Craft Beer and the Holidays – A Perfect Pairing
Flying Dog Brewery ties together American craft beer flavors with traditional holiday foods
DENVER, CO – October, 2007 – Flying Dog Brewery is one of the many craft breweries participating in the national program called Craft Beer and Food for the Holidays. This free program organized by the Brewers Association, highlights the ways in which beer styles complement many traditional American holiday foods. The program delves into pairings such as ale with traditional American foods, a pairing frequently mentioned in reference to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. The website, www.beerandturkey.org, is for beverage and food lovers interested in complementary flavors at the holiday dinner table.
The web site was created in 2006 to encourage those hosting holiday celebrations to include craft beer in their holiday dinner menus. Of the 1,440 breweries in the U.S., just under 1,400 of them are craft brewers and Flying Dog Brewery is one of them. At www.beerandturkey.org is information for beer and food enthusiasts who want to learn “what to drink” and “how to serve” craft beer at their holiday meals. There is also a database of fellow craft breweries who have posted their holiday release beers and information on holiday dinners associated with the breweries.
Caramelized and toasted grain flavors in many beers complement the flavors of roast turkey while herbal hop additions pair nicely with popular holiday seasonings such as sage. Furthermore, the carbonation, fruitiness and balanced bitterness of many craft beers allow them to stand up to creamy, butter-rich preparations like mashed potatoes, creamed corn and similar fare.
Julia Herz, Director of Craft Beer Marketing for the Brewers Association stated, “Our country’s history is rich with stories of beer and food and craft beer picks up where wine leaves off. Many styles of beer both complement and contrast the food they are paired with, whereas wine mostly contrasts. The holiday dinner table is a very appropriate place for beer made from America’s small, independent and traditional brewers.”
Here are some suggestions listed on www.beerandturkey.org for beer styles to pair with various main courses:
- Traditional Roast Turkey: The roasted and caramelized skin matches well with a golden ale like Flying Dog’s Tire Bite.
- Ham: In-Heat Wheat’s taste profile is often reminds people of banana and clove notes and would be a perfect pairing with ham that is prepared with fruit and seasonings.
- Duck: Flying Dog’s Fall Seasonal, Dogtoberfest makes a perfect companion to the darker meat like duck which offers a richer flavor than turkey.
- Salmon: An amber lager like Old Scratch can offer a clean toasted malt note to offset the firm flavors of salmon without a lot of bitterness that would overwhelm the fish.
- Leg of Lamb: Pale ales like Doggie-style Classic Pale Ale provide a pleasant foil to lamb with a spicy or herbal character to complement the character of the meat along with some toasted malt notes. Or for more harmony with the roasted flavors of the meat, try Road Dog 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 Double Dog Double Pale Ale.