It seems a bit early to be thinking about Christmas. We’re only just putting away our Halloween costumes and cleaning our cider gear for storage, but now is the time to plan what beer we’ll be drinking for the christmas period. Better yet, give yourself a selection of these festive favourites.
Christmas is the time to bring out showstoppers both on the dinner table and in the brewery. It’s a special occasion and deserves a special beer. Imperial stouts are very versatile beers lending themselves well to a range of flavours. Add cacao nibs, coffee, ginger, vanilla, star anise, and whatever else your imagination can rustle up. It’s a strong beer so should keep the festivities going! Add some carafa for a cleaner chocolate flavour. It takes some time to condition, but with kveik yeast that conditioning time is cut down dramatically.
Think of the flavours of christmas: cinnamon, nutmeg, orange; mince pies and mulled wine. These flavours come naturally to a Belgian wit. Being a session strength, it’s easy to drink but complex in flavour, and will do well with added orange peel, herbs and spices to bring out those christmas flavours. Safale WB-06 is a great yeast for these flavours. Add a cinnamon stick in secondary for a more christmassy character.
When sitting down to eat the roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and the hundreds of other trimmings which adorn the christmas table, a best bitter will pair well. Malty, earthy, fruity, it compliments and contrasts lunch without overpowering the christmas taste. If it’s made to pair with dinner, a good balance of malt and old world hops will be the best sort of best bitter.
A truly decadent beer. Rich, strong in flavour and alcohol to the point a boozy taste is “on style”. Perhaps the most representative brew of the season. Huge malt flavours, dark fruits, spice and an alcoholic warmth, this sums up Christmas the most. With its high ABV it will keep you warm throughout the cold season! Ferment with Voss to add an earthy orange flavour and it will give the beer a unique character.
Ok, so this isn’t a Christmas beer, I know, but pilsners are great and go with anything. They’re a crowd pleaser and can pair with many foods. You can give one to your uncle with normcore tastes and “questionable” opinions on life no one asked for and he’ll enjoy it, and your hipster nephew who only drinks craft and looks down his nose at everyone will appreciate a full flavoured pils. Need one quickly? Try our pseudo lager kit.
Maybe you hate your guests and don’t want them drinking your homebrew. Brew a sour beer and watch their faces scrunch up. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, and for the family members who stray as far as London Pride and Punk IPA, tell them it’s a pilsner and see the fear in their eyes. It’s a delicious and varied style, and goes well with roast pork and apple sauce and strong cheeses.
West Coast IPA
More of a Chanukah beer really. If you’re lucky enough to celebrate this festival, you’ll probably eat your way through a mountain of donuts and latkes… for eight nights in a row! It’s customary to eat oily foods, and West Coast IPAs are great for cutting through grease. Their bold bitterness, sharp citrus and stone fruit flavours pair well with jam donuts and contrast with fried potato latkes. Browse our hop collection and start brewing yours.