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Impress Guests During the Holidays with Three Easy Dishes Perfectly Paired with Beer

Impress Guests During the Holidays with Three Easy Dishes Perfectly Paired with Beer

The holidays can be a bit on the stressful side due to the ordeal of finding gifts for everyone in your life, extreme outdoor decorating as well as visiting numerous parties. This article won’t do you much good with the first two priorities, but it should help keep you cool, calm and collected with delectable beer and food pairings for any upcoming party or family gathering.

There is nothing quite like an evening gathering of family and friends during the holiday season with an array of various holiday treats and dishes surrounding your guests. Sounds of laughter fill the air, clinking glasses echo throughout your home, and joyous shouts of “Happy Holidays" reverberate in the hallways. Aromas of freshly baked cookies and the latest locally released holiday brews help warm the heart and provide you and your guests with ear-to-ear smiles -- all while snuggled up by a cozy fire, listening to the endless tales from last year and beyond.

All of this excitement, of course, presents guests with the opportunity to provide the best-quality foods and brews to help make the season merry and bright. Read on to explore a few options to bring to a holiday party with notable beer accompaniments.


king crab tartlets served

Appetizer: King Crab Tartlet

No need for your party guests to get crabby when they first arrive, well, unless they want to! These crab tartlets are sure to help get the party started right while providing plenty of flavor to entice the palates and make the evening merry and bright. This is a rather simple dish that is quick and easy to prepare prior to the arrival of your guests with little mess or stress.

  • 2 (12-ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (6-ounce) can crab meat, drained
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Pinch of paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease 12 tartlet pans (suggest using olive oil). Divide rolls in half while pressing them into the prepared tartlet pans. Set aside. Grab a large bowl and combine cream cheese, crab, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, green onions and Worcestershire sauce. Scoop up 1 teaspoon of mixture into tarts and dash it with paprika. Bake at 375 degrees F° for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. These freeze wonderfully. Just reheat before serving.

Pair these little crabby guys with Oxbow Brewing’s lobster-infused Saison Dell’Aragosta for an enhancement on the crustacean side of things, or pair them with Stone Brewing’s Delicious IPA to help bring out the tang.

stone brewing delicious ipa


perfect roast beef on a cutting board

Appetizer or Main Course: Perfect Roast Beef

If you’re really seeking to impress your family and friends attending the party, then get ready to roast! This is a surprisingly simple yet scrumptiously perfect main course to get attendees to loosen up and relax a little during the holiday season. A top sirloin roast or top round roast would be the best picks in terms of meat.

  • 1 (4-lb.) round roast
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a small bowl and put in a combination of oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper, then proceed to rub it all over the roast. Place roast in roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack, and then roast for 15 minutes while reducing heat to 325°, then roast for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes for medium or 2 hours for medium-well. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

An exceptional beer pairing would be Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Smoked Porter or Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Indian Brown. You could also add the latter into the roasting pan during the cooking process to add a boozy addition, heightening the holiday cheer of your event.

alaskan brewing smoked porter

Roast Beef Image Courtesy Flickr/Marco Verch Professional Photographer


brown sugar pound cake in pan

Dessert: Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Add this savory and sweet dessert to your menu to help impress any partygoer or family member. This treat is sure to make everyone’s holiday spirit manifest itself to the fullest extent.

  • 1½  cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

GLAZE:

  • 3 tbsp.unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. half-and-half cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan, and then cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 5-7 minutes. Proceed by adding 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Grab another bowl and add whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating after each addition just until combined. Transfer contents to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 55-65 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine butter and pecans in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is light golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir into powdered sugar and add vanilla, salt and enough cream to reach a drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over cake while allowing some to drip down sides. Let stand until set.

Pair this dish with Monday Night Drafty Kilt to help enhance the dessert’s brown sugar component, or go with Left Hand Brewing’s Nitro Milk Stout to help cut down on the sweetness while enhancing the smooth qualities of the pound cake and add a bit of a bolder flavor.

left hand milk stout nitro cans outdoors

Cake Image Courtesy Flickr/Erin


These seasonal beers and foods to take to an upcoming holiday party are sure to warm the heart and bring out the holiday spirit within each guest that attends. Grab your chef’s hat and gather your ingredients and beers, and be ready to cook and sip all while listening to your favorite holiday music, with a seasonal movie on in the background, all beside a roaring fire in the fireplace.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!