Top 5 Thanksgiving Dinner Beers

A lot of people have a difficult time trying to pick and pair a wine with the glorious calorie-bomb that is a Thanksgiving dinner. From where I sit, there are a lot of whites AND reds that will be adequate with that meal; as long as you’re not reaching for an ultra-heavy Cabernet Sauvignon, or a super sugary Riesling, you’re relatively safe with everything else.

Many people, largely due to tradition, choose to opt for Beaujolais Nouveau, a red wine made from the Gamay grape produced in the Beaujolais region of France. This wine has a tradition of being fermented for only a couple of weeks, then released for sale (with a certain amount of marketing and promotion), on the third Thursday of November. Great timing, huh?

Personally, being a fan of most reds, I find this wine way too light, and quite frankly rather boring to bother with pairing with one of my favorite meals I have all year. So to that end, this Thanksgiving, don’t waste valuable amateur-night bar time trudging over to your local wine shop. Drink beer instead.

Here are my Top 5 beers (or beer styles, technically), to pair with your bird and all the trimmings. I won’t go into detail as to why each style complements this meal so well, so generally speaking, these 5 styles all have the ideal flavor profile we’re all looking for.

Russian River Brewing PerditionAll of these beers have the caramelized, roasted malts that will line up something beautiful with the pan juices and the browned turkey skin. If I had to give an edge to one of these being the best, it would be the Russian River Perdition, a dynamite Biere De Garde. This beer has strong herbal, biscuity malt flavors that not only match up with the thyme, bay, sage, and rosemary, but also with the nutty flavor of the meat.

Happy Thanksgiving!


1 Comment

  • Hannah November 19, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Deron – I so wish we got the Russian River in WNY. I suppose I’ll have to wait to try it… thanks for the list though – I will be picking up some fine brews for Thanksgiving for sure.

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