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Winter Beer Tasting Party

Learn how to pair winter beers and foods just in time for your next winter beer tasting party.

Below you will find some of our favorite winter beer and food pairings, including a breakdown of a few typical and not-so-typical combinations like cheeses, main courses and even desserts.

Let us know what you think of the pairings in the comments below, or on any of our social media pages.  Feel free to share your own favorite winter beer and food pairings with us as well.  And remember, whether you’re pairing food and drink or just cooking for a crowd, learn the proper portion sizes by using everyday household items to compare portion sizes.

Take a tip from brewers across the globe by adding an international taste to your beer tasting party.  Learn how to host an around-the-world beer tasting party.

Winter Beer and Food Pairing #1:  The Indian Pale Ale.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, source

Beer we suggest:           Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Cheese pair:                   Parmesan
Main course pair:           Strong, spicy foods such as curry
Dessert to try:                 Ginger spice cake

The Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a clear, amber-colored, medium-bodied ale with a lot of hops.  It is 6.8 percent alcohol by volume and is both rich and robust in flavor.  As an Indian pale ale, the Celebration Ale goes great with spicy foods and desserts with a little kick to them.



parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese
ginger spice cake
Ginger spice cake






Winter Beer and Food Pairing #2:  The Imperial Stout.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Stone Imperial Russian Stout source

Beer we suggest:          Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Cheese pair:                  Roquefort
Main course pair:          Smoked game, such as goose
Dessert to try:                Chocolate mousse

The Russian Stout Beer is a black ale with a hint of coffee flavoring.  Its dark texture and rich flavor go great with smoked game, such as smoked goose or duck.  It also goes well with strong cheeses and rich desserts, so Roquefort and chocolate mousse are great pairing options.




Roquefort cheese
Roquefort cheese
smoked game
Smoked game
chocolate mousse
Chocolate mousse






Winter Beer and Food Pairing #3:  The Old Ale.

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale
Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale source

Beer we suggest:           Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale
Cheese pair:                   Brie
Main course pair:           Roast beef or lamb
Dessert to try:                 Cannoli

Samuel Smith is a very small English Brewery that was established back in 1758.  What the brewery lacks in size it makes up for in taste with the big flavor of its Welcome Ale.  The strength of this beer pairs well with softer tasting foods, which is why we pair it with brie cheese.  Hints of caramel and apples also make it a great candidate for your next roast beef dinner.




brie cheese
Brie cheese
roast lamb
Roasted lamb






Winter Beer and Food Pairing #4:  The Doppelbock.

Samichlaus source

Beer we suggest:           Samichlaus
Cheese pair:                   Limburger
Main course pair:           Roast duck, roast lamb or cured meats
Dessert to try:                 German chocolate cake

Samichlaus is one of the world’s strongest beers at a whopping fourteen percent alcohol by volume.  It is matured for over ten months before being bottled, and it can mature in a bottle for years after that before it’s sold.  Because of its heavier characteristics, Samichlaus should be served with very heavy cheeses and meals.  It also pairs exceptionally well with chocolate, which is why we recommend a German chocolate cake for dessert.



Limburger cheese
Limburger cheese
cured meats
Cured meats
german chocolate cake
German chocolate cake






Winter Beer and Food Pairing #5:  The Winter Lager.

Schlafly Christmas Ale
Schlafly Christmas Ale source

Beer we suggest:           Schlafly Christmas Ale
Cheese pair:                  Gouda
Main course pair:           Roast pork, smoked or grilled sausage
Dessert to try:                 Almond cake

The Schlafly Christmas Ale is a delightful Christmas beer with eight percent alcohol by volume.  The cardamom and clove-flavored beer is big-bodied and very cheerful, pairing well with a variety of meats, such as the recommendations above. It also complements nutty flavors, such as the almond cake we recommended for dessert.



gouda cheese
Gouda cheese
grilled sausage
Grilled sausage
almond cake
Almond cake






For those interested in something other than beer to serve at his or her winter or holiday party, try serving up one of the Top 18 Holiday Drink Recipes found here.

Holiday parties are nothing without a great theme.  Check out these 9 Unique Holiday Party Theme Ideas, perfect for your holiday party or your next winter gathering.


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