Fresh and Fizzy: Beers To Drink With Thanksgiving Dinner

Beer Sessions

While the pilgrims probably drank hard cider, we’ll be drinking beer this Thanksgiving. Here are our top picks for beers to pair with everything from turkey and pecan pie.

Pre-Dinner Nibbles - We like to start things off with a beer that’s fresh and light. It’s a holiday and we’re about to eat a lot, so we’re not terribly concerned about alcohol content. All the same, it’s probably best to save the heavier beers for later.

Fleur from Goose Island - Light and fresh, with a tart apple flavor
Lambrucha from Vanberg & DeWulf - Fizzy and herbal

The Main Course - Between the roast turkey, the cranberry sauce, and all those side dishes, there’s a lot happening on a Thanksgiving table! For one beer that pairs well with everything, look to the Belgians. These wild fermented beers are packed with flavor, but have a freshness that cleanses the palate between bites and keeps the beer from overshadowing the food.

Maudite from Unibroue - Rich with spicy yeasts with a crisp citrus finish
Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale from Brewery Van Steenberge - Funky with lots of ripe fruit flavors and candy-like malts
Hennepin Farmhouse Saison from Brewery Ommegang - Juicy fruit flavors with an earthy coriander finish.

Dessert Buffet - Now we can get into some richer and heartier brews. With sweet desserts, we really like a good barrel-aged beer. These have complex flavors of oak and bourbon that go well with all your favorite Thanksgiving pies plus that scoop of ice cream on the side.

Curieux from Allagash Brewing Company - Vanilla, stewed fruits, and a hit of spice
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Lexington Brewing Company - As close to bourbon as a beer can get
Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company - As rich and fruity as their Dirty Bastard, with a hit of bourbon goodness

Post-Dinner Lounging - For rounding out the meal and heading into the evening, we turn to the darker beers. Stouts and porters give us the espresso and chocolate flavors we crave after a big meal.

Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery - Dark roasted coffee mixed with unsweetened chocolate.
Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewery - Smooth and creamy, like an iced latte
Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery - Molasses and chocolate edging into espresso

What beers will you be drinking this Thanksgiving?

Related: How Cold Should Beer Be Served?

(Image: Flickr member jenny downing licensed under Creative Commons)