Thanksgiving Pairing Suggestions

Thanksgiving is here and we’re ready to gather around the table to feast on our favorite dishes. But, what to drink? Mike Willcox from our education team is here to breakdown which beers from our line-up will pair perfectly with the classic Thanksgiving dishes, from the “diva” of the table, cranberry sauce, to the creamy closer, pumpkin pie. Enjoy!

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Turkey

  • Turkey is the main dish and, thus, deserves special attention. Pale Ale is a nice pairing for roasted turkey, and if you go the deep-fried route it would be even better. The light hop bitterness will do wonders to cleanse your palate between each bite.
  • Porter is another great option. The toasty notes and hints of bitter chocolate would resonate well with the bird and the rich poultry will pair well with the velvet mouth feel.
  • If you happen to be cellaring any Curmudgeon Old Ale, now may be the time to crack it open. Something with a bit more substance and a little mellow sweetness night be a nice contrast and Curmudgeon Old Ale has both in spades. The caramel malts and the residual sweetness from the molasses will contrast nicely with the savory turkey – the flavors will play together deliciously.
  • The herbaceousness and coy sweetness of Spectra Trifecta is going to slip right behind the savory turkey and make that umami just absolutely pop. Spectra Trifecta is an amazing food beer, but when it comes to savory meats with a little salt to them, it really gets the chance to shine. Spectra Trifecta would be ideal for most of the items on the list.

Ham

  • Dirty Bastard is almost tailor made for pairing with pork, especially a glazed ham. The punchy caramel and toffee notes of the Dirty Bastard malt bill will roll right into a glazed ham and allow the salty, savory aspects of the meat to mellow and chuckle their way to the background – still there to play – but not stealing the show.

Stuffing

  • A nice hearty stuffing is just begging to be served alongside Porter. If you use mushrooms in your stuffing (like my bubby used to) then even better! Stuffing is all about umami and richness with an occasional bright twinkle of sweet or sharp from the carrots, celery, and onions. Porter will roll right in with the umami and contrast with the sweet and sharp, pushing them to the front of the palate.
  • The sweet malt flavors of Dirty Bastard and the savory bread will make for a completely different experience. Worth trying!

Cranberry Sauce 

  • Cranberry sauce is hard because it has SUCH a presence. It’s a bit of a diva and if you aren’t careful with who you set it up with its going to get pouty and ruin the night for everybody. All Day IPA isn’t a bad idea, it’s light and refreshing and the bitterness from the hops might have an interesting time dancing with all of that tart, and the bright sour sweetness of the cranberries might take those citrus notes from the beer and end up in the guest room groping away on top of the coats.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

  • Porter all the way. I won’t even suggest anything else. The earthy potatoes and the toast of the Porter will resonate gorgeously.

Sweet Potatoes 

  • The mellow sweet malts of the Dirty Bastard and the earthy sweet of the sweet potatoes will stroll across your palate hand in hand leaving you thankful you cracked open that bottle.

Dinner Rolls

  • Any beer will go well with dinner rolls. Dinner rolls are at every dinner because they go with… well… everything.

Roasted Vegetables 

  • Unless you’re serving something with a lot of flavor like brussel sprouts (in which case go with Porter, baby) then you should be good with whatever you are pouring with the rest of the meal.

Salad

  • I don’t know if this is customary for everybody, but my family usually has a light salad with tomatoes and cucumbers lightly dosed with vinaigrette. The slight hop bitterness of All Day IPA is fantastic with the fresh refreshing flavors of the salad and the citrus notes of the beer add a little zing to the vinaigrette.

Green Bean Casserole 

  • The flavors of the beans and the hop bitterness of All Day IPA should meld well and bring out some of the citrus of the beer. Mosaic Promise, if you can find it in your area, may be another one to consider with this dish.

Corn

  • Pale Ale all the way. Corn is a simple, filling side dish with a hint of sweet and a lot of vegetal character. Any beer with a lot of weight is going to eclipse the corn. Pale Ale has enough character with its light citrus and slight hint of bitter, but for the most part it is going to let the corn be the star of the show. It’s a great option to clean the palate and have the stage ready for the next act.

Pecan Pie

  • Pecan Pie has a flavor all of its own – sweet and nutty and just touch of bready from the crust. The chocolate and coffee notes of Porter are just waiting to enhance the nutty flavors, and the sweet of the pie will take that bitter chocolate and get it blushing.

Pumpkin Pie 

  • What’s a better way to cap off the night than a slice of pumpkin pie and the bourbon barrel-aged deliciousness that is Backwoods Bastard? Backwoods has a rich, malty sweetness with notes of vanilla and a hint of bourbon burn from its time in the barrel. Add a slowly melting dollop of vanilla ice cream and this is a match made in heaven.

That’s all, folks! Cheers to a enjoying Thanksgiving with family, friends, great food and even better beer.

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