For many of us, beer is usually guzzled out of a red plastic cup on Saturday nights. Flat, tasteless and warm with the faint remnants of dirty pingpong balls. Well, no more! Beer is going upscale for the holidays. Grab a brew (or two) from the lists below to make the holidays merry and bright.
- Cleetus Friedman – Chef/Owner of City Provisions (1818 West Wilson Ave.)
- Jill Sites – Co-owner/Ambassador of Everything of Greenbush Brewing
- Nick Barron – Head brewer at Flossmoor Brewing (1035 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor IL)
Pairing with appetizers: Look for a light beer (that’s light in color, not calories, my friends) with a medium body, since a heavier beer will leave drinkers too full for dinner.
- Over Ale (Half Acre): a light ale that can carry you from salad all the way through supper. (Good in barbeque sauce, too!)
- Krankshaft Kölch (Metropolitan Brewing): bubbly and lemony this beer can be sipped slowly along with a simple winter salad.
- Robert the Bruce (Three Floyds) & Harvest Ale (Founders Brewing): intensely hoppy beers that can stand up to the flavors of blue or goat’s milk cheese.
Pairing with entrées: Whether drinking or cooking with these beers, their warming spices or full bodies can complement or contrast heartier winter dishes.
- Fistmas Ale (Revolution Brewing): your secret weapon for braising meats. Pour a bottle of this over a roast or a cut of pork, cover with tinfoil, and let the beer do the rest.
- Apathy (Greenbush Brewing): An oatmeal stout with roasted coffee and toffee notes and thicker body that warms the soul. It goes well with sausage or sweet potatoes and rounds out a spicy dish.
- 5 Vulture (5 Rabbit Cerveceria): Brewed with ancho chiles that provide a spicy finish to cut through heavy stews.
Pairing with dessert: As an after dinner drink or a dessert in itself, finish a meal with these heavy, darker beers.
- Double Cream Stout (Bell’s): dairy free but incredibly creamy, this stout is a perfect choice for a beer float.
- Pullman Brown Ale (Flossmoor Station): brewed with molasses, the sweet, roasty quality of this beer acts as an alcoholic substitute to coffee with dessert.
- Delusion (Greenbush Brewing): aged in whiskey barrels, this imperial stout hints at a fine glass of brandy or scotch at the end of a meal.