Sake Gumi
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Most people show up with a bottle of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir to Thanksgiving. Snore. Bring something a little different and break out a few nice beers! In fact, I have read that pilgrims drank beer, not wine, at the very first Thanksgiving. A brewery was one of the first things they set up when settlers landed in Plymouth.

I'll also be having beer on Thursday and here is my plan.

Pregame: Thanksgiving is a long day. Start it off with something light, crisp, and refreshing that will not fill you up to much while your watching football and cooking up a storm.

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Light beer options:
- Trumer Pils (above; for you West Coasters)
- Victory Prima Pils (East Coasters)

Dinner: With turkey and all the other über-rich foods on the table, I like to go with something a little bit stronger that can cut through all that fat. A good strong Belgian Ale is the best for this.

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Belgians options:
- Avec Les Bons Voeux, Brasserie Dupont (above)
- Russian River Damnation

Another option for dinner is to go with a nice hoppy amber, brown, or Scottish ale if you're having something smokey or spicy.

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Ambers + Brown Ales
- Bear Republic Red Rocket (above; for you West Coasters)
- Dogfishhead Indian Brown Ale - (East Coasters)

Dessert:  Normally I would not choose to have beer with dessert, but this year I am going to give it a shot. The Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company should go well with some pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Column: Tap This


  • Great post. I like your suggestions, especially about going with something with more body and alcohol with the food itself.

    Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and especially Zinfandels are great with Turkey, but I feel that Thanksgiving wine pairings often forget about the sides. And of course since no two Thanksgiving spreads are the same, beer’s an excellent option because it’s often more versatile than wines, enabling you to have a beverage that complements a broader range of foods at the table.

    Paystyle on

  • I love IPA’s and I like the two you have mentioned a lot. I drink them regularly. For me, their strong bitterness and flavor is perfect with rich, spicy, or pungent foods (like blue cheese, Indian, or jerk spices…). If your a hop head in general, like me, you can have them with anything. Only reason I did not suggest one is because many people (especially for the first time) find them a little too aggressive.

    If your an IPA fan and you want a special one for the Holidays you may also want to try out Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing Company. It’s one of the best I have had. Also, its important to remember that with most hoppy beers, freshness is very important and they should not be aged. The aromatic hop flavor will deteriorate when aged too long (even by the week). Try to get them as fresh as you can.

    CJ on

  • If I may make another couple of suggestions for those wanting to pair beer with the dinner portion of their meal:

    Nectar IPA (West Coast)
    Harpoon Wt Hop Ale (East Coast)

    Both beers are fairly idiosyncratic and great on the palate with the rich meal that’s to come.

    CJ, wondering what your thoughts are on the above-mentioned bres.

    Paystyle on

  • That’s good to know. I gotta try the Pliny the Elder you suggested. Thanks!

    Paystyle on

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