25 Nov What Beer Should You Pair With Your Thanksgiving Dishes?
There’s something special about the holidays. Some of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving revolve around the wonderful food and uncomfortable, off-color behavior I’ve come expect over the years from family members whose blood-connection I regularly downplay but whom the holidays would feel strange and hollow without.
Recently, I have taken to pairing beers with seasonal holiday dishes that I don’t get a chance to eat very often. While this is an enjoyable practice solely on the basis of taste, doing so can also highlight the changing seasons and special character of each holiday. Throw in a seasonal beer for pairing and you might have a new favorite memory in the making. Here are some pairing ideas to try Thursday.
Turkey with stuffing
Everyone makes stuffing a different way, and a recipe I enjoy incorporates oysters and sage along with homemade cornbread. Regardless of your exact recipe, though, the grain-base of stuffing along with its unique spice character makes for a good pairing with a rye or red IPA.
Suggestions: Carson’s Brewery RIPA, Founders Red’s IPA
Some people don’t think ham is a Thanksgiving dish, but I can remember seeing it at various Thanksgivings of my own. The smoky, sweet flavor of ham makes it an ideal candidate for pairings with a beer that has a nice a malt profile to match, like a Scottish ale or brown ale.
Suggestions: Three Floyds Robert the Bruce, Dogfish Head India Brown Ale (this is a hybrid and oh-so-good)
This Thanksgiving staple is not usually eaten alone. If you eat it with your turkey a nice, bitter, not-too-malty IPA will balance the sweetness of the sauce and not clash with the turkey’s modest flavor.
Suggestions: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Sun King Brewing Osiris.
With such a strong flavor, pumpkin pie can be paired with a beer of matching intensity. If brown sugar is used in the recipe, one might choose a beer with sweet, roasty notes, like a Scotch ale. One could also go with a strong pumpkin ale to compliment the pumpkin flavors of the pie if that person really likes pumpkin that much. Above all, drink something sweet with the pie so the beer does not seem dull in comparison.
Suggestions: Founders Backwoods Bastard, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale