Whether you love or hate this American holiday, many can agree that having the right beer on hand can make this holiday a lot more bareable. It can also be an interesting time to introduce relatives to some new beers. Each year, I recommend a few beers that you could bring to Thanksgiving dinner to either spark conversation, pair with thanksgiving food or in general just be a nice way to spend the evening with family. My criteria is simple – the beers should be drinker-friendly, readily accessible, and worth tasting. They’re different every year, so I recommend you check out the 2007 and 2008 version as well for some additional ideas!
1. Rogue Maierfest - This new beer from Rogue is a truly fall beer. Balanced, spicy and very warming, this one goes very well with turkey, stuffing and other fall roasty dishes like potatoes, carrots and onions. It is also a nice fall/winter warmer, and I really like standing out on my deck drinking one of these when there’s a chill in the air.
2. Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale - This has been my favorite pumpkin beer of the season, and it’s very entry-level and palate friendly. Not too spicy, not too pumpkin, not too anything, really, this one is a nice mix of pumpkin flavor with a tasty beer undertone. Well done this year, Dogfish.
3. Magic Hat – Howl - This is a new “winter” beer from Magic Hat. Its malty nature and warming qualities make it nice for a winter’s evening. I think it would probably go well with a hearty meal like thanksgiving, but watch out it may make you sleepy as it warms.
4. Sam Adams – Octoberfest – I know what you beer geeks are thinking. Really? That’s not very creative, Beer Babe. But hear me out. This is a very likable, classic fall beer that goes well with a lot of food, and might be a good “entry level” brew for those beer-skeptic members of the family like your uncle or dad that only drinks things with red white or blue labels. Try this as the gateway beer this year, and it just might work.
5. Victory – Golden Monkey - First of all, the illustration on the outside of this one is just adorable. The taste, too is very delicious. Its a wheaty and yeasty golden beer, and pretty easy to get. This is for the drinker that thinks all beer tastes the same, because this may cross the line and prove them very, very wrong. Check it out.
Enjoy your holiday everyone! Please feel free to comment and tell me what you bring to your thanksgiving dinner!
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to read this posting from Mario Rubio of the Hop Press about cooking turkey with beer (including a recipe for IPA mashed potatoes) I highly recommend it. Happy thanksgiving!