For today I picked a classic holiday ale from Colorado’s Avery Brewing, one sure to help capture the spirit of the season: Old Jubilation Ale. Avery calls this an English Old Ale, but to my mind at 8.3% alcohol this is really approaching a Barleywine—a lovely sipping beer to enjoy by the hearth when the snow is falling outside.
Our winter strong ale has a gorgeous mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnuts, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts.
Food pairing: Old Jubilation Ale–most fittingly–is comfortable being sipped and quaffed alongside many large cuts of meat you typically find around the holidays. Roast duck, crown roast, rack of lamb, prime rib, herb- and honey-crusted chicken and all manner of gamebirds are great choices, as are seasonal soups made with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
I like their pairing suggestion of game birds—why not complete the Dickensian impression and pair Old Jubilation Ale with a Christmas goose?