4 Favorite Beer Pairings for this Thanksgiving

November 22, 2011

Enough pixels have been created in the last few years about the wonderful world of beer that just didn't exist 15 years ago. But beer as a pairing to fine gastronomy is still gaining traction. This Thanksgiving, we want to give you some ideas for pairings beyond just "red or white".



1) Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin pie is a staple at nearly every Thanksgiving feast. We believe that pumpkin ale should be the same way. Becoming increasingly common, pumpkin ale usually appears around September and lasts until the stocks run out. It is characterized by fall spices like clove and cinnamon, and of course, is punctuated by the round flavors of pumpkin. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is one of our favorites, but Dogfish Head, and Harpoon also make great pumpkin ales. Pumpkin ales are made to be served fresh, so try to get them from the tap at the bar when you can. But for drinking at home, you have the option of choosing from any number of six-pack varieties.



2) Pilsner Urquell

Urquell is the original Pilsner, imported from Czech Republic. For those not familiar with pilsners, they are light like lager, but feature a crisper finish. This particular pilsner has been becoming more popular stateside, and for good reason. For those who like pilsners, this is the classic. Many flavors of thanksgiving, like turkey, are softer, and Urquell is the metaphorical beer equivalent of a sparkling white wine. Crisp, complementary, and not overpowering. Much of "big American" brewing is based off of the pilsner taste, such as Budweiser and PBR, in an industry which took root from German-American immigrants two hundred years ago. Should you not be able to find Urquell, you can settle for another beer, just be sure to pour it into a glass.



George Washington Porter

3) George Washington's Tavern Porter - Yards Brewing Company

Porter's are strong beers, and appeal to a particular subset of people. In this case, I'm recommending the GW Porter for dessert, because its strong, smoky flavor could decimate your turkey. Although you might want it that way. This beer is molasses based, and in many ways is like drinking a campfire, in the best possible connotation. If you like porters, the George Washington Tavern Porter is a must-try. If you don't, well, maybe you'll be cooler someday.


4) BONUS - Strongbow Cider

Martinelli's sparkling cider was always at my Thanksgiving dinners growing up. It is light and sweet, I got to feel like a grown up even though Martinelli's has no alcohol. Alcoholic cider is for actual grown ups. Of the field, Strongbow, from the UK, is the biggest brand. English cider brands are often a step ahead of their American cousins in producing a less sweet, more sophisticated cider.