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You love your Grandma. You crave the ham. No one feels the need to justify why there are so many pies. Still, there are a number of connoisseurs and novice fans alike who understand that Christmas dinner and the festive spirit requires drinking a healthy selection of beer. Delicious, flavorful beer. No one’s knocking the Burgundy. But Christmas dinner is the stuff beer pairings are made of. To that end, I connected with Mina Holliday, the “raconteur of refreshment” at West Midtown’s Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, for her take on bringing perfect pairings to your dining table.
For many people, myself included, beer is an acquired taste. Compared with wine, whose familiar fruitiness caresses the palate, beer brings bitterness to the forefront. As a child in Paris, I was occasionally given beer diluted with carbonated lemonade while the adults around me drank thin Alsatian drafts I thought were just awful. Known in England as shandy, in Spain as clara, and in Germany as radler, beer cut with citrus-flavored soda is something I still love. Snakebite is a strong variation made of hard cider and beer in equal proportions that most respectable bars (including Manuel’s Tavern in Poncey-Highland) will pour into a tall pint glass for me.