Beer Pairings for Thanksgiving Dinner

Manfred's Black Turkey © Kathleen Connally

Black Turkey © Kathleen Connally

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re looking to pair beer with a traditional turkey dinner party, help is on the way courtesy of Fred Tasker at the Dallas Morning News:


As guests arrive, hand them something crisp and cold, light as air. They sip and whet their appetites, but don’t fill up. The world’s lagers are made for this.

•Stiegl Goldbrau Premium Lager, Stieglbrewery, Salzburg, Austria, alcohol not listed: bright golden color, big, creamy head, light flavors of malt and hops; $3.19 per 1-pint- 9-ounce bottle.

Hors d’oeuvres 

As you pass around the canapes, you give your guests pale ales, somewhat fuller in body, hoppier, able to deal with shrimp with sauce, cheese balls and the like.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, California, 5.6 percent alcohol: amber in color, full-bodied, malty, hoppy, spicy; $1.60 per 12-ounce bottle.

Lagunitas Maximus India Pale Ale, California, 7.5 percent alcohol: deep amber, brutally hoppy, with flavors of pine and citrus; $3.99 per 1 pint, 6-ounce bottle.


For the full, complex, fatty flavors of an all-out Thanksgiving main course, you want a muscular beer, with the hops and alcohol to cut through. The category called Belgian-style strong ales works here.

Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, Colorado, 8.99 percent alcohol: dark brown color, sturdy beige head, starts fruity, then the powerful alcohol kicks in. It’ll handle Cajun turkey, even red meat; $8.49 per 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle.

Ommegang Brewery Rare Vos Belgian-Style Amber Ale, Cooperstown, N.Y., 6.5 percent alcohol: coppery color, fruity, spicy, muscular, flavors of burnt sugar; $5.79 per 1-pint, 9.4-ounce bottle.


With beer, as with wine, the drink should be sweeter than the dessert. The following will handle pecan or pumpkin pies.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Delaware, 7 percent alcohol: a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, it tastes like all of them; $10.49 per 4-pack.

Rogue Chocolate Stout, Ore., 7 per cent alcohol: Yes, they add real imported chocolate to the brew, plus oats and hops, and it tastes like all of its ingredients, with the smooth power of alcohol and a bittersweet finish; $5.79 per 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle.


When you mellow out after the meal, watching the game, you need something big, rich, soft and sweet to settle your stomach.

Dogfish Head Raison d’Extra Ale, Delaware, 18 percent alcohol a big, brown ale brewed with of malt, brown sugar and raisins; $6.25 per 12-ounce bottle.

Great Divide Brewing Old Ruffian Barleywine-Style Ale, Colorado, 10.2 percent alcohol: smooth, sweet fruit and caramel flavors give way to powerful hops; $5.29 per 1 pint, 6 ounce bottle.


(If you get this far,  I hope you’ve taken your guests’ car keys and have the local cab company‘s phone number handy.)

 Article by Fred Tasker / Links Kathleen Connally

— Posted by Kathleen Connally


Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: