When it comes to beverages for your Thanksgiving feast most tend to think of wine. Guests bring it as a gift, hosts serve it right back, and the world continues at its familiar pace. But is it really a feast if you know exactly what to expect? We say no, and that’s why we’ll be bringing beer!
Beer is a great match for food because of the complexity of its flavors. Now more than ever before, there’s synergy between the beer and food worlds. With the number of breweries in the U.S. just crossing the 6,000 mark, brewers are producing a range of delicious beers to suit nearly every kind of food, including a Thanksgiving Day feast!
When you arrive, or the guests do, kick things off with something light like the refreshing and tart Otra Vez Gose from Sierra Nevada. While not hoppy, the dominant flavors in gose include lemon sourness, an herbal characteristic, and a strong saltiness – perfect for stirring up an appetite.
If you’re not a gose fan, don’t worry, a nice crisp lager or pilsner can be just as refreshing. Something like Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pils can be just the right amount of hops to get the party started right.
Main Dish – Turkey
Nothing lights up the flavors of your bird like a nutty brown ale. Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar is an excellent choice offering a hazelnut aroma with rich, nutty flavor, and a smooth malty finish.
If you’re looking for a hoppier approach to turkey time, Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale has the hops to help cut through those fatty thanksgiving sides.
A pale ale like the Great Raft Commotion Pale Ale pairs well with spicy or herbal flavors founds in sides and stuffing.
An IPA will pair amazingly well with fatty sides like garlic mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Bells Two Hearted Ale is always a good choice.
When it comes time for desserts, a good stout is the way to go and the Left Hand Milk Stout doesn’t disappoint. Another excellent choice to pair with your pie is Odell’s Friek. The firm, upfront, wine-like acidic note melds into rich cherry and raspberry flavors and lets the earthy/woody character shine through with just a touch of sweetness for balance.
As a digestif, barleywine is the perfect nightcap to an evening of gluttony. Anchor Old Foghorn, Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot, or JW Lee’s Harvest Ale are great choices. These are stronger beers and should be served as you would bourbon in 3 to 4-ounce pours.
Before your guests arrive for your Thanksgiving feast, be sure to stock up on the best beers at a Spec’s near you. Cheers!