Thanksgiving Craft Beer Pairing

I’m pretty convinced this time of year brings out the best in the American craft beer scene. Great seasonal beers like brassy Barleywine’s and boozy Stouts hit the shelves, along with special new winter releases and lingering fall gems all at your finger tips waiting to be swooped up. There’s nothing I love more than getting together with friends and family on Thanksgiving and sharing good food and beer. This Thanksgiving bring your love for craft beer to the party with a few pairing and sharing tips.

Arriving in style

Whether you’re hosting the party or you’re the guest, make sure you’re packing some heat, and by heat I mean serious beer. Well, that’s how I show my affection towards my grandma, it might not be for everyone. If you are a guest in someone’s house bring them the gift of craft beer. Special release bottles like Southern Tier Imperial Pumpking, Founders Breakfast Stout and Stone Enjoy By — IPA make a grand entrance. If you’re hosting this year make your loved ones comfortable with a beer that’s sure to warm them up, while at the same time not overwhelming their senses. Try popping open a Three Floyd’s Broo Doo, Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager or Duck-Rabbit Dopplebock to get Aunt Betty to start telling some good stories.

pairing dishes

Start your feast off with an appropriate table beer and evolve into more specific pairings as the meal progresses. Typically brown ales go great with classic Thanksgiving fare. A great example of this is Sierra Nevada Tumbler, other great American Brown Ale’s include Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, Surly Bender and Hazelnut Brown Nectar from Rogue Ales. These gems will go great with Turkey and mash potatoes, especially gravy.

Specific side dishes also deserve their own pairing too.

  • Cranberry relish or sauce try pairing it with a Wit beer like Portsmouth Witt2 or Little White Lie from Russian River. The natural flavor of orange and coriander in the Wit will go great with the cranberries.
  • Sweet Potatoes while served many ways will sing with a beer like The Bruery’s Autumn Maple or Rogue’s Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale. The maple flavor is a natural partner.
  • Stuffing can take on many different taste profiles, traditionally you’ll always have those sage, celery and onion flavors to count on. Incorporating a classic Saison like Saison DuPont from Brasserie can make this task easy on you.

dessert and after dinner drinks

Did someone say Pumpkin Pie? In my family we always serve coffee with Pumpkin Pie but this year I’m serving beer. Founders Porter to be exact. You get the wonderful coffee and chocolate notes from the beer to play into the light spice and creamy goodness of the pumpkin pie. If you want to get crazy this would be the time to whip out your Barleywine and Imperial Stout collection and try a few pairings out with the pie and other desserts, especially a rich chocolatey dessert that may be getting served. After the desserts are consumed the party and festivities will continue as these beers will be a great night cap on day full of thanks.

I hope you’ll be as thankful as I am this season for the plentiful craft beer at your table. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving.