Photo Credit: Growler USA
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. It is really hard to surpass the idea of spending time with family and friends while gorging yourself on food and drinks to the point of explosion then changing into your dress sweats to relax, nap and watch football. Ah yes, it doesn't get much better. Nowadays, I like to kick off my turkey day at my friend's house as each year he hosts a Bloody Mary brunch. It's one of my favorite events of the year and a nice bloody complete with all the fixings is an amazing way to kick off this epic holiday. Inevitably though there is a clear need to shift from bloodies to another drink. Consuming too many could leave you toasted and full while potentially ruining your day. My limit is always two, then I transition to beer, my regular adult beverage of choice.
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Beer may be the elixir of the gods but, like anything else 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, thereby making it difficult to pin down one beer that will work with it 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. So to say that they know a think or two about beer pairings is an understatement.
Photo Credit: Growler USA
The Jessica Salrin at Growler USA suggests pairing like with like and 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. I recently caught up with them and here are their top suggestions for making the most out of this Thanksgiving's craft beer dinner pairings.
- 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 andFirestone Walker’s Sucaba.