The winter holiday season is here! Snow is falling, jingle bells are ringing, candles are being lit and holiday shoppers are flooding the stores. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the season, or you just want to relax after a long day of crossing people off your gift list, these festive food and beer pairings will help you make merry well into the new year!

Here are a few of our favorite combinations for your December celebrations — and you can buy all of these PicoPaks on BrewMarketplace, and craft these pairings at home whenever you want!

Haven’t yet hopped on the homebrewing train? Learn more about the Pico Model C, which allows you to easily create any of beers listed here using your own machine. Happy holidays!

English Barleywine + Bread Pudding

The big, bold and complex character of barleywine demands the richest and most satisfying dessert. We combined a couple of classics from across the pond for a jolly good holiday pairing: bread pudding and Wuldor UK Barleywine by Walhalla Craft Beer.

Brewed with traditional English crystal and amber malts, this barleywine boasts a rich palate of toffee, walnut and marmalade. Its barrel-aged, full bodied character and alcohol-sweetness both enhances and balances the creamy, carb-filled, caramel-and-vanilla kissed pudding. Spend Christmas in London without leaving home!

 

Belgian Blonde Ale + Latkes

Belgian beer and fries is as classic a combination as latkes and sour cream (or applesauce; wherever you fall in the debate). So we thought a Belgian blonde ale was a natural fit for latkes at your Hannukah table.

We paired the Bolderiaan Belgian Pale Ale by Columbus Beer & Liquor — a Belgian Blonde-Hybrid Ale, name notwithstanding — with our crispy, fried potato cakes. The result is a well-matched interplay between the beer’s robust ABV and medium body; bright, fruity Belgian yeast; and mildly spicy hops, contrasted with the earthy, salty, savory latkes and their crunchy-soft texture.

 

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy + English Brown Ale

Mashed potatoes are a holiday classic, and they meet their match in an English Brown Ale, such as the Upslope Brewing Company Brown Ale we used in our pairing. Brewed in the traditional English style with an American hop twist, the brew is rich and malty, enhancing the decadently savory character of the gravy. And it ends with a smooth, dry finish that is a perfect foil for the buttery, starchy potatoes, so you’ll feel refreshed no matter how high you’ve piled your plate.

 

Green Bean Casserole + Amber Ale

The holiday classic, green bean casserole, brings a complex array of flavors to the table — but the all-purpose Amber Ale is well-rounded enough to meet this pairing challenge. We used the multi-award-winning Anker Beard Amber by Großen Bart Brewery in our pairing.

Caramel and toasted malts with a balanced bitterness complement the savory, meaty character of the mushrooms and green beans. The creamy, rich nature of the dish and the heaviness of the fried-onion topping is cut by the beer’s bright, citrusy hops. And this brew’s smooth mouthfeel and toasty grains enhance and complement the mixture of fresh, crisp, decadent and cozy textures and tastes, taking this festive staple to the next level.