an after dinner cup of coffee.
Other Brands to Pair:
Sierra Nevada Narwhal – chocolate mousse, short ribs, and raspberry cheesecake
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter – barbecue and particularly beef, grilled and smoked meats.  Also buttery cheeses such as Brie, Gouda, Havarti and Swiss. Chocolate desserts will stand out the most.
Galveston Island Brewing Pit Pat Peanut Butter Porter – pizza, grilled meats, curry, baked apples and chocolate desserts

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