Book and Beer Pairings to Get You Through Your Five Inevitable Holiday Moods

I can't believe it's so close to Christmas! If you're like me, you go through many different emotions and moods as you deal with shopping for gifts, baking, cleaning, figuring out travel plans, etc. The list goes on and on. But don't worry - we've got your survival guide right here. When you need a break from all of the holiday madness, turn to our list of book and beer pairings that will get you through your five inevitable holiday moods. 

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1) The 'I am so stressed from trying to buy everyone the perfect gift and shopping malls around the holidays are terrifying' mood

Summit EPA paired with any Harry Potter book

When you're stressed and trying to keep track of whose gift you haven't gotten yet and navigating overflowing mall parking lots with all of the shopping procrastinators, you want to a dose of simplicity. Summit EPA is my and Katie's go-to beer when it's hard to make a decision and we just want something simple, good, and tasty. Paired with any Harry Potter book (my favorite bounces around depending on the day but is usually either #3, #5, or #7), it's a sure thing for getting you de-stressed and focused instead on whether or not you'll be lucky enough to get a hand-knit sweater like the Weasleys for Christmas. Happy Christmas, Ron!

2) The 'I am the most festive person ever and I want to do everything I can to get into the holiday spirit' mood

Castle Danger George Hunter Stout paired with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A holiday-themed list would not be complete without this classic tale from Charles Dickens. If you've seen the play or any number of TV adaptations (the Muppets is my particular favorite), it's still worth it to read the original story and imagine your own versions of the characters and setting. Pair it with a George Hunter Stout from Castle Danger, and the molasses and maple notes will have you feeling warm, toasty, and brimming with Christmas cheer.

3) The ‘Eek! Friends are in town!’ mood

Fair State Raspberry Roselle paired with Bossypants by Tina Fey

We get really, really, really excited when friends are in town for the holidays. No doubt the funniest book ever written, Bossypants is the best way to get ready for some full body laughts with friends. Pair this with Raspberry Roselle from Fair State; the raspberries bring a sweetness to this kettle-soured beer that will have your taste buds dancing and wanting more. When I drink this beer, I have the same feeling as when I get to see a friend for the first time in a long time - pure happiness.

4) The 'I need to escape from my relatives for ten minutes or I might snap' mood

Indeed Rum King paired with What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

With the ABV at 10.5%, drink just one or two Rum Kings and you’ll be merry and bright - no need to reach for a 3rd beer and get the side eye from Aunt Pam. Rum King is an Imperial Stout aged in rum barrels, and it will be a welcome distraction from your relatives when you need to escape. Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story collection has dark undertones that might seem like an odd choice for the holidays, but what better time for reflection on the nature of humanity? Her stories are gripping and heartbreaking, and throughout all of them you will find yourself admiring humans’ sense of perseverance in a cruel and complicated world. You’ll also probably realize that your relatives aren’t so bad after all.

5) The ‘Phew, time to relax by the fire’ mood

Lift Bridge Fireside Flannel paired with Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris

When it’s time to wind down from all of your merry-making, curl up by the fire with Fireside Flannel, a brown ale that will pair well with the last of your Christmas cookies. Add in David Sedaris’s holiday-themed story collection, and you will end your holidays with a full belly and a few chuckles. The story of Sedaris’s experience working as an elf at Macy’s Santaland is wry, on-point, and makes you wonder if you could survive working as an elf named Crumpet or Sleighbell.

There you have it. Your book and beer needs for the holidays are covered. Leave us a comment if you have any to add or if you've read any of these books! We love producing content like this to share with our followers, but what we're most excited for is having conversations face to face with you once Cream & Amber is open about beers and books that you like (or don't like).

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Happy Holidays!