The Full Pint Guide to Thanksgiving Beer Pairing
Welcome to The Full Pint Guide to Thanksgiving Beer Pairing! Autumn is here and while we wade through the sea of seasonal beer offerings good and bad, one thing that often slips our minds is good ole’ Turkey Day. When we think Thanksgiving dinner, many imagine bottles of wine or perhaps the watery Bud Heavies our relatives stock up on by the case for big parties. If they’re fancy, a Newcastle, Stella, and so on. But how can you incorporate some clever craftiness into your holiday game? Read on for a few of our favorite suggestions.
Sessionable Day Drink
While mom fusses over the kitchen, dad and company are often drinking the day away in front of the TV while yelling at the big game. Instead of plowing through a 24-pack of Natty Ice, put some pep in their step with a craft lager or session IPA. These low ABV beers are full-flavored and will keep them satiated (but sober) enough for the grand meal to come.
Any beer lover knows that not all styles are created equal. Certain styles fly best on their own, while others lend room to get creative with the myriad of flavors found on your dinner table. Put a little thought into your beer pairings this year and break out some of these to tickle your palate.
- Saison: Farmhouse ales such as the classic saison have the power to elevate what’s on your plate. Certain varieties can offer subtle funk and tart notes on top of its champagne-like dryness and effervescent carbonation. Err on the conservative side with an offering that’s not too esoteric for your guests – unless wet horse blankets are their thing, in which case, go nuts!
- Belgian Dubbel: I just know someone’s going to think I’m crazy for this one, but the fact of the matter is, dark Belgian ales work food pairing magic during the holidays. These malty brews play well with rich holiday foods with their fruity notes, nuanced spice, and rich mouth-feel. The key is to be wary – don’t make the mistake of grabbing a beer that may seem cloying or aggressive.
Indulgent Dessert Beers
Punctuate a great Thanksgiving meal with a bold statement. Dessert gets a boost with these food-friendly brews that are sure to accentuate your holiday pie’s tastiest attributes.
- Barrel-Aged Stouts & Porters: These babies are good enough to be called dessert on their own. Pair them with other rich, chocolatey notes and you’ll be transported to choco-heaven. A slight booziness can bring out a touch of smoke or oak for deeper complexity.
- Pumpkin or Spice Beers: Yeah, yeah, yeah…this is the part where we say “pumpkin beers+pumpkin pie FTW, bro!”
Have any tried and true pairings you’d like to share? Leave us a comment!
[Full-disclosure: While yes, I am an employee of Golden Road, my opinions are my own and are not influenced by the company. In other words, I’d tell you to drink that 329 Lager whether I worked there or not. Boom.]