A little holiday cheer to spruce up your beer

AHHHHH the holidays! It is the time of year where many brewers and drinkers a-like are seeking to either brew and or imbibe beers favored with all manner or seasonably appropriate ingredients. So, what happens if you want to drink a beer flavored with a Holiday edge, but you missed the boat on brewing that “cinnamon amber” or that “S’mores stout”? Do not worry, the bartender in me has you covered. These tips are also a great way to incorporate a food tasting element into your experience, or that of your party guests! Today I am sharing with you some of my favorite ways to garnish your beer, once it is already in your glass!

Below are a few fun and easy holiday additions you can make to your beer/glass at serving time:

Rimmed Pint Glasses:

One of the easiest things you can do to spruce up a beer, is to serve it in an appropriately rimmed glass, not only is it very simple to do, but the possibilities for options are also nearly unlimited. Try these fun combinations, just to see what you think! Small, rimmed, plastic serving cups also make a fun and impressive looking way to share several samples of beer with your holiday party guests.

Chocolate candy cane rim: Add a drizzle of chocolate syrup to the rim of your beer glass. Next, hold your beer glass sideways and spoon crushed candy canes, generously over the rim of your glass so that the candy bits stick to the chocolate. I find this combination pairs best with a good stout, or porter. Top it with whip cream for a little something “extra”.

Graham cracker rim: You may have seen this one before! Tray rimming your glass with chocolate or strawberry syrup and then dip or sprinkle your rim with crushed graham cracker! This is another great one for those dark winter brews and dessert beers!

Cinnamon sugar rim: This one always reminds me of eating delicious cinnamon toast as a kid! I love to drizzle the glass with a bit of honey and dip the glass in a mixture of cinnamon and raw sugar. This rim lends itself well to porters and stouts but it’s delicious with a biscuity amber too!

Garnishes and Toppings: A quick garnish or topping is a nice way to add some festive cheer to that beer! Plus, it is a good way to add a pairing element to your beer drinking experience…. Who does not like a beer AND a snack? Here are a couple of suggestions to get you off the ground!

Toasted marshmallows on a toothpick: Pair this one with a chocolate and graham cracker rim, and you have got yourself the perfect garnish for a “s’mores” stout. You will end enjoy taking a chomp of toasty, melty, marshmallows between sips!

Donut holes: I love garnishing beer glasses with these! They are inexpensive and come in many flavors. Make a small cut with a knife and slip the donut right onto the rim of the glass…. BOOM, instant pairing! Who needs lime wedges when you have bite-sized donuts?

Whipped Cream: A generous heap of whip cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa Makes a wonderful topping for a large variety of beers!

Now you may be rolling your eyes at me right now…. “Ashley, how could you?” Well friend, tis the season to break some my “purity” rules when it comes to drinking beer. Sometimes you just got to, kick off your shoes, and have some fun! The rules will still be there when you’re done!

NOW, go forward Holiday drinkers, AND BE MERRY!