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Fat Lizard had the pleasure and honor of hosting Finland's first beer sommelier, Maria Markus. The seasoned beer professional handpicked Christmas table beer favorites from Fat Lizard's selection together with the brewery's Topo Koskipää.

Maria Markus, a familiar face in the international beer scene, dropped by Fat Lizard Brewery in Espoo last December, and we asked her to pick the most suitable lizard beers for the Christmas table.

According to Maria, the Nordic Christmas beer tradition, favoring dark, rich, and spicy beers, doesn't necessarily cover the best beer and food flavor pairings extensively. Hence, we decided to test the beer catalog with a wide range of beer styles. For the experiment, a traditional Christmas table was set up at the Fat Lizard Taproom, featuring delicacies from the Haikaranpesä restaurant. The extensive menu included cold appetizers, salads, meaty hams and cold cuts, as well as sweet desserts.

Maria Markus believes that theoretically, you could go through the entire Christmas table with just one good beer, but the more options you have for different dishes, the better.


"Beer is the number one beverage in the Christmas table."

Especially with fish, it's worth choosing a lighter and paler beer, like a crisp pilsner. Shrimp, however, stand out among the seafood flavors, as they pair well with a dark beer, such as a stout or porter. Maria highlights a British kitchen classic as an example – oysters and stout.

On the other hand, lighter beers fall short when it comes to darker and fattier meats. Ham, pork belly, roast beef, and liver paté found their best match with boldly hopped IPAs available.

If there had to be only one beer for the entire Christmas meal, Maria Markus would opt for a caramelized IPA or a lager. In the lizard selection, representatives of both styles exist – the Splitty Westy DIPA, voted Finland's best IPA, and the Lake Bodom Lager, representing the Vienna lager style. The All Out IPA among the store-bought IPAs comes closest to the ideal.

Wishing you a tasty Christmas!


"Fat needs crisp hops."

Maria's choices

Lake Bodom Horizontal.png
Lake Bodom Lager

Caramel notes and subtle herbiness carry through the entire meal. Maria's top pick for the Christmas table.

Availability: S and K grocery stores nationwide.

301 Hop Road Pils

The pleasant, gentle maltiness of 301 Hop Road Pils shakes hands with the Christmas table bread accompaniments, while the fruity hops bring a refreshing touch to the drink.

Availability: K grocery stores nationwide.

Splitty Westy DIPA

A boldly hoppy, strong IPA. Skillfully balanced alcohol content gives the drink structure and helps cut through the heaviness of the fattiest foods. IPA pairs especially well with meats and cheeses.

Availability: Alko Otaniemi.

Fat Barrel Series: 03

A robust and flavorful imperial stout serves as a dessert itself or alongside dessert. Lighter dark beers can also pair well with seafood!

Availability: Alko Otaniemi.

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