Thanksgiving is a wonderful American holiday. The first of winter’s celebrations. it’s all about family, food, friends, and for many of us, beer. And few meals allow for such a wide variety of food and beer pairings as the Thanksgiving dinner – which makes your beer choices both easier and more difficult.
The ‘First Beer’ Beer
The first beer is your opening experience, and like any introduction, it’s important. This is that early afternoon beer you’re nursing while hanging out with friends in the kitchen or checking in on the football game.
The first beer sets the stage for an afternoon of snacking and drinking – and a winter seasonal like Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop IPA is always a welcome beginning.
Thanksgiving can sometimes mean hours where friends are together, before eventually migrating to the table. And a well-chosen ‘Second Beer” is not only appropriate – it’s essential.
Just as with the “first beer” the ‘Thanksgiving seconds’ doesn’t need to make a statement. But it does need to be refreshing and ideally not all that high-octane as its best to pace to pace yourself at these kinds of gatherings. And Firestone Walker’s 5.3% ABV Pivo Hoppy Pils is a great option for this mid-afternoon slot.
The Opening Table Beer
This one’s fun. You’re coming off a two beer buzz and have just made your way the table. For some this is wine time – but there are many craft beers that compliment phase of things so much better.
Allagash White is a terrific table beginning, an American take on the traditional Belgian wheat ale with a hazy, ‘white’ appearance, that’s spiced with a special blend of coriander and Curacao orange peel
And because it’s so crisp, spicy and fruity – it will serve you well while you’re serving up your plate.
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 here.
And when you’re going with porters, there’s plenty of wonderful choices – but Hill Farmstead Everett is a pretty amazing (if you can find it). But you’ll be happy with Founders Porter as well – it’s incredibly rich and nuanced as well as widely available.
The Dessert Beer
American craft beer owns dessert beers…And there are so many ways to go here. This is where you want to go with BIG, full-flavored, high-octane beers. And The Bruery crafts a perfect Thanksgiving nightcap, that’s a different take on the “pumpkin” beer style.
Brewed using more than 15 pounds of yams per barrel, The Bruery’s Autumn Maple is a robust and deftly spiced 10% ABV seasonal, that’s guaranteed to end your Thanksgiving on a ‘high’ note.