Holiday Beer Pairings

People often drink to ease the holiday stress, but don't just drink any old crap with your holiday grub ... pair it with a brew handpicked by Gabriel Magliaro of Chicago's own Half Acre Brewery

Honey Baked Ham: Given the ham's sweet/salty/porky goodness, reach for a Saison that offers some crisp apple notes that will prove a solid sidekick to the swine, like a spider capable of writing nice things about him in her web, but with a much less tragic finish

Go for: KleinBrouwerij De Glazen Tore

Turkey: Turkey's finer flavor points are relatively subtle, so pick a traditional wheat beer with some slight spice notes but nothing too crazy, so as to not dominate the relatively meek qualities of the turkey, even if the turkey might want to be dominated. Naughty turkey

Sip: Allagash Whit

Beef tenderloin: Beef is bold and can stand up to some serious flavor, so grab an equally bold Imperial Stout, which often boast rich roasted, chocolate-y, smoky notes, which he'll eventually need back, because the dude somehow still hasn't memorized its whole "prevent forest fires" spiel

Pour: Half Acre's Big Hugs Imperial Stou

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy: The creamy, smooth, nutty experience of scarfing a properly gravy'd plate of mashed taters demands a beer with similar qualities often found in an English brown, which doubly appreciates the soft food because of teeth problems

Gulp: Avery Ellie's Brown Al

Latkes: The ubiquitous potato fritters have a relatively plain flavor profile, so nab a Belgian IPA whose strong, hoppy notes can give some gusto to the experience without being too overbearing on the latke (that's what its mom's for)

Try: Poperings Hommel Bie

Chinese Take Out: A clean German pilsner will offer subtle complexity and refreshment while allowing the big flavors emanating from your white cardboard container to be the main attraction, but hopefully not a fatal one, since Glenn Close is like eighty

Taste: Victory Prima Pil

Gingerbread: A black, smooth porter will create an effect similar to dipping your gingerbread in chocolate, kind of like eating fondue, except your girlfriend doesn't break up with you two weeks later even though your dropped like $57 at the Melting Pot

Crack Open: Otter Creek Stovepipe Porte

Christmas Cookies: Any self-respecting grandmother packs a range of flavors into her cookie offerings, so reach for a beer that hits a range of notes like cinnamon, clove, and other spices that will further expand your mind, but not in some kind of hippie way that might threaten grandma

Bust Out: Three Floyds Rabid Rabbit.