Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of us will be joining friends and family for festive dining and cheerful imbibing. Although I suspect that wine is the most traditionally served drink on this festive occasion; this year I’d like to encourage you to include Craft Beer in your holiday menu. While beer may not be a common part of your family tradition, even the Pilgrims were Ale drinkers and it is widely believed that beer had a place on the table at the first Thanksgiving.
The notion would make sense since beers accentuate the typical Thanksgiving feast even better than most wines. Caramelized and toasted grain flavors in many beers complement the flavors of roast turkey. Furthermore, the carbonation, fruitiness and balanced bitterness of many craft beers allow them to stand up to creamy, butter-rich preparations like mashed potatoes and creamed corn. According to Brewers Association Spokesperson Julia Herz, “Many styles of beer both complement and contrast the food they are paired with, whereas wine mostly contrasts. The holiday dinner table is a very appropriate place for beer made from America’s small, independent and traditional brewers.”
A lot of terrific seasonal ales hit the shelves this time of year so be sure to spend some time in the Craft Beer isle of your favorite grocer before making your way to meet your host. If you’re hosting this season, click here to get some ideas on how to pair and serve like a pro. Still not conviced? Below is a brief interview with Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and Author of the Brewmasters’ Table, that I recorded in 2006 at the Craft Brewers Conference in Seattle.