Christmas is a magic time. For many of us, however, it was vastly different compared to the past years. We were gathering in front of the computer displays for the online meetings rather than among family and friends, trying to catch the substitute of those special moments of Christmas festive togetherness.
This year has been special, and it deserved an exceptional, an alternative celebration too. How about Christmas beer? Let’s come back to the last week happy moments of Christmas…
Well, let me disappoint you: there is no Christmas beer as such… but, interestingly enough, the Christmas beer tradition exists in brewing. And here is the story: whether we talk about Weihnachtsbier in german-speaking countries, Christmas Beer in the UK, or Kerstbier in Belgium, they have one common denominator: a higher than usual percentage of alcohol, perfect for warming up during the long, winter evenings.
However, by studying their bouquets, you will find the whole palette of tastes. Weihnachtsbier is usually a lager, with a well-pronounced maltiness. The Kerstbier you will find mildly sweet, with a strong base, fruity and spicy aromas coming from the yeasts, and above all from added spices such as cardamon, ginger, or cinnamon.
Their special aromas and relatively high level of alcohol make them a perfect match with some rich in butter desserts of the Christmas tradition: Panettone, Pandoro, or the German Stolen.
Interestingly, their spaciness will also compose well with Swiss Christmas Güezzli: the anis taste of Anis-Chräbeli, spaciness of Zimsterne (“Cinnamon stars”), or cinnamon and almonds aroma of Basler Brunsli.
For those who are into more sophisticated tastes, British Christmas beers would be something interesting to explore. Their dark red color, often failing into brown, accompanied with a malty and toffee flavor, enriched by black tea coming from the classic British hops from the Kent area are perfect proposition for traditional British Christmas pudding, or great promise of indulgence when paired with Enganider Torte, the Swiss nut tarte with a caramel and walnut filling.
This year was special, hard, harsh, and testing, but don’t let it be less magic. Relax, taste, and enjoy. Discover the magic of Christmas again, sipping your favorite beer, inhaling the scent of spruce and Christmas delicacies. Maybe this evening, when you will be welcoming New Year, with the hope of it being better than the one we are going to farewell tonight.