There are of course many beers you can have for the New Years celebrations. If you are going to start early start light and low in alcohol. I would probably start with Sudwerk Lager (3.6% ABV), Victory’s Prima Pils (5.4% ABV) or Allagash White (5% ABV). I wouldn’t mined at all to have a Mild Ale but they are hard to find here on the West Coast and probably all over US. Mild Ales are usually around 3.5-4% ABV and if made right full of flavors. Late afternoon and early evening I would go heavy for a short while. Some cheese and crackers for an afternoon snack would be perfect. Rochefort 8 or Chimey Blue with some blue cheeses or aged cheddar, aged or smoked Gouda would be great before a short afternoon nap.
For the New Years gathering around the dinner table I would of course pair my beer with the food. I think New Years is a great time for sea food at least as one course of my New Years meal. I would have mussels cooked in Drie Fonteinen Gueuze to start of with and paired with a Drie Fontainen Gueuze. Maybe even paired with a 5 year old aged Gueuze that I have. For the main course I would choose Fillet Mignon in herbs, mushrooms and warped with bacon together with mashed potatoes, broccoli and a thin grave made with Guinness. I would pair the main course with a brown ale like Lost Coast Downtown Brow, Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale or Dogfish Head Palo Santo. For dessert I would choose something very sweet and creamy like a home made vanilla ice cream and a sweet sauce made with a heavy Imperial Stout like Yeti from Great Divide or Old Rasputin from North Coast. I would pair the dessert with a Cantillon Kriek, aged of course.
After the New Years Eve meal I would probably be pretty full and tired so I would slow down with a chocolate or coffee porter/stout like Flying Dog Unleashed, Bourbon County Coffee Stout from Goose Island or Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
When the last few minutes of 2011 passes by I would gently open my midnight beer. This would most likely be a Gueuse again (yes, Gueuse belongs with every great meal and is better than Champagne). Maybe a Lindeman’s Gueuse Lambic Cuvee Rene or Oude Gueze Vieille from Oud Beersel (the original brewery of course). But best of all for celebrating the first minutes of 2012 is probably Deus from Bosteels in Belgium. This beer is re-fermented with Champagne yeast near Champagne in France and left for 9 months to mature.
All this will only be in my dreams. I have to work New Years Eve and will most likely be to tired to do any of this. But I will for sure have one or two beers around midnight and one of them will be Deschutes The Abyss 2011.
Happy New Year!