By Anita Smith
It’s your turn to host the holiday party. You’re busy running around doing a million things – cleaning the house, prepping the food, trying to nail down a guest count – and now you’ve got to worry about which beverages to serve your guests. You don’t have time to aimlessly wander the beer aisles trying to find something for everyone, so Draught Lines wanted to give you the gift of checking one thing off your to-do list. From the designated drivers to gluten-intolerant guests, we’ve got the essential beverage list for your party covered. Check out our suggestions, make a list (no need to check it twice) and head to the store!
For your keto guests
The keto diet is all the rage these days, so chances are you’ll have at least one or two guests who are watching their carb intake. Make sure you have Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty on hand. This beer has all the flavor and tropical aromas of a world class IPA with only 3.6g carbs, 1g protein and 95 calories. It’s brewed with a touch of monk fruit that delivers body and complexity, without adding any calories or carbs.
For those watching their calories
For those who want to save their calories for Christmas cookies and stuffing, stock up on Harpoon Rec. League – low in alcohol, light in calories and just a little hazy, this refreshing brew with a citrusy hop flavor and aroma has been called “a pillow-y, tropical pale ale” by Men’s Health. Lagunitas DayTime, a 98-calorie session IPA, is boldly dosed with a glorious fortune of dry hops and a toasty malt foundation.
For the health nuts
Healthy eating and drinking isn’t just on the minds of dieters these days – lots of people are committing themselves to being as healthy as possible in all aspects of life. We all know someone who’s always trying the newest health trend, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got something for them to drink, too. Enter Sufferfest beers, brewed specifically for those who aspire to live healthy, active lifestyles. Caitlin Landesberg founded Sufferfest in 2012 when she couldn’t find a beer that fit her active lifestyle and diet. So she took matters into her own hands and spent years developing the perfect recipe for a beer that athletes will love. What makes these beers unique and functional is that they all feature special ingredients, with reduced calories, carbs and removed gluten. Sufferefest Repeat, a Kolsch-style beer, is made with bee pollen, while Head Start is a stout brewed with Equator coffee & coconut water and FKT is a pale ale brewed with salt and black currant. All three can be found in Sufferfest’s variety pack.
For guests who want beer for dessert
Some of us look forward to the holidays all year long – not because we’re going to see friends and family, not for the presents and not for the ugly sweaters, but for all the treats that make an appearance this time of year. Who can pass on fresh-baked cookies, Grandma’s sweet potato casserole or your best friend’s holiday fudge? For those who like their brews sweet, pick up Sixpoint Master Blend – a blend of 80% stout aged in first fill bourbon barrels for nearly two years, and a fresh, young, sweeter batch that provides a round feel, fresh roast and notes of sweet chocolate fudge. Together they form the epic Master Blend. Need we say more? Or try Heavy Seas Siren Noir. It’s not overly sweet, but it’s decidedly chocolatey, with almost three pounds of Belgian cocoa nibs used per barrel! It’s aged for five weeks in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans added, while a mix of dark malts gives Siren Noire a well-rounded body and Brewers Gold hops contribute an earthy spiciness, with notes of black currant.
For the party-goers who want alcohol, but not beer
We love beer, but let’s face it, it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of options out there for those who don’t care for beer, or can’t drink it. We like Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer Cranberry Lime. Cranberries are so festive this time of year, and this flavored hard seltzer will remind people of a Cosmopolitan or Moscow Mule. Serve it in a fancy Martini glass with a lime wedge for a festive touch. Wild Leaf Teas are another great option. Subtly sweet and wildly refreshing, these crafted teas are made with select tea leaves found in the wild rainforest, for a cleaner, crisper iced tea due to the climate in which they’re grown. With half the sugar of many other hard iced teas, Wild Leaf is available in two delicious flavors: Black Tea with Lemon & Honeysuckle and Green Tea with Apple & Honey.
For those who like to rosé all day
There’s certainly no denying that rosé has been a big trend for the last couple years (there’s even a Rosé Mansion in New York City!). So, there’s a very good possibility you’ve got a rosé-obsessed guest (or two, or ten) coming to your shindig. Lots of bottles of wine can break the bank, so for those guests, we have a few recommendations. Angry Orchard Hard Cider Spritz Rosé is a vibrant, bubbly spritz that combines the bright taste of apples with just a hint of sweetness. It’s also a lower ABV (4%), lower calorie (110) hard cider option that’s juicy, light and bubbly, with a quenching, yet dry, finish. Your guests will love it, and probably post a pic of the bright pink can on Instagram. Or you could go with the rosé lovers beer – Firestone Walker Rosalie. This beer-wine hybrid taps into Firestone Walker’s winemaking roots, using local wine grapes (Chardonnay, Viognier and Orange Muscatto) to create a delicious, one-of-a-kind beer that exhibits the best attributes of a classic rosé wine, but with even more drinkability. Or go with a true crowd pleaser, Truly Rosé Hard Seltzer. With a hint of rosé flavor, the pink hue you know and love and less sugar than many rosé wines, Truly Rosé is sparkling fun meant to be enjoyed all day long without sacrificing refreshment, great taste or your wellness routine.
For the java lovers
Of course you’ll have coffee available for your guests, but why not take it a step further? Offer a java-infused libation to enjoy after dinner, or any time, for a little party pick-me-up. Available in mocha, cold brew and vanilla flavors, Brown Bomber Hard Lattes are all natural, made with 100% Arabica coffee beans and dangerously delicious. Blue Moon’s newest winter seasonal, Iced Coffee Blonde, is the first nationally available blonde, coffee-flavored beer. This unique, blonde-colored wheat ale boasts a bright coffee aroma and mild malt sweetness for a balanced taste and clean finish. And you can’t go wrong with Evil Genius’ caramel macchiato porter, New Phone, Who Dis? Full-bodied, smooth and robust, with notes of sweet caramel, mocha and chocolate, this porter is brewed with American barley, caramel & chocolate malt and a touch of dark wheat. It’s gently hopped with American and German hops, and then infused with caramel and locally roasted La Colombe coffee. Yum.
For the designated drivers
Don’t forget those who aren’t drinking! Rather than boring sparkling water, heavy non-alcoholic eggnog or sugary-sweet juice, offer your non-imbibing guests an IPA-inspired Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher. They’ll get the taste of the Centennial, Citra and Equinox hops, but without the alcohol, calories or carbs.
Anita Smith is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to writing for Draught Lines Magazine, she is also an executive editor of Chilled Magazine. Anita grew up in Delaware County and has a Communications degree from West Chester University. She currently lives in Norristown with her husband and three cats.