One of the things people crave most at Thanksgiving dinner is the pumpkin pie — whether or not it’s dessert time. And while wine, beer, and cocktails flow freely at any holiday meal, but we’re suggesting a creative alternative to the mundane this year that should please all palates: pumpkin beer.
Brewmasters all over the country are coming up with new infusions that will please curious beer drinkers, and people wait for hours in long lines to get a taste of the first batch of their favorite pumpkin ale. In Boston, the long-awaited release of Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead is accompanied by wringing hands, and excited squeals from grown men. And in Boulder, Colo., there’s a line out of the door at Avery Brewery to get a taste of their beloved pumpkin-flavored ale.
While summer brews typically are filled with citrus and fruity notes, fall and winter brews are often heavier infusions that stand up to hops- and barley-based beer blends. Pumpkin seems like a natural transition into the fall season and is easily paired with cinnamon, nutmeg, and even spiced rum! You can’t go wrong with a pumpkin beer — especially during the holidays.
Pumpkin is a staple of Thanksgiving dinner and the seasonal beer is easily incorporated into even the most creative Thanksgiving menus. The gourd-infused brew is exceptional because of its versatility. Pumpkin beers can be wheat-based, which allows for strong pumpkin flavors to burst forth and offer a nice pairing with Thanksgiving menu items like mashed potatoes and stuffing. And pumpkin can also stand up to the hops that most breweries enjoy using during the cooler seasons. The flavors of these pumpkin beers are slightly bitter but create a great combination with turkey, sweet potatoes, and even cranberry sauce.
We’ve come up with 11 must-have pumpkin beers for your Thanksgiving dinner this year. These beers are from all over the country and share a similar trait — they’re all absolutely delicious. Wine and hot apple cider will be drinks of the past this Thanksgiving season when you introduce pumpkin beer to the crowd at your holiday meal.