It’s fair to say that booze is a key ingredient for many people throughout the festive season. But it’s a time for celebration, so don’t settle for second-rate tipples. We asked Krishan Rajput from specialist drinks shop Stirchley Wines & Spirits to take us through his top tips for the perfect beers to see you all the way through Christmas Day in style.
1 Breakfast: Deus Brut des Flandres (Belgium – Bière de Champagne ABV 11% 75cl, £18.49)
Begin the day in style with a champagne beer. Made in Belgium and finished in France using champagne production methods, it has the sweetness of a grape and the fruitiness of a dessert apple – it’s all about the bubbles on this one.
2 Appetiser: The Wild Beer Co – Epic Saison (UK – Saison ABV 5% 330ml, £2.55)
Something to fill the gap between breakfast and dinner, how about a farmhouse ale with a fusion of Belgian yeast and American hops, zesty, tangy, spicy? Something to lift your pre dinner munchies.
3 The Main Event: Hardknott – Queboid (UK – Strong Belgian Ale ABV 8% 330ml, £3.19)
A great accompaniment to your Christmas turkey, a big nod to Belgian brewing with a strong citrus nose with spicy, fruity banana and full on golden syrup flavour to a bitter sweet finish. It screams Christmas and deserves to be served with the main meal.
4 Dessert: Siren – Broken Dream (UK – Oatmeal Stout ABV 6.7% 330ml, £2.75)
Breakfast Stout with a gentle touch of smoke, chocolate and coffee, a perfect accompaniment to the Christmas pudding or a slice of chocolate cake.
5 Walk It Off: Liefmans – Glühkriek (Belgium – Fruit Beer ABV 6.5% 75cl, £6.49)
Something to warm you up after that post-Christmas dinner walk, a Belgian fruit beer flavoured with cherries, herbs and spices. Warmed and served at 70°C it’s a great alternative to mulled wine.
6 Stick A Fork In It, We’re Done: North Coast Brewing – Old Stock Ale 2014 (USA – Barley Wine ABV 11.8% 355ml, £5.75)
The perfect way to end the Christmas Day festivities, brewed with classic Maris Otter malt and Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops, it’s a proper boozy barley wine. Roll on Boxing Day!
You can find Stirchley Wines & Spirits at 1535/1537 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham. Visit www.stichleywines.co.uk or call 0121 459 9936 for opening hours and more information.