Building Your Thanksgiving Beer List
Thanksgiving is no amateur beer holiday. It is an all-day event that needs to be carefully curated. There’s Prep work, cooking, appetizers, dinner, and a nightcap. Each step of the way is critical. Whether a guest or the host, you need to be able to step up when you’re called on to help. You know you will be asked to do something, right? Carving a turkey after downing a pint of coconut laced, cacao nibbed, coffee-infused pastry stout is not recommended or appreciated.
Maybe you are on vacuum duty or maybe trying to locate the roasting pan from the last time you used it…a year ago, you need to stay game-day ready. Breaking out the bloated Milkshake DIPA filled with strawberries and white chocolate is not the correct move. You need to keep it crispy. Firestone Lager, Urban Roots EZPZ, Moksa Krispy Treat are all fine choices.
Ok, so maybe you’re not in charge of cooking. That doesn’t mean you won’t be dragged into the fray. Those 10lbs of potatoes aren’t going to peel themselves. The day is still young, but this is a perfect time to break into the staples. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale are beers that won’t steer you wrong.
Whether you’re breaking out the nut-crusted cheeseball paired with your favorite butter cracker or some spinach and kale dip that works perfectly with a toasted crostini, this is your time. While your guests are still happy they got invited to go somewhere, and they haven’t had time to judge you on your ability to carve a turkey, break out the Anchor Christmas vertical or maybe a mini bottle share of holiday classics will do the trick. This is a perfect time to clear the fridge of the pumpkin and spruce tip beers that sounded like a great idea as you surfed the aisles of your neighborhood liquor store. If all fails, break into your secret stash of Sierra Nevada Celebration.
While the majority of your table-mates are trying to decide whether a glass of cool-climate Pinot or stainless Chard works best with their plate of seasonal fair, pour yourself a nice Saison. And yes, use the wine glass. There is nothing like a golden-hued beer with a pillowy white head to calm your nerves and help buffer you from the madness. Allagash Saison, Great Divide Collette and Boulevard Tank 7 are all solid picks. If a Saison is not for you, Orval or your favorite Belgian beer would also be a solid choice.
You are done! Other than getting up to give someone a hug good-bye, the evening is yours for the taking. Maybe you’ve had one plate too many or maybe you’ve been so busy you kinda forgot to eat. There are two directions; keep it light or bombs away. If you’re feeling like keeping it light (see prep work), time to start from the beginning and go with that Lager or Pils. However, if you’ve planned the day, executing your choices like a ninja cicerone, you go big. Whether it’s bourbon barreled or pastry, Stout is the way to end the night. You deserve it. You know what you like, but you won’t go wrong with a Firestone Walker’s Anniversary beer. It’s always a perfect choice.
In all seriousness, we should all be thankful there are so many great choices when you’re deciding on your beer. As you prepare for Thanksgiving, take a few extra minutes to visit your favorite local breweries and stock up on fresh local beer. That’s a choice you really can’t go wrong with.