Tis the season to be jolly, merry and all those other happy adjectives – so we challenged the Isle of Wight’s oldest brewery, Goddards to help us get into the festive spirit with a different type of tipple to the traditional this year.
Beer plays a rather important role in the festivities. For many of us grown-up’s it is the only thing that gets us through the family feuds, the Eastenders omnibus and the new range of irritating toys all designed to annoy while perforating an eardrum or two!
When serving alcohol at Christmas it is important to choose something that enhances rather than overbears the flavour of the dish, and beer is no different. Christmas dinner is without a doubt one of the most important meals of the year and what you serve alongside it can help elevate your spread to legendary status.
Read on for our handy Christmas pairing guide:
Whether to have a starter or just go straight for the main course is a debate in itself, but here it would seem silly not to make the most of our proximity to the sea and go for a classic seafood starter. Try pairing Wight Squirrel with an impressive fish platter. Why not try a wide selection of locally caught fish? Maybe a trout pate, roast scallops or smoked salmon terrine, all which would sit nicely alongside the smooth caramel taste of Wight Squirrel. This is an easy-drinking russet bitter, hopped with Boadicea hand-picked from the Ventnor Botanic Garden.
Turkey is king of the table in most people’s homes on Christmas Day which goes very well with a glass of Scrum Diggity. This refreshing light golden ale plays a good supporting role to the fine flavours of the hearty lunch. The aroma of freshly rubbed hops will carry through to a satisfying aftertaste, perfectly sitting with the stuffing and gravy on your palate and plate. Most local farm shops will help you work out how much turkey you need to feed your hungry people, then all you need to worry about is how much beer you need!
Opinion-dividing as Brussels sprouts, is whether to serve up a traditional Christmas pudding, not to everyone’s taste, but quintessentially festive. To make the ideal pairing, serve up with Quarr Abbey Ale. Made using using locally grown coriander and sweet gale from the Abbey’s own allotments, the ale is made with English barley malt, hops and Isle of Wight water. The result is a full bodied fruity ale, with aromas of malted bread, spices and peppery hops with added hints of marzipan and sultanas.
Even when you are fit to burst, it’s amazing how much you can still squeeze in, especially when the cheese and biscuits make an appearance. The perfect food to tide you over until the cold meat buffet on Boxing Day, cheese boards are a central focus of any festive evening while a serious game of monopoly takes place. Why not serve it up with Ducks Folly, a traditional, strong English ale it has a complex sweetness alongside a spicy aroma.