Skip to main content

Galveston Monthly

Holiday Beer & Food

Oct 31, 2019 10:54PM

Holiday Beer & Food Pairings by Style

The holiday season is practically here, and before you know it the FA-LA-LA’s will start and Thanksgiving will be a recent memory as we roll into the New Year. Pair your favorite traditional and signature Thanksgiving foods with the right beer to soak up all of the flavors of the holiday season.

Not sure where to start? Start with your favorite beer (listed below by category) and find the perfect holiday food pairings. There is something for everyone!

 Lagers/ Bohemian Pilsners – “Clean & Crisp”

Lagers and Pilsners will forever remain light on the palate, but can complement the likes of nearly any food on the spectrum. Bring the heat with any of your favorite spicy dishes, or stick to a grain diet while pairing with wild rice, creamy risotto, and polenta over the holidays.

And you heard it here first, Stella Artois® has announced its first-ever limited-edition holiday beer called Midnight Lager, and it’s dark, delicious, and perfect for the festive season.


Other Brands to Pair:

Stella Artois - lamb, lobster, and shellfish

Stella Artois Midnight Lager - rich meats like pork roast, brisket, or grilled steak

Budweiser - roasted chicken, hamburgers, and spicy dishes

Modelo Especial - chicken, seafood, hamburgers and spicy cuisine

Michelob ULTRA - light foods like ceasar salad, chicken, and seafood


Hefeweizen/Saison - “Malty, Sweet, & Spicy”

Let the yeast do the talking while enjoying Hefeweizens and Saisons with beans and legumes. The yeast forward beers like Paulaner Hefeweizen and 8th Wonder Weisstheimer balance out the salt and acidity while adding a layer of richness.

If shellfish is on the menu, and why wouldn’t it be along the Texas Gulf Coast, stick with local favorite Galveston Island Brewing Tiki Wheat. Tiki & Tails make the best memories on island time.


Other Brands to Pair:

Saint Arnold Daydream – brie cheese, grilled red meats, Asian/Middle-Eastern dishes, and anything with garlic and herbs

Franziskaner Weissbier -  smoked salmon, fried fish, fall veggies, and light fresh cheeses


 Amber/Bock/Marzen – “Balanced & Toasty”

These styles truly highlight the roasted character of any dish. Beef short ribs and pork shoulder are not only perfect pairings, they are easily prepared in your slow cooker. Plan to prep the night before, turn it on low, and enjoy a few extra brews before the family shows up.

 Other Brands to Pair:

Karbach Crawford Bock

Saint Arnold Guten Tag


Saint Arnold Amber

 Pale Ale/ IPA – “Hop Forward Beers” 

 Other Brands to Pair: Grab a Karbach Rodeo Clown or Saint Arnold Elissa to expand your taste buds. If hop forward and bright is more up your alley, be sure to have a sixer of Saint Arnold Art Car or Galveston Island Brewing Citra Mellow in the fridge for that deep fried turkey, blue cheese salad, pork belly, or anything off the grill. For our bold and ambitious Hop Heads, Thanksgiving wouldn’t make sense without having an IPA or something hoppy in their hands. From bright pale ales to the maltier Imperial Double IPAs, there is a beer to compliment nearly any dish. The balance of malt and hops pairs great with the rich and savory flavors of turkey, stuffing, and seafood.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – mac & cheese, rice dressing, boudin balls

Karbach Light Circus – ceviche, mango-habanero glazed pork loin, pepper crusted tuna

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing – roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and grilled veggies

 Porter/Stout – “Dark, Sweet, & Roasty”

 These beers can be a dessert on their own and are perfect to polish off that holiday feast! Stouts and porters cut through and balance strong flavors for a complex finish for even the richest desserts.

And let's not forget, 8th Wonder Rocket Fuel or Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout are great substitutes for an after dinner cup of coffee.

 Other Brands to Pair:

Sierra Nevada Narwhal – chocolate mousse, short ribs, and raspberry cheesecake

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter - barbecue and particularly beef, grilled and smoked meats. Also buttery cheeses such as brie, gouda, havarti and swiss. Chocolate desserts will stand out the most.

Galveston Island Brewing Pit Pat Peanut Butter Porter – pizza, grilled meats, curry, baked apples and chocolate desserts