Sadly, most of our relatives seem to be familiar only with Budweiser and Coors. As a lover of real, flavorful ale, I love to bring beer that may change my families opinions of the watery, flavorless “beer” they have been drinking for years.
1) Biere de garde:
Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, believes that Biere de Garde (beer for keeping) is the ultimate Thanksgiving Beer. The herbal flavors that are found in the stuffing and gravy match perfectly with this style. This beer can take any dry Turkey and make it taste like the juiciest bird one has ever had. These beers also come in champagne bottles with cork and wire cap, which can easily awe and inspire your guests. Many US microbreweries make this style but one can also seek out more traditional frenh biere de garde like Jenlain from brasserie Duych.
Ommegang’s Biere de mars is an american interpretation from Cooperstown, NY that would make a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving Table.
2) Hennepin (Saison)
When I started to thirst for real beer, I sought out Ommegang’s Hennepin and it was one of the best beers I’ve ever had. It is categorized as a Saison or farmhouse ale. It was brewed to last through the warmer months when brewing was impossible since refrigeration was not yet invented. This style is usually a higher abv such as 7 or 8% alcohol by volume. It is crisp and refreshing. Like the biere de garde, it has herbal qualities that match well with Thanksgiving dinner. It will easily cut through the fatty meal and cleanse the palate. Other beers to try of this style are Saison Dupont or La Chouffe.
3) Belgian Pale Ale such as Ommegang’s Rare Vos
Belgian pale ale is a very broad category and can easily be found in any bottle shop. The caramel and biscuit malt flavors can work well with the turkey’s caramelized skin. Like the previous two examples, the herbal flavors would work wonders with the stuffing and gravies. Ommegang’s bright, citrusy, and refreshing brew would stand up to any Thanksgiving meal.
4) Dogfish head Punkin’ Ale
Sam Calagione is known throughout the craft beer community as a great innovator and creator of some vary tasty beers. His seasonal Punkin’ Ale may be one of my favorite matches to pumpkin pie. The beer does not hit you in the face with a sweet pumpkin flavor. It is subtle, and very flavorful.
5) Westmalle Triple
This beer, or any other triple for that matter are crisp and refreshing. There is enough carbonation to cleanse the palate and turn an ordinary meal into a wonderful one. This beer is brewed by one of the seven trappist breweries in the world. If you would rather have a strong showing of american beers try Allagash’s triple of Victory’s Golden Monkey.
I hope this article can help show one’s relatives the power of real beer and transform your own dining experience.