BeerWise: Serve Beer this Thanksgiving

There is a hilarious parody of Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving where the “trailer park” family is feasting on KFC and washing it down with Bud. This parody speaks volumes about the stereotypes we have about beer. Beer isn’t fancy. Drinking beer at a formal family function is trashy. I’m here to say that like wine, beer can be classy and there is no reason it should be excluded from your Thanksgiving festivities. winter-beard_l

If you want your beer offerings to be taken as seriously as wine, you can’t just pick up a case of whatever is on sale from your local provider. Like wine, you have to choose a beer that pairs well with the savory and rich foods featured in a Thanksgiving feast. Once you’ve chosen your beer style, try to find at least one brew that comes in an interesting bottle. Presentation is important. Finally, like wine, serve it in a goblet for optimum style and flavor.

For Thanksgiving, go with ales rather than lagers. Ales aren’t overly carbonated so you won’t feel bloated after a glass or two. Ales have more character and range and like wine, can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.  In particular you should be looking for a brown ale. These caramel ales feature sweet notes that will perfectly compliment the dressing and gravy. Dark ales will be too heavy and overpowering, especially if you prefer white meat. Light ales tend to have a bitter aftertaste great for quenching thirst but not great for accenting savory flavors. If in doubt, your local craft beer provider will most likely have a large selection of fall and winter ales at this time of year. Any of these would pair well with Thanksgiving dinner.

Remember to drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!



Feature Photo credit: nprkr / / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Sharon Drummond / / CC BY-NC-SA


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About James Hudyma

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  1. Great call on the ales. Here in Michigan, Short’s Brewery’s Bellaire Brown is the perfect ale with turkey, and gravy, and dressing, and, well, you get the idea. It matches perfectly with sage.

  2. Fantastic advice. Here in Michigan (Great Lakes, Great Beer) we have plenty of outstanding craft breweries. As David mentioned, the Short’s Brown is a good choice, as are some of the seasonal ales. Cheers to a Happy Thanksgiving!

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