Monday, November 23, 2015
Thanksgiving Beer Pairings
You have become quite an expert in beer and don't need no stinkin' bloggers telling you exactly which beers to drink at Thanksgiving, do you? So rather than tell you which beers we would drink, let us suggest to you a couple of beer styles to consider when chosing your holiday brews.
What do you eat at Thanksgiving? Turkey? Ham? Roast beer? Pizza? Even though turkey is the traditional choice, it isn't really close to being the only choice. What is traditional is that you will probably eat a huge selection of foods with wide ranging flavors, so it is quite difficult to suggest a particular beer style. Or is it? There are a few beer styles which are so easy to drink and so broad in flavor profile that they could easily be paired with any food type, so for your consideration:
- Bière de garde or Saison - Look, you are going to eat virtually every animal found in a farmyard, so why not pair your dinner with a beer that has a earthy, barnyardy background. This yeasty, lightly carbonated beer will handily compliment your turkey OR your ham. You may wish to consider Saison Dupont.
- German Marzen or Oktoberfest - Rich and malty, but lightly textured beer will not fill you up, preventing you from gorging on Grandma's stuffing. Hell, this will even make dry, overcooked turkey easy to consume. WE will be drinking Paulaner Oktoberfest with our bird.
- Scotch Ale - Oh-so-smooth and probably too easy to drink, this beer's carmelized, malty, character perfectly complement any meat dish, and the peaty bitterness tones down the sugars in your dessert, making it easy to tolerate a 2nd or even 3rd slice of pie. We always have Belhaven in our refrigerator and so should you.
- Brown Ale - While Newcastle Brown Ale is probably too one-dimensional to use in your Thanksgiving pairings, American style brown ales have a chocolatey, malty, hoppy profile that will bring a pop to your tarts. Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale or Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar would be our choices.
- Dubbel - Oh come on, you knew we were going to snob it up, it was just a matter of when. It will so impress your family/friends when you whip out a bottle of Chimay Première (red label) and pop the cork. The rich warm maltiness lives to be paired with baked goods and the significant carbonation cuts through the coating in your mouth from the greasy, cheesy goodness that Aunt Matilda brought.
- Dessert - Two ways to look at picking a beer for dessert. There is sweet to complement the sweet, or bitter to contrast the sweet. Let start with sweet: your type 2 diabetes is going to cause you to lose a limb anyway, so go ahead and pick up an English Barley Wine or a Belgian Quadruppel. Dark fruits, caramel and toffee character of these beers will pair along with any dessert, we'll just call you 'Stumpy'. Firestone Walker §ucaba will be our poison pick. Bitter: Pick a beer that is as bitter as your holiday hating personality. What? Your wife just left you for her boss? Choose a west coast double IPA that will make your face scrunch up every time you take a sip, so that your friends and family know just how shitty you think life really is. Stone Ruination should fit the bill.