Thanksgiving is not a religion-specific holiday, not particularly patriotic or nationalistic, and not specific to any group of people. Because of this, I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving is awesome. You'd have to be a pretty hardcore cynic to disparage being thankful for stuff. Also, eating and drinking too much and being with family (maybe too much also). And here's the other reason Thanksgiving is awesome--it's the perfect holiday for beer.
There are several reason for this--first is that Thanksgiving food doesn't really lend itself to pairing with wine or cocktails. It can be done, but beer provides a much better compliment to the food on the turkey table. Being a bit liquored up also helps you to take your crazy uncle's conspiracy theories in stride (yes, we all have one). Of course, Thanksgiving is an all day drinking affair, which is best managed with beer. And the final, and possibly best reason you should be drinking alcohol regardless of the vehicle--it helps keeps you from overeating so damned much. I shit you not--drinking alcohol with a meal has been scientifically proven to make you feel fuller for longer, reducing the chance that you're going back for that third slice of pumpkin pie. Or pecan pie. Mmmmm....pecan pie.
|Santa Fe Java Stout|
Now, if you don't already have your beer plan mapped out, allow me to humbly present my strategy:
Pre-Game.I need to have a buzz on before all the people start showing up, but I'm also going to need a morning pick-me-up, so I'm starting with some coffee imperial stout. My go-to these days for a great, reasonably priced, and easy to find coffee stout is Santa Fe Java Stout. It's the perfect breakfast beer. Of course, there's tons of other options out there, and if I was rich and had a personal assistant (or the ability to plan more than 3 days ahead), I would probably be drinking Prairie Bomb! or Epic Big Bad Baptist for breakfast. But that clearly isn't happening at this point this year.
|Ba ba black sheep, have you any beer?|
Dinner--Second Half.By the time we're passing the food around for the second time, I've got to have something a little lighter if I'm going to have any hope of making it to dessert. It's got to be something spritzy and tart. Lambics are usually too sour for the task--if I took a sip of lambic after a mouthful of cranberries, my mouth might implode. So, lactic soured beers like Berliner Weisse or Gose are the way to gose. I'll probably be drinking Boulevard's Tell Tale Tart, but if I can get my hands on it, 4-Hands Preserved Lemon Gose would be badass.
Post-Game.If I can fit it in (haha, if), I'm going to be shoveling as much pumpkin and pecan pie in my pie hole as I can. To match these flavors, not overwhelm, and help wash it down, I like a roasty oatmeal or dry stout. The flavors compliment, but the styles aren't overly sweet so as to overload your palate. I'll probably be quaffing some Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Stout with my pie. If there's any Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat left over, even better!
|Boulevard Tell Tale Tart|
Thanksgiving Day, 4pm.Beer doesn't pair well with naps unless you're living in a frat house. When I wake up, though, I'm probably drinking the rest of that Tell Tale Tart.
Pumpkin Beer.I can't very well write a Thanksgiving Day post without throwing in a mention for Schafly's Pumpkin Ale. I know, I know, I may have just lost all credibility with the hardcore beer geeks, but I don't care. I love pumpkin beer, and Schlafly's is the most unabashed, in your face, pumpkin pie beer there is. It's like 8% alcohol of sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. I don't think I could really handle this beer ON Thanksgiving Day, but I'm definitely enjoying it before and afterwards. There, I said it. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
|Schlafly Pumpkin Ale|