Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s the official start to the holiday season. Weeks of preparation have gone into making an unforgettable meal, preparing a festive tablescape, and getting the seating chart just right. After all, we learned our lesson last year when we put crazy Uncle Al next to cousin Brendan’s new girlfriend, Alexis. That did not end well.
We know every family gathering requires the right mix of adult beverages. This Thanksgiving, we’ve taken the guess work out of which craft beers to pair with every course of your favorite meal. Gobble Gobble, people – this year, we’re thankful for craft beer!
We don’t want anyone going down before the main event, so for the cheese course, we’ve lined up a nice American Pale Ale. A well put together cheese board has a variety of textures and flavors, so it can be a little challenging to pick just one pairing, but if you stick to something mild and hoppy, you can’t go wrong. This year, we are starting off by giving a nod to the reason we have Thanksgiving – Mayflower Brewing Company’s Daily Ration is a sessionable IPA that is unfiltered, crisp, dry and hoppy – everything you need to start off this Thanksgiving holiday.
Fresh greens with simple toppings will tease your tastebuds before the bird comes a calling. That simple salad doesn’t call for any boring beer though. We suggest the smooth, malty flavors of a traditional Pilsner. This year, try Mama’s Lil Yellow Pils by Oskar Blues.
It’s time for the the main event. Looking perfectly juicy and plump, you’ve been waiting for this bird to be done all. day. long. The rich, roasty flavors that have taken hours to come together require a stand up beer. This year, we putting back New Belgium Brewing Company’s Trippel. This big, beautiful Belgian style ale is golden, hoppy and fruity, but delivers a warm dry finish. The perfect pairing with your roasted turkey.
This is a thanksgiving staple that no one thinks about – until it’s missing! Don’t forget this holiday classic and pair it with Two Roads Brewing Company’s Bog Wild. This sour ale is the perfect pair with your homemade cranberry sauce, or the ringed version straight out of the can. At this point in the meal, there is no judgement.
Stuffing & Mashed Potatoes
Rich, garlicy, creamy and full of herbal flavor, these two staples on the Thanksgiving table can go head to head with pretty much any brew you put against it. For this paring, we’re giving a little contrast with a malty, spiced dark beer. One sip of Boulevard Brewing Company’s Nutcracker Winter Warmer will make those garlic and herbs go pop!
Roasted root vegetables pair well with a sour ale – the earthly, roasted flavor of the vegetables contrast the complex fruitiness and effervescent finish of this tasty style of beer. We’re pairing this side dish with Odell Brewing’s Freik. This beer ages for up to 10 years in oak barrels, fermented with raspberries and tart cherries. It’s unique, yet traditional. The Freik is freakin’ delicious.
Wardrobe change: cue the comfy pants. Whether your preference be a seasonal pumpkin pie, a rich chocolate cream pie or traditional apple, we suggest pairing a strong bourbon barrel aged stout or barley wine with your sweet treat. A roaring fire may be in order as well. We’d suggest Alesmith’s Speedway Stout. This stout is heavy with chocolate and roasted malt flavors, but also smooth and creamy. If a barley wine is more your speed, we’d suggest Firestone Walker’s Sucaba. This big, boozy bourbon forward beer is complex and malty with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut and dark cherry. It promises a very unique sipping experience that will be the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving meal.
If you go to bed Thanksgiving night with visions of drumsticks in your head and thoughts of tomorrow’s leftovers, then this pairing is for you. We suggest a strong, flavorful IPA such as Outer Range’s In The Steep Citra New England IPA. This fruity hoppy, hazy brew is the perfect companion to your leftover feast.
Cheers to you and to our favorite food focused holiday of the year!