Beer & Food Pairing: Thanksgiving Food

So I’m sitting here watching the Great British Baking Challenge’s newest season, which is my current fave show but it has been delaying me from writing this post! I just want to write and listen to what they’re doing at the same time, which doesn’t work. Last year, my mom surprised me at Christmas with Mary Berry’s baking book. Time to bust that out again as the holidays are upon us.

I thought you’d be interested in learning more about beer & food pairings. The two can in the most beautiful way compliment one another or they can be contrasting and leave you disappointed in both your food and drink. There is an art and science when it comes to pairing food and beer together. One of the first things to acknowledge is that everyone has different taste buds and will taste beer/food differently.

So to start our beer & food pairing, let’s talk about Thanksgiving! (disclaimer: Steve and I worked on this together as I’m still learning!) Many dinners start with a variety of appetizers throughout the mid-morning to afternoon. For a starting beer, you want to go for something lower in ABV and something that feels easy to drink. Gotta leave room for all the good food! I suggest starting with a fruited kettle sour. The acidity from these beers will get your mouth watering and your palette ready for the food to come.

During the meal you’re traditionally going to eat dense food like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. You want your drink to enhance this food and not try to compete with the flavors.  Try a big, brown ale or if you do want to try a bit of a hop-forward beer try an amber ale. Steve went as far as to say a Scottish ale might be worth trying since they are very malt forward without being a heavy/full bodied beer.

Lastly and my absolute favorite part…the pumpkin or pecan pie! Here’s when to reach for your high ABV beer like a barley wine or a bourbon barrel aged (BBA) imperial stout. These are going to enhance the sweetness in your pies whether you sip/eat separately or try them together. The barley wine will be malty with tastes of dried fruit, toffee, and molasses sugar while a BBA will typically be a boozy and roasty beer with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Below is the Creme Brulee beer I’ll be enjoying from Southern Tier Brewing Co with my dessert.

Do you have any favorite beers to pair with your Thanksgiving food??  Feel free to ask questions if you have them but until then…


Did you try and beer & food pairings? Tag @The_Beer_RD on Instagram and hashtag it #theBeerRD

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