Photo Credit: Growler USA
*Blog Post Updated on November 19, 2021
From the time that I was a child, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Aside from it being the unofficial kickoff to the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, conceptually, the holiday itself is wonderful. Family, food and football...it doesn't get much better than that.
It's also a great day to drink some of the best Thanksgiving beer.
Start With a Bloody Mary, Finish With Beer
I always kick off my turkey day at my friend's house. He hosts an annual Bloody Mary brunch which is one of my favorite events of the year. Starting my holiday with a nice Bloody Mary, topped with all the fixings is the way to go. It's the perfect elixir for that Thanksgiving Eve hangover. Kind of like the Bloody Mary you get when you're skiing in order to shake off a little too much après-ski from the day before. It's a necessity!
Bloody Mary's are great but, great as they may be, they can fill you up pretty quickly. One or two to help knock off the cobwebs and then it's time to shift to good Thanksgiving beer.
Coming Up With the Best Thanksgiving Beer Pairing
Beer may be the elixir of the gods but, like all other spirits, it's a challenge to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. The combination of dishes like turkey, stuffing, potatoes, macaroni and cheese and more produces an array of flavors. A variety of flavors like this makes it extremely difficult to pin down one Thanksgiving beer to pair with them all.
Growler USA, an amazing beer pub with locations across the country, specializes in producing delicious food that pairs well with the beers they serve. Their True to the Brew philosophy supports the idea that craft beer makers brew beer with the intent to pair it with the perfect dish. Growler USA cooks up dishes that honor this intent.
To say that the people who work at Growler USA are experts in beer pairings would be an understatement. It's what they do regularly, making them an excellent resource for your perfect Thanksgiving beer pairing.
Photo Credit: Growler USA
Jessica Salrin from Growler USA suggests pairing like with like. On a holiday such as Thanksgiving, where the flavors can be all over the map, it is best to break it down by course and by dish. Certain Thanksgiving beers will pair better with the appetizers and others with the main meal and dessert. In other words, a wide variety of foods requires a wide variety of beer for Thanksgiving
The 5 Beers You'll Need for Thanksgiving Dinner
I recently caught up with them and here are their top suggestions for making the most out of your Thanksgiving beer pairing.
- Appetizer: A cheese board has a variety of textures and flavors so stick to something mild and hoppy. Mayflower Brewing Company’s Daily Ration is a session IPA that is unfiltered, crisp, dry and hoppy – everything you need to start off the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Turkey: The rich flavors from the turkey are complimented by a Belgian style ale. New Belgium Brewing Company’s Trippel is golden, hoppy and fruity, but delivers a warm dry finish.
- Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes: A nice malty, spicy dark beer compliments the rich and creamy flavors of this thanksgiving staple. Boulevard Brewing Company’s Nutcracker Winter Warmer gives a perfect contrast.
- Dessert: Doesn’t matter if it’s a traditional pumpkin pie or a rich chocolate cream pie, a strong bourbon barrel aged stout or a barley wine are the perfect pairings for your after meal choice. Growler USA likes Alesmith’s Speedway Stout and Anchorage Brewing Company's A Deal With the Devil.
Time to Change Into Your Après Ski Clothes
At some point during the day, you will inevitably feel like you are going to pop. Eating and drinking all day can do that to you. That's right about the time you'll want to switch into the best après ski clothes you can find. I suggest our If You Don't Après Ski Hoodie. It's soft, comfortable and will allow extra space to accommodate the expansion from the day.