Craft Beer Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Dinner. Part 2
Alrighty guys, in Part 1 we discussed pairings for your Appetizers and Main Course for your Turkey Day Masterpiece, but now it’s time to dig deeper as we head towards the end of that long day of cooking, eating and football watching. Time to talk about beers to pair with desert, what nightcap to reach for and even what to sip on with your leftovers on “Black Friday”.
Pumpkin Pie rocks. I LOVE the stuff and it’s really the only food I’m responsible for preparing on Thanksgiving (aside from choosing the beers). There are lots of options for this one, but I’m going with Great Divide’s Hibernation (perfect for Pecan Pie too!).
Oh man, do I love this winter release from the Denver-based brewery. This is an 8.7% ABV Old Ale that pours a dark, ruby red color with a 1-finger head. Big nose of malt, caramel, dark fruits, nuts and moderate hops. Full flavored with notes of brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruits and caramelized raisins. A beautiful brew that ages really well. I opened a 7-year old bottle last year and couldn’t believe how well this one holds up over time. $9 – $11 / 6-pack.
Mrs. Brewtally Insane is leaning towards Bristol’s Winter Warlock to pair with her desert this year.
Winter Warlock is Bristol’s 6.5% ABV Oatmeal Stout. Look for an all-black pour, with a 2-finger mocha colored head. Aroma is chocolate, roasted grains, coffee and oats. The taste backs up the nose with roasted coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. I’d consider this to be one of Bristol’s best offerings and it’s a great time to grab a 6-pack if you’re not familiar with it. $8 – $10 / 6-pack.
I know plenty of people don’t care for Pumpkin Pie, so if you’re having something along the lines of cheesecake, brownies, etc., I’m going to recommend a big stout or a fruit based beer. Strange Brewing’s Cherry Kriek comes to mind. This immensely sweet Cherry ale, makes for a great desert beer and reminds me quite a bit of Belgian Red from New Glarus out of Wisconsin. Although Strange doesn’t put this into bottles, you can grab a growler to-go from their Tasting Room in Denver. This beer is great on its’ own, but if you want to have some fun, mix it with a little Oskar Blues Ten FIDY Imperial Stout. Cherry FIDY is a yummy little variation you can easily make on your own.
Odell’s Friek is another great offering you might want to consider. This is a slightly sour beer made with raspberries and cherries and aged in oak barrels. This year’s batch is making its’ way into our market right now. Even if you’re not a sour fan, don’t be afraid of this one. It’s much more sweet than sour and is actually a nice entry-level sour if you’re looking to break into the style.
Alternative suggestions: Great Divide Yeti (any variation), New Belgium Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout, Odell Isolation, Liefmans Fruitesse, Odell The Meddler
If all that eating hasn’t induced you into a food coma yet, finish off the night with something special. (Assuming you’re not driving of course.) A nightcap beer is your perfect opportunity to crack open something special from the cellar and settle down after a long day.
Again, you’ve got a lot of options here. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be opening this year, but I’m leaning towards Avery’s Rumpkin, which is an 18.1% ABV pumpkin beer that’s been aged in rum barrels. This is an amazingly complex beer with notes of vanilla, molasses, pumpkin, cinnamon and more in the nose. The taste is loaded with oak, vanilla, rum, cinnamon and allspice. It’s hot and boozy and sure to warm you up on a chilly night. This was $10 / 12 oz. bottle at the release party back in September.
Alternative suggestions: Dry Dock Bligh’s Barleywine, Firestone Walker Parabola, Avery The Beast, The Bruery Fruet, Crooked Stave Sentience
Black Friday Leftovers
The big day’s over and we’ve gotten some rest, but knowing how my family cooks, I’ve got at least 2-3 days worth of leftovers waiting for me. I think I actually enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers more than the big meal itself. There’s just something about two slices of bread stuffed with roasted turkey, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. Delish!
Come Friday, I’ll be reaching for the classic of canned craft brews, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale. And since I won’t be going out to fight crowds and crazy xmas shoppers on Black Friday, I’ll be super-sizing with the new 19.2 oz cans! This is no tall boy, this is a Man Can! BOOM!
It’s a classic, flavorful Pale Ale, that’s not too hoppy and not too light. It’s just a highly drinkable, great tasting, canned craft brew. These retail for just over $3 / 19.2 oz can.
Alternative suggestions: Renegade Ryeteous Rye IPA, Odell IPA, Dad & Dude’s Dank IPA
Like I’ve already mentioned, nearly all of these beers, with the exception of some of the suggested Nightcap beers, should be relatively easy to track down at any of the Denver-area’s better beer stores. Any of the staff at Argonaut, Lukas, Libations, Total Beverage, Liquor Mart, Parker Payless, etc., should be able to find most of these beers for you or offer a similar suggestion.
I hope this little guide points you towards some great local beers to enjoy during the upcoming holiday. If you’ve got comments, suggestions or want to share your favorite pairings or beer pictures, please head over to our Facebook Page and share with us. Happy Thanksgiving guys!