Beyond Turkey: Beer Pairings for 5 Holiday Roasts

Beyond Turkey: Beer Pairings for 5 Holiday Roasts

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Casey Barber
Dec 11, 2014
(Image credit: Casey Barber)

Thanksgiving is behind us, and we're all looking forward to a whole new round of December food traditions: gingerbread and sugar cookies, cocoa laced with peppermint, more Chex Mix than a human should reasonably be able to inhale, and the crowning achievement of a full-on holiday roast dinner. You know, the kind that makes you want to bust out the good china and polished silver, even if you don't own any.

And while I'll never say no to a glass of sparkling wine to get me in the festive spirit, I gotta ask—why shouldn't the holiday table have room for beer as well? No matter what variety of roast beast you're planning on serving this holiday season, there's a brew to match. This time around, I've enlisted the help of Amy Gutierrez, a fellow Cicerone Certified Beer Server and Beer Category Manager for BevMo!, to give me some of her picks.

(Image credit: Casey Barber)

Beer Pairings for 5 Holiday Roasts

Fire up the oven, grab the bottle opener, and pour one of these beers with your holiday roast:

Beef Tenderloin

A rich and roasty doppelbock, like the Doppel Bock Ultimator from Sudwerk Brewery, can stand alongside the pure beefy flavor of a tenderloin without fading into the background. Despite its dark color, it's a smooth and refreshing pour, with undertones of fig and raisin that complement the mineral tang of beef jus or gravy.

Turkey

If you want to mix things up beyond my Thanksgiving turkey pairings, try Gutierrez' recommendation of a classic German hefeweizen, like Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier — from the oldest existing brewery in the world! The delicate banana and clove notes coming from the traditional hefeweizen yeasts, coupled with the light, bready malts, won't overpower the turkey.

Crown Roast of Pork

"Pork and North Coast's Brother Thelonious are a great match," Gutierrez says. This Belgian Abbey-style ale has tons of maltiness and body that pairs with the leaner pork loin. "Brother is a great pork-braising liquid as well," she adds — something to keep in mind when looking for hearty meals for the months ahead.

Ham

Crispy, salty, fatty, and sweet — a ham has a diverse and insanely delicious flavor profile. Cover all your bases with a spiced witbier-style brew like Avery Brewing's White Rascal. It's light and crisp, with a backbone of coriander and a slight whiff of hoppiness. Whether your ham is glazed, smoked, or just baked, it'll balance it out.

Rack of Lamb

Tangerine Wheat from Lost Coast Brewery is Gutierrez' choice for matching the mild, slightly gamey taste of lamb. She loves the subtle pairing of the unfiltered wheat beer with the pop of flavor from tangerine extract. "There's a bit of palate cleansing as well, with the citrus and slight acidic profile of the beer," she notes.

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