Food served at Thanksgiving is full of warm, rich flavors, herbs and spices.  The types of beer you’ll want for such a feast can certainly vary, but if you stick to sweeter beers with plenty of malt character and even a little spice, you won’t be disappointed. Every palate is different, so here are a few of our suggestions for beers that you can use to elevate your meal.

Appetizer Matches

The first beer pairing we recommend is a Saison. These are a member of the Belgian beer family and have distinct yeast characteristics with complimentary notes of spice, fruit, and herbs. This balanced flavor goes perfectly with most Thanksgiving appetizers such as salads, shellfish, and brie. Here are some perfect examples of beer for your starters:

  • Prairie Standard – 5.6% ABV – OK
  • Brooklyn Sorachi Ace – 7.2% ABV – NY
  • Saison Dupont – 6.5% ABV – Belgium

 

Stuff Your Face

The main event of Thanksgiving contains a wide range of flavors! There are many Hopheads that wouldn’t be happy if Thanksgiving wasn’t served with a bitter/citrusy beverage. However, an aggressively hop-forward IPA can be a bit overbearing when it comes to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner unless you are deep frying your Turkey.  American Pale Ales pair well with a roasted turkey.  The medium hop bitterness can cut through the fat and enhance flavors with its pine, citrusy, biscuity profile.  They will please the Hopheads while complimenting the meal. Some of our recommended pairings are:

  • Stone Ripper Ale – 5.7% ABV – CA
  • Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue – 6.8% ABV – NY
  • Main Peeper – 5.5% ABV – ME

Something a Little Extra

For those who don’t have a hoppy pallet, veer toward the malty side of the spectrum with a Scotch Ale or a Brown Ale. Balanced sweet malts with notes of caramel, dried fruit, and a light peat characteristic make scotch ales a unique choice.  The roasted malt and caramel, chocolate characters with a medium hop flavor make a Brown Ale an excellent companion as well.  Try out:

  • Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale – 8.5% ABV – MI
  • Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale – 8.2% ABV – NH
  • Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale – 5% ABV – England
  • Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar – 5.6% ABV – OR

Savory Sides

You can go two ways when choosing a beer for your savory side dishes. Stuffing and mashed potatoes are garlicky and herbal, thick and rich.  You can either choose something that will complement or contrast your favorite fixings.  We prefer to complement it.  A Belgian style tripel has a light body with a spicy floral flavor that doesn’t overpower your embellishments, and it will bring out the herbs and spices you may have used.  Its semi-dry finish will diffuse the creaminess as you eat. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Westmalle Trappist Triple – 9.5% ABV – Belgium
  • Rochfort #10 Trappist Ale – 11.3% ABV – Belgium

Sweet Sides

For those of you who happen to love that sweet tartness that is cranberry sauce, you will want to go with something bold that can take on those cranberries. A sour ale is a perfect match. Try:

  • Rodenbach Grand Cru 6% ABV – Belgium
  • Dogfish Super 8 – 5.3% ABV – Delaware

The Grand Finale

Why serve coffee for dessert when you can have it in your beer?  The toasted malts and hints of dark chocolate and espresso in coffee stouts pair brilliantly with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices of pumpkin pie.  Try one of these awesome coffee stouts:

  • Prairie Bomb! – 13% ABV – OK
  • New Holland Dragon’s Milk – 11% ABV – MI
  • Central Waters Satin Solitude – 7.5% ABV – WI

We hope that your holidays are filled with family, friends, and great beer!

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