Thanksgiving is a perfect beer holiday. For the most part you will know ahead of time what the menu will comprise of, this is an excellent chance to pair beer with food. Fall beers are abundant this time of the year. From the moment the appetizers come out to the second the pie is sliced each opportunity should be grabbed to complement this once a year meal. When shopping for beer keep in mind how many guests will be attending the dinner.
For the most part I recommend starting out with a fairly light beer perhaps an IPA or even a Belgian beer such as Blue Moon. Don’t buy many of these beers, I suggest a one to one ratio, meaning one beer for every guest. This beer is just the starter and most likely you’ll be eating a little earlier than usual so no sense in getting tipsy too quick. Let everyone enjoy the beer and make sure you have proper glasses for the beer.
Next will be the main course. This is where you can have a little fun with your beer selection as many limited edition beers are available at this time. Try a variety of the winter beers or perhaps even a pumpkin beer to keep your guests entertained. These types of beer often lead to sipping and not mass consumption which allows everyone to enjoy the flavor of the beverage.
After everything is cleaned up your guests will probably sit for a few minutes to digest and talk. When the pies are served you should break out your secret weapon. I recommend a chocolate stout by either Sam Adams or a really nice bottle of winter stout often found in a wine bottle. Make sure you have a set of small glass as this beer is often rich and creamy. The alcohol content is also slightly higher so odds are your guests will not require a normal amount to appreciate this treat.
Following these basic rules will give you and your guests a truly great experience while you fine tune your pairing abilities. Start thinking about Christmas dinner next, it’s right around the corner.