Holiday Beer and Cheese Pairings

(News Release) More and more breweries worldwide are offering special beers for holiday cheers! From sampler packs, gift packs with custom glassware, beers specially brewed for Christmas and Hanukkah, and big bottles- there's something for virtually everyone on your gift list.

The popularity of better craft and import beers has also led to a new trend, beer and cheese parties, which are a fun departure from typical wine and cheese events. Local beer expert Anthony Norkus of Louis Glunz Beer, a Lincolnwood, Ill.-based distributor, joins us Saturday with a few of his best beer gift ideas, and to share tips for hosting a beer and cheese party this holiday. The beers featured are available wherever better beers are sold in Chicagoland, and prices are suggested retail.

Beer and Cheese Party Tips:

  • Allow 1 to 2 ounces of cheese per person, per tasting
  • Allow 2 to 4 ounces of beer per person, per tasting
  • Set-up tasting stations with mild, medium and strong cheeses
  • Serve a variety of accompaniments to enjoy with cheese, including fresh and dried fruits, preserves, comfits, chutneys, nuts, breads and assorted crackers, and cured meats.

    Suggested Beer and Cheese Pairings:

    • Station 1: Mild Cheeses - Marble, Mozzarella, Colby
    • Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager
    • Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
    • The name of Great Lakes flagship beer reflects the unprecedented accolades and recognition it has earned in major worldwide beer tasting competitions. This beer is well-balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. ABV 5.8 percent. $9.99-$10.99/6pk/12Z.

      • Hirter Private Pils
      • Brauerei Hirt, Austria
      • This special beer is brewed in accordance with an ancient Bohemian recipe. The soft mountain spring water from the water conservation area surrounding the brewery, and the choices of ingredients, characterize the Private Pils' unique taste. ABV 5.2 percent. $2.49/500 ML.

        Station 2: Medium Cheeses: Swiss, Gouda, Brie

        • Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale
        • Samuel Smith Brewery, England
        • Nut Brown Ale is a walnut-colored specialty of the North of England. A festive-occasion beer, brown ale is one of the oldest English brewing styles, mentioned in literature in the 16th century. Beers brewed at the old brewery have a round, nutty flavor because of the Yorkshire square system of fermentation. ABV 5.0 percent. $10.99/4pk/12Z.

          New Holland Cabin Fever

          • New Holland Brewing Company, Holland, Michigan

          Brewed to satisfy your cold-weather urges to find comfort in food and drink - a toasting, smooth-drinking brown ale, the warming flavors of its dark malts make winter a season of abundance. ABV 6.5 percent. $9.99/6pk/12Z.

          Station 3: Strong Cheeses: Blue, Sharp Cheddar, Parmesan

          • Gulden Draak Vintage 2010
          • Ban Steenberge Brewery, Belgium

          A dark brown Triple Ale, which makes it an exception among the Belgian Triples. The second fermentation offers the nice creamy head, the full body and all the vitamins of the centuries-old brewers yeast. It balances a natural malt toffee-like sweetness with some hoppy accents. You sip and enjoy this beer slowly. ABV 10.5 percent. $11.99/750ML

          • Anchor Old Foghorn Ale
          • Anchor Brewing Col, San Francisco, California
          • This beer is based on traditional English barley wines. It has a pleasant hop bitterness, due to the large quantity of hops used during brewing, and a unique hop aroma due to the dry-hopping and aging. ABV 8-10 percent. $15.99/6pk/12Z.

            Holiday Beer Gifts

          • Breckenridge Sampler
          • Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge, Colorado
          • A great package to sample this Colorado brewery at any holiday gathering and a perfect selection to appeal to any crowd with different brews to appeal to any and all palates. ABV 14.98 percent. $17.99, 12pk/12Z.

          • Stiegl Sampler Gift Box
          • Stieglbrauerei, Salzburg, Austria
          • A noble, hoppy pils with a clean, crisp aroma, color and taste, brewed in compliance with the purity law of 1516, using just water, hops, malt with over 500 years of brewing tradition to complete the finest ingredients in this aristocrat amongst pils beers. ABV 4.7 percent. $19.99, 6pk/16.9Z with two Stiegl pilsner glasses.

          • He'Brew Jewbelation 14
          • Shmaltz Brewing Company, New York and San Francisco
          • Shmaltz Brewing Company celebrates its 14th years of delicious beer and delicious shtick with the special release of the seventh incarnation of their award-winning "extreme" Chanukah seasonal, JEWBELATION: their 14th Chosen Beer in 14 years of Shmaltz with 14 malts, 14 hops and 14 additions. $4.99/22Z

          • St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
          • Brouwerij St. Bernard, Belgium
          • Previously only available in Denmark and Belgium, this specialty beer is characterized by its deep dark color with a creamy, thick head and a full, almost velvety taste with a fruity nose. ABV 10 percent. $9.99/750ML

          • Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue)
          • Chimay Brewery, Belgium
          • First launched as a Christmas beer, this strong-character beer has a fragrance of fresh yeast and a pleasant light, flowery rosy touch. Its relatively dry flavor uncovers a fine caramelized note resulting in a perfect balance between fullness and a slightly bitter aftertaste. ABV 9.0 percent. $99.99/3L.

            About Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.: Founded in 1888 by Louis Glunz I in Chicago, Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. is among the oldest beer distributors in the United States and the recipient of the 2007 "Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award" from the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association for promoting craft beer and making consumer choice a top priority. The 122-year-old company is family-owned and operated by president, Jack Glunz, the grandson of Louis Glunz I, with day-to-day operations led by five of his and his late wife Patricia's seven children as members of the fourth generation. The first two members of the fifth generation have also joined the staff, with other members working during school breaks. Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., features an extensive portfolio of 665 micro, specialty and import beers from 67 suppliers representing 172 breweries worldwide, and is the premier distributor to restaurants, bars, liquor and grocery stores in Chicagoland. The company is dedicated to quality service and to educating its customers and the public about beer tastes and trends. For product descriptions and a list of local retailers through a "Find it near me" zip code search, as well as suggested food pairings, and details on upcoming special events and beer tasting classes, please visit

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