Being a good host means that you don’t aim for just one idea of perfection. Instead here at Driftwood Spars we accept that everyone has different tastes, and we try to accommodate everyone as best we can. You won’t find us turning up our noses if you want to drink white wine with beef or a good stout with your Mussels on a Monday!

That said, we are often asked for advice and - being lovers of tasty, honest food and a drop of the good stuff - we are more than willing to share our thoughts.

Christmas is a great time to try something new and here are some of our ideas for pairing beer rather than wine with your festive meal. Our top tip for trying this is to find something that complements the flavours of the dish or, for richer dishes, try a contrasting beer that will cut through that richness.

Aperitif: To kick off, a crisp, refreshing Pilsner works well as a palate cleanser. EDISON British Pilsner (4.8%) from the Electric Bear Brewery in Bath has a mellow, light flavour that will go well with crisps and dips, seafood or pastries.

Starters: Launching into starters we would suggest a Saison.  These beers offer a wide range of hues and tones and are fruity and spicy.  What they often share is a lower ABV and use of local ingredients as they were originally made to refresh hardworking labourers in the fields during summer.  Therefore, we would plump for Cornish Saison (5.9%) from St Austell Brewery.

Fish: If you are serving a fish course, often a white or Blond beer works well as an alternative to white wine.  Summerset (4.1%) from Yeovil Ales has a light rounded mouth feel and a tangerine fruity hop finish.  Or if you want something a bit more exotic an Icelandic beer called Einstok Icelandic White Ale.  On the other hand, if you are treating yourself to Oysters a dark stout such as Skinners Brewery ‘Pennycomequick’ (4.5%) works brilliantly.

Turkey/Goose: For the bird, we reckon a full-bodied IPA such as Qunitet (6.2%) by Wiper & True is your best bet. It is made with an ever-changing combination of five princely hops and is a beer of immense character, flavour and depth. Dishes such as Nut Roast are best with something dark and rich, such as a Dubbel from Belguim.  Lou’s favourite is Chimay Blue (9%) and this one is also great with cheese.

Pudding: Traditionalists serving up a rich, brandy-soaked Christmas Pudding can depend on our ‘Pudding Ale’ (7.5%) brewed right on the premises. Its deep red colour and fruity richness make a proper festive brew, and the high alcohol content is matched by a silky sweetness.

Cheese: If you still have room for more, you may be attacking a Cheese Board and if you don’t you are bound to be slicing into a trundle or two the day after.  So, our final selection for you is Raw (4.3%) a Special Bitter from Moor Beer Company. This offers flavours of fresh baked bread malts with herbal hops.

As ever at The Driftwood we like an eclectic mix and are always up for trying something different. Dumping your trusty favourite wines completely at Christmas may not be for you, but we hope you might try at least a bottle of beer or two with one of your courses – if you do be sure to let us know, as beer is a great way to start conversations!