The holidays are here, which for my home means countless celebrations with loved ones. We all look forward to the traditional dishes and desserts that make this time of year especially sweet, but when it comes to getting the party started, I always kick off the festivities with an array of exceptional sips. While wines and specialty cocktails are always on the menu, craft beer is the newest beverage that is bringing the holiday cheer. From sour sips to those of the sweeter variety, here are a few of my top picks for the hippest hops this season.

Sour Beer

One drink that I always make sure to have on hand is a sour beer. Perhaps the most familiar, sour beer has been around the longest compared to its counterparts yet continues to increase in popularity with so many craft brewers releasing their own take. With layers of flavor, it surprisingly doesn’t taste like your typical beer and comes in a range of styles. Still, a sour sip always maintains the tart taste that connoisseurs know and love – making it a fixture at my holiday parties. Best served cold, I rely on the innovative Bar Mode in my Thermador Under-Counter Double Drawer Refrigerator to keep my brews perfectly chilled and ready to enjoy throughout the festivities.

Grapes to Grains

One craft beer I never go without during the holidays combines the best of both worlds – wine and beer. Using wine ingredients, breweries are blurring the lines between two favorites to create new flavors. One of my favorites is a rosé style ale – it provides a refreshing sweetness and light tartness that helps balance out a heavy dinner menu. My friends who typically opt for wine over beer are always pleased when I offer them a glass of their favorite drink with a slight kick.

Milkshake IPAs

While I love a good hot chocolate, colder weather doesn’t always mean warmer drinks. Serve up a tasty treat with a milkshake IPA. It’s a sweet twist on traditional India pale ale with a creamy, full bodied texture. Lactose and fruit ingredients set the milkshake IPA apart from the standard, and some brewers even add wheat flour. It’s the perfect first taste for my friends who are new to the craft beer craze.

My favorite way to incorporate the milkshake IPA into the season is serving it up in a glass complete with a candy cane straw. To keep my beer extra frothy and cool, I again turn to my Thermador Under-Counter Double Drawer Refrigerator. With customizable cooling modes, I can see to it that my beer is always at the right temperature to bring out the best taste.

Pastry Stouts

Keeping it sweet, pastry stouts are a delicious new trend in the craft beer crowd and a delightful way to bring desserts into your holiday drink menu. I love them for their bold, rich aromas that are a departure from typical beers, yet its classic, crisp taste is reminiscent of traditional holiday flavors. From German Chocolate and s’mores to blueberry muffin and sugar cookies, you can fully experience the exceptional joys of winter comfort with no baking necessary.

Full of decadent ingredients, pastry stouts are the ultimate indulgence for get-togethers, usually bottled to serve around 10 people. For easy clean-up during the fun, I pop all my glassware into my Thermador Glass Care Center. With its ability to accommodate glassware of various shapes and sizes, including beer steins and growlers, it helps me keep the party – and the drinks – flowing.

Which craft beers are you keeping fully stocked this holiday season? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our social channels:, @ThermadorHome and @Thermador.