12 Beers to Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner Slideshow
November 16, 2011
Prima Pils, Victory Brewing
On a marathon-long eating day like Thanksgiving, you're going to want to start out with something light and easy-drinking, like a pilsner or a lager. The brewery's lager is a great friend-of-all-foods choice, but if you're looking for something with a slightly more assertive character, the hoppy Prima Pils is a good beer to enjoy with appetizers while watching the game on TV.
Cameo Cider, Argus Cidery
This young, Texas-based cidery is known for its dry, elegantly aromatic hard ciders. The tart-sweet Cameo variety (made exclusively from apples of the same name) is a nice, early-in-the-meal choice for those who want a non-wine beer alternative.
Hitachino Nest White Ale, Kiuchi Brewery
The flavors of orange zest, nutmeg, and corriander in this slightly bitter, but easy-drinking Japanese witbier are a great match to the spread of a typical Thanksgiving table.
Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale, Harpoon Brewery
Cranberry sauce may be one of the eternal sources of contention at the Thanksgiving table, but there's little arguing the virtues of this seasonal amber ale from New England-based Harpoon Brewery. Made with freshly harvested cranberries, the beer strikes a nice balance of tart and bitter, with just a slight note of malty sweetness.
Matilda, Goose Island Beer Company
The Chicago brewery's Belgian-style pale ale is known for its spicy yeast character — a great pick if you're looking for something that will contrast and cut through some of the heartier, richer fare.
Saison Dupont, Brasserie Dupont
Saisons are a classic beer-Thanksgiving dinner pairing and this crispy, bubbly Belgian brew is a smart bet. Look for notes of spice, pear, and tart apples. Similarly, Brewery Ommegang's bright and zesty Hennepin is a super flavorful farmhouse ale that should help cut through the fat and heaviness of the main-course dishes.
Sorachi Ace, Brooklyn Brewery
This Belgian-style saison was conceived using an unusual hop variety of the same name that was originally developed by Japan's Sapporo Breweries. Brooklyn Brewery has used the variety to make a a really unique beer with what craft-beer expert Josh Bernstein describes as a bright lemon aroma and soft buttery flavor.
Saison, Funkwerks Brewery
The Fort Collins, Colo., brewery's flagship beer does the farmhouse style proud — intensely carbonated, with a fruity aroma, a slight earthniess, and a peppery zip.
Autumn Maple, The Bruery
Brewed with yams (apparently 17 pounds per barrel!), cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and maple syrup, this powerfully flavored seasonal is a great pumpkin beer alternative.
Dark Starr Stout, Starr Hill
While this American-made version of a dry Irish stout pours a dark, rich brown, it is nevertheless a great, light-bodied session beer. The award-winning, low-alcohol brew packs a lot of coffee and dark chocolate flavors without the heft — something you'll no doubt be thankful for during such a meal.
Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Southern Tier Brewing
This king among pumpkin beers makes a welcome addition to a meal that celebrates the bounty and flavors of fall. Sweet, with a bevy of spice notes that include cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, it acheives that pie-in-a-glass quality if you're looking for more of a liquid dessert.
Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Wells & Young's Ltd.
This lush, rich milk stout is a good way to close out the extravagant meal. A powerful punch of chocolate aroma and flavor, it drinks well with a slice of pecan or pumpkin pie (or perhaps a little of both).