2021 Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing Guide

, 2021 Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing Guide

Thanksgiving is a great American holiday. It’s all about family, food, friends, and for many of us, beer. And we’ve some ‘Turkey Day’ pairing suggestions to help you better navigate the day.

, 2021 Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing GuideThe Opening Beer

Your first Thanksgiving Day beer couldn’t be more important. It sets the tone for what might be several beers throughout the day and shouldn’t be selected casually.

This is that beer you’ll be nursing while you’re getting the lay of the land, helping friends in the kitchen or checking in on the football game.

The first beer sets the stage for a long day of serious eats and drinking. And a winter seasonal like Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA is always welcome start…Thanks to the fresh hops used, this limited edition release is a little different every year and the 2021 version is one of the brewery’s best ever.

The Thanksgiving Day Second Salvo

Thanksgiving can sometimes mean hours with friends and family before eventually migrating to the table. So a well-chosen ‘Second Beer’ is almost as important as your opener.

Your second beer doesn’t need to make a statement. But it does need to be refreshing and relatively sessionable as it’s going to be a long day of eating and drinking.

One of the nation’s best craft pilsners, Firestone Walker’s 5.3% ABV Pivo Pils is a great option in this mid-afternoon slot and we end up recommending it every year.

, 2021 Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing GuideThe Opening at the Table Beer

Things get a little more complicated when you’re choosing your first beer at the dinner table. For some this is wine time – but there’s an increasing spectrum craft beers that compliment this phase of things perfectly.

Inspired by the Belgian tradition of low-ABV, easily drinkable beers, Allagash Hoppy Table Beer is a smart choice as you begin your holiday meal that pairs brilliantly with both meats and salads.

Fermented with the brewery’s closely-guarded house yeast, hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Comet, and Azacca and tempered with a touch of coriander, Allagash’s sessionable Belgian-style ale is everything a table beer should be…Flavorful, but never intrusive, and immensely drinkable at the same time.


The Main Course Ale

This is your turkey beer, the beer that you’re sipping as you delve into all the table has to offer – and we suggest porters or stouts at this stage.

If you’re going with Porters, while there’s plenty of wonderful choices Hill Farmstead Everett is a pretty amazing way to go.

But if you’re thinking Stouts (stouts are great with turkey!) Foothills Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout will provide both buzz (9% ABV) and stuffing-friendly notes of bittersweet espresso, molasses, sweet toffee and dark fruit.

The Dessert Beer

, 2021 Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing GuideAmerican craft brewers excel at dessert beers… Sometimes big, barrel-aged and boozy – other times rich, sweet and almost brandy-like – there are so many ways to go here.

The dessert beer is your big chair by the fire brew, a night-ender to be sipped and savored. You want to go with a high octane full-flavored beer here… and The Bruery crafts a perfect Thanksgiving nightcap.

Brewed using more than 15 pounds of yams per barrel, The Bruery’s Autumn Maple is a robust and deftly spiced 10% ABV alternative to the more obvious pumpkin offerings that’s guaranteed to end your Thanksgiving on a ‘high’ note.


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