An ale and hearty holiday

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Beer could be the surprise tipple of choice with Christmas dinner for many people, after record sales for retail giant Tesco.

The supermarket chain said in the last week it has sold more than 1.5 million bottles of ale – the highest amount it has ever sold in a single week and three times as high as the same week before Christmas in 2011.

Tesco ale buyer Chiara Nesbitt said: “Ale is an ideal match with the Christmas feast due to its cosy, warming flavours which perfectly complement the roasted, savoury and spicy tastes on offer in the main course as well as with the fruit in the pudding and mince pies plus the cheese and biscuits later on.

“Brewers are increasingly producing new and exciting products with connoisseurship in ale rivalling that in wine.”

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