Saturday, September 29, 2007

Craft Beers and the Upcoming Holidays

Hey -- it's OK to drink beer with traditional holiday food.

You just have to know the right pairings.

The Brewers Association offers these suggestions at its holiday beer site,
http://www.beerandturkey.com/:

Traditional Roast Turkey: The roasted and caramelized skin matches well with amber ale, a strong golden ale or an amber lager in the Vienna style.

Smoked Turkey: If your local brewery offers a smoked beer, that can serve as a complement to smoked turkey as well. Look for a porter, Scotch ale or amber ale in the smoked style.

Cajun Turkey: Celebrated beer writer and New Mexico resident Stan Hieronymus suggests a malty IPA to go with his favorite
Cajun turkey recipe. For a malty alternative that will stand up to the heat, try a dark bock or strong Scotch ale.

Ham: Like the fruit and cloves often used to prepare ham, the fruity, clove notes in weizen or the stronger weizenbock compliment ham at the dinner table.

Duck: The darker meat of duck offers a richer flavor than turkey and can stand up to a richer beer as well. Here a Belgian-inspired dubbel or a hearty Oktoberfest lager would go well.

Goose: Here too a richer beer than you would choose for turkey is in order. A Belgian-style triple or biere de garde would work well or maybe a bock or Scotch ale.

Salmon: A dunkel lager or Scottish ale can offer a clean toasted malt note to offset the firm flavors of salmon without a lot of bitterness that would overwhelm the fish. Other options would include a mild ale or steam beer.

Leg of Lamb: Pale ales provide a pleasant foil to lamb with spicy or herbal character to compliment the character of the meat along with some toasted malt notes. Or for more harmony with the roasted flavors of the meat, try a hoppy brown ale or porter.

Beef Tenderloin: This rich hearty cut of meat deserves a robust beer as a counterpoint but also calls for some contrast to clear the palate between bites. The ideal companion would seem to be an IPA or Imperial IPA. Other options might include a tripel or old ale.

Source: Brewers Association

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