Wondering which beer to pair with your Thanksgiving meal?

by | In the Kitchen, Wine Talk

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving, the day of turkey, beer, lots of cheer, and of course, football. Yes, I just said beer. Granted, different types of wine complement this special meal, but alas, I’m the beer gal not the wine gal. Most don’t think about pairing beer with their Thanksgiving celebration, but the savory, sweet, and gravy laden morsels have a brew that will make this a memorable meal.



If your family is anything like mine, we usually start off with a smattering of appetizers. With much of the day ahead of you, this is not the place for high ABV beers, but a nice session IPA or domestic beer complements this snacking well. I can hear some of you grumbling that I’m suggesting domestics; however, these beers are great for those who just don’t like craft beer. Session IPAs deliver nice citrus and piney notes, giving you a base for cheeses, dips, and the shrimp platter.



As the juicy turkey is carved, the styles of beer begin to change. Amber ales or spicy lagers always bring roasted malt flavor that complements roasted or fried turkey as well as the multiple flavors from your side dishes. Farmhouse ales, with their effervescent mouth-feel and balance of bitter and sweet, are my favorite to serve with a turkey meal.



No Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert. Pumpkin pie is at the top of my list, and here is where a beer pairing can go awry. Pumpkin beer and pumpkin pie are not equals and should not go together. Instead, a bitter porter or coffee stout brings out the spices and true flavor of pumpkin. The pecan pie marches right next to a big, bold spicy stout with its hot spicy notes cutting the sweet as the caramel notes accentuate the pecans and buttery crust. I could go on and on about desserts, but I digress.


Try some new styles of beer this Thanksgiving and learn what you like. As for me, I will be sipping on a beautiful farmhouse ale with my turkey and a porter to pair with my pumpkin pie—all while sitting back and watching my family’s dynamics and watching a few football games.

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