Christmas 

Beer deserves its place at the Chritmas dinner table 

Aperitif


Before we start gobbling turkey, how about an aperitif? The beer needs to be dry, bubbly and blonde, Lagers and blonde and golden ales offer a range of flavours from herbal, pine and bready to spicy, citrus and tropical fruit. 

Starters

For your festive fish and seafood you’re spoilt for choice. Wheat beers, Belgian witbiers particularly, are extremely adept at bringing out the best in fish. Often brewed with coriander and orange peel they’re spritzy, citrusy and perfectly complement any fish that’s enhanced with a squeeze of lemon, such as salmon. Lagers, like wheat beers, do a fine job of complementing delicate flavours and their effervescence will cut through any oily fish and cleanse the palate, leaving your mouth ready for the next bite.

If you have lobster ined up, well played. Again lagers and wheat beers are your friend here. The gentle hop bitterness and prickly carbonation of German pilsners refresh the mouth while the sour, spicy and creamy character of weissbiers will accompany your Christmas crustacean very well indeed. Talking of crustaceans, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without doing so, try prawns with a big Belgian beer such as Duvel. Brewed with Pilsner malts this intense, fruity, floral and sweet beer could be the best Christmas present prawns have ever received.

Main 

It’s turkey time, so which beer? Turkey’s soft, easy flavours make great partners for sweet milds, gentle bitters and lagers. Any beer with too much hop power (eg. IPAs) would be too big and blow the turkey apart. So keep it mellow and go for something with bittersweet balance. Saisons are also a very good option. Their herbal, spicy and tart notes complementing but not overwhelming the meat. The spiciness scores a direct hit with the stuffing while their sweetness will contrast the bitterness of brussel sprouts (my total fab) Finally along comes sparkly carbonation and a subtle peppery bitterness, which will cut through the fatty textures and sweep the palate clean. Well done saisons.

If goose is the family festive favourite a Trappist or Abbey beer has the necessary oomph to complement this more gamey bird. Often served with bigger flavoured accompaniments such as chestnuts and red cabbage all are handled and complemented beautifully by these fruity, full flavoured beers.

If duck is your choice it just has to be a glass of Kwak, a Belgian strong lager. View that one as your very own Christmas cracker joke pairing.

Dessert and cheese

Christmas day desserts can vary from house-to-house but the overwhelming favourite is Christmas pudding Frontier wood be perfect, Barley wines are also worth an outing. Not forgetting mince pies, where again the warm, complex, sweet and spicy qualities of strong lagers will complement these crumbly Christmas classics.

Drinking games 

With Christmas soon upon us it’s the time of year to see all your friends and family, and what better way to have fun but with a few drinking games with you fav tipple, So grab all your fav people and get playing x🍺

Questions

                                                                
Questions is sort of like Truth or Dare but without the dare. Each player takes a turn being the questioner. The questioner addresses another player by name and poses a yes/no question, which he/she must answer without hesitation. The answerer then becomes the questioner and must ask another player a question immediately. Repeating questions are not allowed. Laughing before answering or asking is not allowed. Any violation of these rules is punished, obviously, with drinking. 

Questions gets pretty silly very fast. If you ask the right questions, it can be a very interesting way to get to know new people.

I Never

I Never is a great game to play with good friends. So you can embarrass them. 

Each player takes turns making a true statement in the form of“I’ve never…” For example, if you’ve never been to France, you’d say, “I’ve never been to Paris.” Anyone at the table who has been to Paris then must drink

Naturally, when I play this game with my friends, we don’t make statements about vacations. Rather, we prefer to say“I’ve never done [embarrassing thing that someone else there has done].” Like most drinking games, it all gets a lot more fun as the game gets drunker.

Tools needed: alcohol, a sordid past

Thumper
                                                                                      
This is a fun game for the theatrically inclined. Each player chooses a gesture to represent his/herself over the course of the game. 

The first player performs her own gesture and then signals another player by performing his gesture. That next player must respond by repeating his own gesture, then signalling another player, and so on. If anyone hesitates or fails to respond or recall a gesture, they must drink.

FUBAR

Fubar is a simple card game that integrates Questions and I Never. Its good for a big group of people. Its more fun with good friends, but it can also work as a getting-to-know you game. There are no rules except for following the commands that correspond to each card:

Ace: Take one drink

2: Take two

3: Take three

4: Questions (see Game #3)

5: Make five players of your choosing take a drink

6: I Never

7: Master of the Thumb wars

8: Categories. The first person provides a category and then everyone else must give an example. e.g. Drinking games: Quarters, Flip Cup, I Never and so on.

9: Busta Rhyme – Everyone must give a word that rhymes with yours. e.g. drink, think, pink.

10: Social – Everyone drinks

Jack: Guys drink

Queen: Girls drink

King: Waterfall. As soon as the first player begins to chug their drink, the second must follow him, and so on. All players continue drinking until the player previous to them stops drinking. If the first player is a big drinker, this can be quite a difficult card.

High or Low

High or Low is played with a full deck of cards. The first player is dealt a card and has to guess whether its high or low. If correct, he guesses again. After taking at least three cards, the player may choose to pass or keep guessing. When a player guesses incorrectly, he takes a drink for each card showing and his turn ends. The idea is to build up a lot of cards and then pass them onto the next player. 

Flip,sip or strip

Flip, Sip or Strip is the kind of game you could really play anywhere—as long as it’s warm. 

Each player takes turns flipping a coin and calling heads or tails in the air. If you guess correctly, pass the coin to your right. If you guess wrong, you must pass the coin to your left and either remove one article of clothing or take a shot.

Think you can get away with just drinking instead of stripping down to your skivvies? Not so fast, buddy. Choosing the same option two times in a row is against the rules. Bottoms up—and out!

Coins

Players take turns attempting to bounce a large coin into a shallow glass. If you succeed, you can make any other player have a drink, and then take another turn. If you succeed three times in a row, you can make a rule. Anyone who violates the rule is punished with—you guessed it, folks!—drinking. 

 Flip Cup

Flip Cup is a fairly simple game, but it does require some skill. You may not be great at it your first time, but with a little persistence and a lot of alcohol you’ll surely improve. 

Divide the party into teams of four or five. Everyone sets a cup of beer on the table (Note: If you play with liquor, you will surely puke) and races to chug their beer and then flip the empty cup from the edge of the table into an upside down standing position. First team to flip all their cups wins.

Tools needed: plastic cups, beer, a table