Everyone has their own definition of Thanksgiving. For some it’s a family gathering in November – others see it as an all-day football marathon. But I think most have one thing in common. It’s a socially acceptable time to eat as much food as possible. With all the thought and planning that goes into almost every ingredient that you serve on the dinner table this year it’s only appropriate that you put at least some thought into what you choose to drink with it, right?
A great pairing can be an exclamation point on an incredible meal and can leave your guests impressed. Don’t just serve, “Whatever is in the fridge,” or depend on your guests to know what is best to serve with your meal.
Here’s some of our favorite beers to serve at the Thanksgiving table this week – and why we picked them.
Hop Hop and Away
Aeronaut Brewing Co.
This India Session Ale is the perfect starter for your day. It’s for the few hours of the day that you can get away with still sitting on the couch and watching Football before everyone comes over and you’re forced to play host. It only has an ABV of 4.6% so you can easily sneak a couple before the communal appetizers make their way to the coffee tables. I’m a fan of the cocktail weenies.
Allagash Brewing Company
If you can get your hands on a bottle of Allagash’s Coolship Resurgam – you should absolutely save it for a special occasion like Thanksgiving…although you may not want to share when the rest of the family gets there. The immediate aroma of a combination of apples is begging for an all-star appetizer. Save this one for when your aunt brings her famous baked berry and brie appetizer. Or make it yourself with this awesome recipe. The bottle itself will be more than enough to start a conversation.
The Main Course
Blast Cap IRA
North Rim Brewing
You’re going to want to uncap this one right when you get your first helping of turkey. North Rim Brewing’s Blast Cap Indian Red Ale is a perfect mix of earthy and fruity flavors to complement your Thanksgiving bird. This gorgeous, amber colored ale, will go perfectly with whatever cut of meat you like. Get a tall glass for this one. You will want to show off the color.
Gumball Head has a cult-like following…and for great reason. This wheat beer has a great hoppy flavor without announcing itself as the start of the meal. If you’re a big cranberry sauce fan – make sure you pour a big glass of this. The tartness of the cranberries complement the citrusy hoppy notes of the beer perfectly. Remember – there’s no shame in the canned cranberry sauce.
Great Lakes Brewing
Don’t let fall sneak away without serving at least one really good Oktoberfest or Marzen beer. They aren’t too bitter – and have a nice midlevel alcohol content. The maltiness is the core of most Oktoberfest beers – but the balanced flavor ensures that it doesn’t overpower anything on your Thanksgiving dinner table. The beautiful thing about Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest is the unique steps they take during the malting process. They use raisins to give it a flavor profile that helps it stick out amongst other Oktoberfest beers. The familiar sweetness will complement a handful of side dishes.
A scotch ale isn’t for every dinner table. If you are having a lighter Thanksgiving dinner or don’t have anything incredibly rich to pair with this one – either save it for dessert or hold onto it for a special occasion. Sitting at an ABV at 8.5% – you might want to be careful who you share this one with. Founders’ Dirty Bastard is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Like I mentioned – it’s heavier on the palate then a normal ale so save it for a rich dish like prime rib or even brisket.
Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter
Whoever said that the dessert round doesn’t need a pairing is just plain wrong. Some may opt for the glass of milk – but hey if you are in this far might as well finish strong. Moody Tongue’s 13 syllable Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter may be a mouthful to say – but if you save it to pair with your aunt’s famous dessert you will be happy you practiced saying it all. This medium-bodied porter brings rich and caramel tones to every sip.
However you decide to spend your Thanksgiving – remember to share it with your loved ones this week. Happy Holidays!