Thanksgiving Beer Pairings

I have to start this post off by thanking my friend Peter, who commented on the “if my coaster could talk” Facebook page with a request for a blog post about beers to pair with your Thanksgiving meal. I thought it was a great idea, but have to admit I’m not a pro when it comes to pairings, so the following are my suggestions based on what I would choose; hopefully you’ll find something you would like to try.

Before the meal: If you aren’t helping prepare the meal then you probably have some time to kill, I usually find myself on the couch watching football, socializing and picking away at hors d’oeuvres. I like my pre-meal beer to be something easy drinking, flavorful but not a palate wrecker, because when the bird is served I don’t want to still taste the first beer I drank.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler:  this is a really nice brown ale, smooth and malty; this easy drinking beer is 5.5% ABV.

Rising Tide Daymark: This rye pale ale is a nice choice; it’s not overly hoppy and has a nice peppery bite from the rye, 5.5% ABV.

During the meal: So the turkey’s carved and dinner is served and you are headed to the fridge to grab a beer (or to the cooler if you don’t trust your family to leave your beer alone). The way I see it you have two options when picking a beer here, something that’s flavorful to match up with the big flavors of the meal or something crisp and clean to cleanse the palate between bites.

Rising Tide Ishmael: I really enjoy this beer, flavorful and easy drinking; I feel it will pair well with a Thanksgiving meal. 5.1% ABV.

Allagash Trippel: This is a complex beer with a lot of flavor and at 9% ABV a good one to share.

Sixpoint The Crisp: The name says it all, crisp, clean and refreshing. This pilsner weighs in at 5.4% ABV.

Maine Beer Company MO: this American pale ale has a nice hoppiness but isn’t a palate wrecker, finishes with a slight bitter aftertaste. 6% ABV.

Dessert: The meal is over, you’re in the homestretch, hopefully at this point there hasn’t been a catastrophic family meltdown and nobody forgot the cool whip. This is when I’m looking for a beer that’s a little richer.

Founders Breakfast Stout: This is probably my first choice for a Dessert beer, coffee and chocolate flavors match up with a slice of chocolate cream pie. 8.3% ABV.

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Solstice d’hiver: This Barleywine is complex, rich and flavorful and a heavy hitter weighing in at 10.2 ABV.

I also have to thank Eric at Bangor Wine and Cheese for allowing me to come in and take photos for the post, Everything i’ve selected is available at the shop.

Have a happy Thanksgiving


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Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.