One of the cool byproducts of craft beer’s popularity these days is that more people are recognizing that it’s just as varied and versatile as wine. Christmas entertaining is a prime opportunity to upgrade the selection in your basement beer fridge and to buy a fancy bottle for the dinner table, too.
For a crowd-pleasing local choice that will win over Bud or Coors Light drinkers wary of something different, reach for Edmonton’s own Yellowhead Premium Lager. Approachable doesn’t have to mean boring, and Yellowhead is an easy-drinking lager with a bready malt profile, mildly spicy hops and a clean finish.
Class up Christmas dinner with Avec Les Bon Voeux from Belgium’s Brasserie Dupont. Originally made as a Yuletide gift for brewery employees, this strong golden ale bursts with bright lemon and orange, with spritzy carbonation and a dry finish. The brewery recommends it as an aperitif, but it also wouldn’t be out of place alongside wine as a pairing option with your turkey.
Tourtire – a spiced French-Canadian meat pie – is a Christmas tradition in my family. My twist on the ritual is to pair it with St. Bernardus Abt 12, a strong dark Belgian ale whose dark fruit and raisin notes are a heavenly match with the pie’s cinnamon and allspice seasoning.
For chocolatey desserts or an indulgent nightcap, the Cherry Porter from Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery is hard to beat. Ripe B.C. cherries in this perennial Christmas favourite are a natural fit with the chocolate and coffee flavours from the dark malts used in porters.