Beer Recommendations for Thanksgiving
Assuming that you were able to exhibit proper pimp hand, and win the battle for beer on the Thanksgiving table, it is now time to look at the beverages of choice. To help you decide what to drink this holiday, we have put together the following collection of recommendations.
For the full, complex, fatty flavors of an all-out Thanksgiving main course, you want a muscular beer, with the hops and alcohol to cut through. The category called Belgian-style strong ales works here.
Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, Colorado, 8.99 percent alcohol: dark brown color, sturdy beige head, starts fruity, then the powerful alcohol kicks in. It’ll handle Cajun turkey, even red meat; $8.49 per 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle. Ommegang Brewery Rare Vos Belgian-Style Amber Ale, Cooperstown, N.Y., 6.5 percent alcohol: coppery color, fruity, spicy, muscular, flavors of burnt sugar; $5.79 per 1-pint, 9.4-ounce bottle.
Eating poultry, gravy, stuffing, etc? You could kick the day up a notch by pairing your meal with some strong Belgian-style ales. Their higher alcohol percentages cut through fats and starches, provide an edge of sweetness, and boast very diverse and complex flavors that lend themselves very well to this pairing.
Allagash Grand Cru Avery Salvation Russian River Damnation Ommegang Rare Vos
Another recommendation is to reintroduce more Pilsners and Lagers, as they will not only act as a palate cleanser in-between bites, but their lightness and spicy tones complement poultry and the contrast with gravies and stuffing is often welcome.
The folks at Drink Craft Beer also have suggestions. Here is a look at what they recommend for dinner:
For dinner, you’ll want something with enough flavor to stand up to the slightly gamey turkey, tart cranberry sauce, buttery mashed potatoes and stuffing. But, you also don’t want it to fill you up too much. Almost anything Belgian style will work. The spice of the yeast and bold flavors will stand up fine to the meal, even in lighter Belgian beers that won’t fill you up. Our recommendation:
Ommegang Hennepin Saison
Appearance: Golden straw, hazy, light white head
Aroma: Citrusy, sweet, hint of spice
Taste: Smooth, a light sweetness, spicy hop finish, and a the tell tale earthy spicy finish you’d expect from a saison. Bold enough to stand up to a hearty meal, without making you too full to eat it.
Note: This particular example of a Saison is a little sweeter than usual. There are many other saisons that are less sweet and more spicy. If you want something drier, try anything by Fantome from Belgium, Red Barn by Lost Abbey in California or Bam Biere by Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan. Or, if your local craft brewery makes a saison, give it a shot. Basically we’re just recommending this style for the meal… a good saison, at least, that is.
We also suggest you check out The News Tribune for some specific recommendations to complement unique Thanksgiving recipes. Last but not least, the good folks at The Brew Site point us in the direction of the only Thanksgiving beer they could find, Mayflower Brewing Company’s Thanksgiving Ale.