12 holiday recipes for beer lovers

A handled bamboo board holds a dozen Mint Candy Cane & Porter Brownies. They’re served with mini candy canes and pints of malty porter for a holiday treat.

Planning your holiday menu doesn’t need to be stressful. Here are 12 beer-forward recipes for festive drinks, mains, side dishes and desserts

Slow Cooker Ale-Braised Corn Beef

When you set the table for this cozy holiday meal, skip the knives — the juicy corned beef and veg are totally fork-tender. American pale ale is the secret to this amazing texture, and it gives the robust, spice-infused sauce a kick. While it sounds similar, India pale ale isn’t a good substitute — the extra helping of hops will make the sauce bitter. Hang on to the latter variety for sipping.

A green plate holds tender corn beef surrounded by cooked carrots and potatoes. There are a few glasses of beer, a plate of Brussels sprouts, a salad and a bowl with horseradish sauce.

Honey & Ale Glazed Ham

This is the recipe you need to ensure a chill but totally delicious holiday spread. This honey and Scotch ale–glazed ham requires a few minutes of dead-easy prep that rewards you with a sticky-sweet coating and tender, crackly edged slices of meat.

A big cooked, sliced ham sits on top of a cutting board.

Pilsner-Braised Turkey

Juicy and tender, these turkey pieces are simpler to cook than a whole bird. Braising the breasts and legs in the same pot — but for different lengths of time — brings out the best in each cut and ensures they stay moist and delicious. The optional gravy is a little more work, but it’s worth it for your holiday feast.

Browned turkey in a gravy or broth with potatoes, celery, looks and fresh rosemary and thyme. To the left is a burnt orange tea towel with a baguette on top of it.

Stovetop Pilsner & Herb Stuffing

If we’re being honest — really honest — stuffing might actually be the main event at any holiday meal. It’s equal parts crispy, herby and savoury, and totally delicious. Making it on the stovetop saves precious oven space for other roasted stuff (like that big bird you’re eagerly awaiting). Here, it gets a friendly helping hand from a crisp pilsner, which adds its signature hint of bitterness to bring harmony to the table.

An oval platter on a beige placemat holds bread stuffing with onions, celery and parsley. Off to the left is a platter of roast carrots and turkey, and off to the right is a platter of green beans with lemon zest. There’s a small dish of burgundy cranberry sauce, a basket of fresh dinner rolls, plates and cutlery, a small vase with flowers and three glasses of refreshing beer.

Butternut Squash with Lager & Herbed Walnut Salsa

Crisp lager and a fragrant herb-and-walnut topper give sweet butternut squash a refreshing makeover. This dish is a yummy side dish, and it makes a hearty plant-based main for the vegans at the table. If you’re not a heat fan, you may be tempted to ditch the hot pepper, but don’t. If you remove the seeds and ribs, it will boost the flavours of the other ingredients without ratcheting up the heat.

Half-moons of butternut squash are laid out on a white oval platter and scattered with fresh herbs. Off to the side is a bowl of herbed walnut salsa. There’s a bowl of green, some cooked wild rice, a salt and pepper mill and two refreshing crisp lagers in glasses.

Pilsner Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

These Brussels sprouts are blanched and then browned with bacon (or pancetta if you’re feeling fancy) until tender-crisp. Then a mix of pilsner, Dijon mustard, maple syrup and lemon adds a fresh taste and tangy zip. They’re way more fun than your typical holiday sprouts.

A white oval bowl is filled with perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts and they’re scattered with browned bacon. A refreshing beer sits nearby.

Homemade Eggnog with Stout

This ’nog is big on body and bold on flavour, thanks to a glug of whipping cream and a generous sprinkle of warm spices. When you mix it with roasty-toasty stout to make a holiday beertail, the brew’s effervescence balances the eggnog’s richness and you get something that tastes a lot like a velvety milkshake. It’s a cool treat at a holiday party and makes a great gift.

A small dish of whole nutmegs is ready for grating over tumblers filled with Homemade Eggnog with Stout. Each glass is garnished with cinnamon stick.

Cranberry Ginger Shandy

Spruce up your holiday celebration with this beautiful, brightly coloured beer cocktail. It all begins with an infused simple syrup made with tart cranberries. And it’s balanced out by fruity wheat beer and spicy ginger beer for a cocktail that’s a little bit sophisticated and a lot of fun. For best results, make sure all of your ingredients are ice-cold before you start mixing.

A rustic metal tray lined with ice holds the chilled ingredients to make a Cranberry Ginger Shandy. Two finished drinks garnished with sugared cranberries stand ready for sipping.

Mulled Ale

Seasonal and winter ales are rich and inviting, so why not add some warm spices and citrus to make them even more festive? This drink is delicious with brown ale as the base — its sweet, caramelly notes bring out the best in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. A homemade drink kit with all the components makes a really nice gift, too.

Two clear glasses filled with warm mulled ale sit on top of a silver tray. Each glass is garnished with an orange wheel. There are festive elements on the table like pinecones, ribbon and winter spices.

Mint Candy Cane & Porter Brownies

Robust, malty porter and a hit of peppermint extract ensure that these fudgy squares will be on repeat throughout the festive season. Crushed candy canes, sprinkled over the hot-out-of-the-oven brownies, melt ever so slightly and add a bit of crunch. And because this recipe starts with your favourite boxed mix, it’s a simple, fun holiday baking project.

A handled bamboo board holds a dozen Mint Candy Cane & Porter Brownies. They’re served with mini candy canes and pints of malty porter for a holiday treat.

Stout Gingerbread Cookies

Why eat regular gingerbread cookies when stout-flavoured ones are so much nicer? They’re soft, rich, crackly and chewy—the perfect holiday treat. Get ready for the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to waft through the house! Stout and molasses give these cookies a soft, chewy texture and deep, delicious flavour. Rolling the dough in sugar before baking yields a crackly top that will earn you an A+ on Santa’s midnight snack. Stick to the recommended cooking time: The cookies will be slightly underdone when they come out of the oven, but the pan’s residual heat will finish the job.

A pile of brown gingerbread cookies with a crackled top sit on a cookie sheet.

Maple-Glazed Stout Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Stout and gingerbread spices dress up a simple cake mix for the holidays. Topped with a quick maple glaze, this Bundt is a beautiful finish to your feast. Gingerbread is the holiday treat. This rich cake, topped with a super-easy maple glaze, gets its flavour from warm holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; syrupy molasses; and the star of the show, stout. Serve slices with coffee for your afternoon sweet fix or bring the whole cake to the table for an indulgent finish to a holiday meal.

A beautiful bundt cake sits on a white cake stand and is surrounded by pomegranate arils. It’s topped with a caramel coloured maple glaze.

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