Beer pairings for your Thanksgiving dinner at home

Large Thanksgiving gatherings are off the table — pardon the pun — for 2020. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable meal with your immediate family or housemates. Pick up a smaller turkey or turkey breast, whip up some sides and turn the meal into a beer dinner by pairing a different beer with each dish.

Traditional beer dinners are often oversize affairs, with dozens or even hundreds in attendance, and an emphasis on menu courses, each with its own pairing. In my experience, Thanksgiving dinners tend to be more of a free-for-all with only two distinct courses: dessert and everything else. Here are the beer styles I think will work well with each dish, with a few specific examples to get you started.

The turkey

The most traditional Thanksgiving entree is a turkey, of course, a bird that pairs well with several types of beer. My favorite pairing is Anchor Christmas Ale, because of how the spices enhance turkey’s mild flavors. Other tasty options include Marin Brewing’s Hoppy Holidaze, Lagunitas’ Brown Shugga and 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat.

Other styles to consider include brown ales, dunkelweizen or a rye beer — or a gueuze lambic (The Bruery Rueuze, for example, Cantillon Lou Pepe or Lindemans Gueuze). Other possibilities include Biere de Garde (Jolly Pumpkin Biere De Mars, Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi or Russian River Perdition), Märzen (Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Märzen or Samuel Adams Octoberfest), or a Dubbel (Chimay Premiere Red, Lost Abbey Lost & Found Abbey Ale, or Westmalle Dubbel).

The sides

Stuffing and gravy: If you’re using sourdough bread to make your stuffing, try a sour beer, especially one with tart flavors (Rare Barrel Cosmic Dust, Russian River Supplication or anything sour from Almanac, Rare Barrel or Shady Oak). Otherwise, a Belgian Witbier will work great (Allagash White, Hitachino Nest White Ale, or Unibroue Blanche De Chambly).

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Cranberry sauce: Once you slather or dip that turkey bite in cranberry sauce, it tastes markedly different, so try that combination with a Berliner Weisse (Firestone Walker Bretta Rose or Sante Adairius Maiden Fields).

Mashed potatoes: To spice up your mashed potatoes, try a sweet or milk stout (Left Hand Milk Stout or Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin).

Green beans or green bean casserole: An IPA is the way to go here, but try a more traditional American IPA rather than a juicy IPA.

Candied yams: Pair this sweet dish with a Trappist Ale or Belgian Strong Pale Ale (Orval, Duvel or Rochefort 8).

Glazed carrots: Contrast the heavy glazing with a lighter shandy. They may be tough to find in winter, but you can make your own. Just mix a lager with lemonade or lemon-lime soda.

Brussels sprouts: To stand up to the strong flavors of roasted Brussels sprouts, try a Flanders red ale (Lost Abbey Red Poppy, Rodenbach Grand Cru or Duchesse De Bourgogne). Bonus: Try the Flanders red with your cranberry sauce, too.

Butternut squash: Pair it with a Czech or Bohemian-style pilsner (Moonlight Reality Czeck, Pilsner Urquell or Russian River STS Pils).


Like turkey, pumpkin pie is the king of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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