Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and - of course - turkey. While (hopefully) we all take this time to catch up and reunite, chances are that not everyone at the table will share the same excitement for beer and - dare I say it - some may not like it at all.
Here is a list of 8 craft beers to serve and share around your Thanksgiving table that will please the beer geeks and enlighten the palates of the biggest wine lovers.
Lambic/ Fruit Beer
Some beer geeks cringe at these words, but if you’ve never tried this Lambic, you're missing out. Lambics don’t taste like beer so they are fun to taste for everyone.
Our Pick: Lindemans - Kriek Lambic - Coming all the way from the motherland of beer in Belgium, this sweet, tart cherry really is a great fruit beer. It goes very well with turkey and stuffing.
This style is brewed with a Belgian yeast that has a character all its own and puts a big twist into the beer that many wine drinkers really enjoy. Their crisp character is great with the turkey and cranberry sauce and they won’t compete with with heavier dishes.
Our Pick: Epic Brewing - Sour Apple Saison - The name deceives people: "sour apple" makes us think of sweet/tart over the top flavors, but this beer has none of that. It is light and approachable with the only real evidence of sour being that it dries up quickly on the finish. Delicious.
Or Try: Goose Island - Sofie or Brasserie Dupont sprl - Saison Dupont
Pale, cloudy and unfiltered, these belgian wheat beers have notes of spiciness - coriander, clove or orange - and go beautifully with cranberry, sage and fall. Witbiers (Blue Moon) are a common gateway to the craft beer scene and these suggestions will entice those newbies further down the path.
Or Try: Clown Shoes Brewing - Clementine or Unibroue - Blanche De Chambly
Sweet; a bit maltier and higher in alcohol, a good Belgian tripel is a wine lover’s gateway beer.
Or Try: Chimay - White label, also called Cinq Cents
Stronger, darker, sweeter and more complex than a wine lover will ever expect to find in a beer. These beers play into the dark fruity side of Thanksgiving and pair wonderfully with sweet potatoes and even pumpkin pie.
Or Try: Brooklyn Brewery - Local 2
This is no wine, and can be a very over-the-top beer, but when chosen carefully the dark fruits and sweetness with a hop bite finish are loved by many.
Our Pick: Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) - Griffin's Bow - This lighter introduction is a good jumping off point to decide if you would like to go deeper into to the style. And with toasty oak flavors that compliment the tropical fruit notes it is a big beer that wine lovers will understand.Or Try: Stone Brewing - Old Guardian (more hops) or Anchor Brewing - Old Foghorn (more fruit and banana)
Thick, roasty with big chocolate flavor these beers will please chocolate lovers in any crowd. And, who doesn’t love chocolate??
Or Try: Wells & Young’s - Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Not for the faint of heart and they have more alcohol than you can shake a stick at, but oh, they are amazing. Dark and roasty, with oakiness and rum, bourbon or wine notes from sitting in those barrels... these beers are the result of a long-lasting love affair with the brewer and it shows.
Our Pick: Firestone-Walker Brewing - Double DBA - Not just the DBA (their flagship beer) but the proprietor series Double DBA - it comes in a box. This beer is scary good. Technically an American Barleywine, the barrel aging process completely changes this beer into something new - something delicious.Or Try: Deschutes Brewing - The Abyss
So, now you have some beer pairing ideas for your wine loving friends and family this Thanksgiving. They may not love them all but they will without a doubt begin to understand what craft beer is all about. Cheers!
For other cool beer pairings, check out these pairings with chocolate!
For a list of awesome beer gifts: Click Here