8 Beers to Be Thankful For

by on March 7th, 2015
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I’m bringing beer to the Thanksgiving table this year because, let’s face it, it’s precisely what I’m thankful for. As the chilly weather sets in, I find a couple pints keeps me warm and toasty, not to mention remarkably chatty at holiday parties.

Here are my beer picks for pairing with classic Thanksgiving dishes. Your family will be thankful for you next year.

Pair the cranberry sauce with:
Red & White Belgian whit from Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware
This beer was malted with orange peel and coriander, and then aged in Pinot Noir barrels. The citrus zest and earthy spice counteract the intense sweetness of cranberry sauce, especially when it’s served in a cylinder shape from a can.

Pair the yams with: St. Victorious Doppelbock from Victory Brewing Company in Downington, Pennsylvania
This is a classic dark amber-style beer with caramel and toffee notes, perfect for this almost-sweet dish. (Unless you’re eating my grandmother’s yams, which are blanketed in gooey marshmallows- I skip the beer with those)

Pair the turkey with: Seven Saison from Upright Brewing in Portland, Oregon
Farmhouse ales were made for meat -they’re dry and earthy and slightly bitter. The Upright Seven has a crisp aromatic finish perfect for pairing with roasted turkey.

Pair the stuffing with: Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, Oregon
Schwarzbiers, or German black beers, look dark but taste light. Their roasty, malty notes absorb bread-y stuffing. This one is more hoppy than most.

Pair the mashed potatoes and gravy with:
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Gravy will go with this beer’s earthiness and caramel notes.

Pair pumpkin pie with:
Wee High scotch ale from Alesmith Brewing in San Diego, California
Fig-y, chocolate-y, scotch ale and rich pumpkin pie will make for an indulgent after party in your mouth post-dinner.

‘Tis the season for dark, heavy beer, but a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner with a variety of bold flavors often calls for beers on the lighter side to balance things out. If pairing each course separately is out of the question and you’re looking for more of a table beer, your best bet is a gueze. These Belgian Lambic beers are fruity and dry, and tend to take on funky, sour properties as well. They are complex beers that stand up to a variety of courses. They also tend to be people-pleasers with their lower alcohol content and easy drinkability. Some of my favorites are Lindemans Gueze Cuvee Renee and Boon Geuze.

Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned for more holiday craft beer pairings.

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