It might be that you have a “Norman Rockwell,” toast-to-health-and-wealth type Thanksgiving ideal in your mind, wine glasses in hand. And here at TLP, we love wine (we even have a wine panel), and we don’t have a thing against the love of tradition that is Rockwell.
But what about getting crazy this year, mixing it up with the toasting bev of choice? That’s right, what about …. wait for it … beer? Well, Jon Richard of The Growler Station in Greenville, South Carolina raises his stein with a hearty “Yes!”
Here are Richard’s suggestions for beer pairings this Thanksgiving:
Rich and earthy beers / Thanksgiving dinner is usually a rich, heavy meal, so Jon suggests pairing rich and earthy beers, such as Bell’s Cherry Stout. The fruit is subtle, and the beer has plenty of carbonation to lift the richness of the foods off your palate. With an actual stuffed turkey, this beer would be a game changer. And if you’re hosting the meal, what is better than a game changer?
Pumpkin Beer / This beer is complex and meaty enough to blend well with almost anything on the table. It would especially pair well with candied yams. The similarity of the flavors is self-explanatory, but a good spicy pumpkin ale will add dryness to the yams, while the sweetness of the yams will pull the dessert flavors out of the pumpkin beer. And may we add, it’s pumpkin.
Belgian Beers / The earthy yeast character in Belgian Beers will blend well with the richness of Thanksgiving food. The fruity flavors of a Dubbel will work well with turkey and dressing. For dessert, pair a Grand Cru with creme brulee, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or a similar rich dessert. It will cut through the richness of the dessert while adding some spice of its own.
Saison or Brown Ale / When in doubt, go with Saison or a Full Brown Ale such as Bells Best Brown or Avery Ellie’s Brown. These beers will pair with anything on the table. They have enough spice to match the stuffing as well as a good amount of carbonation to cut through heavy foods.