Ideal Craft Beer Pairings For Every Thanksgiving Food

November 22, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

In the pantheon of food-centric holidays, there are no days bigger than Thanksgiving. It’s the day when we all decide not to worry about calories whatsoever, pushing our bodies to the limits while gorging on more mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, turkey, and gravy than any human possibly should. But you need to wash all of these foods down with something. Beer does the trick.

With all the care given to the food on this greatest of food holidays, are you really going to just grab whatever beer is hiding in the back of your refrigerator to wash it down? Barbarism. Why not pair each dish with a specific beer? Green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course turkey, every dish deserves an accompanying beer. And you better believe I had some ideas about what should go with which. Keep scrolling to see them all.

Prost Dunkel and Green Bean Casserole

Prost Dunkel
Prost

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-packTasting Notes:

Based on the dark lagers of Germany, Prost Dunkel is a 5.6% ABV malty, sweet, roasty, bready beer. It’s known for its nice mix of sweetness and bitterness. Bready, roasted malts, caramel, and dried fruits highlight the nose. Drinking it reveals raisins, bready malts, roasted malts, toffee, and fruit esters.

Why This Beer?

These varied flavors pair well with the salty, vegetal, crispy fried onion flavors of the green bean casserole. Because of this, it pairs well with the salty, savory, creamy flavor of green bean casserole. Don’t forget the crunchy fried onions on top.

Bottom Line:

You can pair many different beer types with green bean casserole, but I think a nice dark, malty, roasty dunkel is your best bet.

Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale and Roasted Vegetables

Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale
Anderson Valley

ABV: 5.8%

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

Tasting Notes:

Brewed since 1987, this year-round offering from the folks at California’s Anderson Valley Brewing Company features Pale 2-row and Crystal malts as well as Mt. Hood, Northern Brewer, Columbus, and Bravo hops. The nose is loaded with bready malts, toffee, fruit esters, and floral, herbal, slightly piney hops. The palate is roasted malts, freshly baked bread, caramel, dried fruits, and herbal, earthy hops.

Why This Beer?

Its caramel sweetness and herbal hoppy quality pair well with roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, and other Thanksgiving vegetables.

Bottom Line:

Roasted vegetables were made to be paired with the sweet malty, slightly hoppy flavor of a well-made amber ale. One of the best for the challenge is Anderson Valley Boont.

Von Trapp Bohemian Pilsner and Sausage Stuffing

Von Trapp Bohemian Pilsner
Von Trapp

ABV: 5.4%

Average Price: $11.99 for a six-pack

Tasting Notes:

If you wanted to go simple here, you could easily grab the OG Pilsner Urquell and be totally happy with your choice. Or you could grab an American-made Bohemian-style pilsner filled with crisp, citrus, herbal, earthy, slightly spicy, dry flavors like Von Trapp Bohemian Style Pilsner. Classic pilsner aromas of lemongrass, sweet honey, crackery malts, and floral, herbal, earthy hops greet you before your first sip. Drinking it continues this trend with sweet malts, honey, wet grass, lemon, and herbal, slightly bitter hops.

Why This Beer?

Its light, easy-drinking flavor profile is a great complement to herbal, peppery, salty, sausage stuffing. The hops pair well with the spices, fat, and salt in the stuffing.

Bottom Line:

Sausage stuffing is salty, herbal, peppery, and spiced. It deserves a crisp, light beer to temper its over-the-top flavor, and this pilsner does just that.

Allagash River Trip and Macaroni and Cheese

Allagash River Trip
Allagash

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $13.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Tasting Notes:

Allagash River Trip is a very unique beer. It’s labeled as a Belgian-style session ale, but it’s a flavorful, crisp pale ale that gets added flavor from the addition of coriander and dry-hopping. This light, summery beer begins with aromas of citrus peels, coriander, yeast, and sweet malts. This continues onto the palate, where light, tropical-fruit flavors meld with Belgian yeast, lemon peels, grapefruit, coriander, and herbal, earthy, subtly bitter, crisp hops.
Why This Beer?

All of these flavors only heighten the appeal of rich, cheesy, indulgent macaroni and cheese. River Trip’s citrus, yeasty, hoppy flavors are a great complement to salty, cheesy, savory flavors of macaroni and cheese.

Bottom Line:

When you have a dish like macaroni and cheese, you need a lighter, citrus, slightly hoppy beer to cut through all that richness and cheese.

Devils Backbone Vienna Lager and Sweet Potato Casserole

Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
Devils Backbone

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

Tasting Notes:

One of the most popular Vienna-style lagers in America, Devils Backbone Vienna Lager is known for its semi-sweet, malty flavor profile featuring Northern Brewer and Saaz hops as well as Vienna, Pilsner, Dark Munich, and CaraAmber malts. A complex nose of toffee, caramel apples, bready malts, and slightly herbal, floral hops greets your nostrils before your first gulp. The palate is surprisingly sweet and malty, with butterscotch, bready malts, and light hop bitterness at the finish to tie everything together nicely.

Why This Beer?

It’s a semi-sweet sipper that pairs well with sweet potatoes and toasted marshmallows. The mix of sweet malts and crisp hops is a winner when paired with any type of sweet potato dish.

Bottom Line:

This is some sweet-on-sweet action and we can’t get enough of it. Sweet, malty, slightly bitter Vienna-style lagers (especially this one) pair well with toasted marshmallows and roasted sweet potatoes.

Pipeworks Lizard King Pale Ale and Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Pipeworks Lizard King Pale Ale
Pipeworks

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $11.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Tasting Notes:

Pipeworks Lizard King isn’t your average pale ale. This hop monster gets its tropical fruit, citrus, and earthy, dank pine flavor from the addition of bold flavorful Mosaic hops. Traditional pale ale aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, ripe pineapples, lemon zest, and herbal, dank pine highlight on the nose. This flavor profile continues on the palate with orange zest, tropical fruits, grapefruit, wet grass, and pine needles making an appearance.

Why This Beer?

These citrus-laden, bitter, crisp flavors are well-suited for cutting the heavy, salty, butter, fatty mashed potato flavors.

Bottom Line:

Sometimes you grab a beer with similar flavors to complement the food you’re eating. Other times, you sip a beer that’s perfect for tempering the salty, buttery flavors. This is that beer.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald and Smoked Turkey

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald
Great Lakes

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

Tasting Notes:

Named for the freighter that sank in Lake Superior in 1975, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald is a 6% ABV porter brewed with 2-row, Crystal 77, and Chocolate malts as well roasted barley, Northern Brewer, Willamette, and Cascade hops. The nose is all roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and dried fruits. The palate continues this trend with more roasted malts, caramel, dark chocolate, and freshly brewed coffee. The finish is slightly bitter.

Why This Beer?

Those roasted, robust flavors should pair perfectly with smoked, savory, salty turkey. All that juicy, fatty, smoky meat needs a smokey, full-flavored beer to stand up to it, and Edmund Fitzgerald and bold and complex enough to do the trick.

Bottom Line:

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald is a must-have for your Thanksgiving get-together. Its rich, robust, coffee and chocolate-centric flavor profile melds well with the rich, savory, smoky flavor of the turkey.

Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout and Pumpkin Pie

Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout
Samuel Smith

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10.99 for a four-pack

Tasting Notes:

Someone might consider pairing sweet, spiced pumpkin pie with a similarly flavored pumpkin ale. I think this that’s a mistake — there is such a thing as overkill. Try pairing this dessert instead with a chocolate, roasted malty, robust stout. Specifically, Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout. Chocolate, roasted coffee beans, roasted malts, and dried fruits are prevalent on the nose. These inviting aromas welcome you to a palate of cocoa powder, roasted malts, freshly brewed coffee, fudge, and dried fruits. The finish is a nice mix of bitterness and sweetness.

Why This Beer?

It’s like pairing your pumpkin pie with a nice, chocolatey, slightly bitter cup of coffee. What could be better than that?

Bottom Line:

Sure, you can pair your favorite gourd-based dessert with coffee, but wouldn’t you rather enjoy this chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee-filled beer instead? It’s lower in alcohol than most bold, chocolate-filled stouts anyway.