Give thanks… for great beer!

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First Posted: 12/1/2014

The Thanksgiving holiday passed in a blur with, no doubt, an overindulgence of a wide variety of foods and the dreaded (or loved?) vast amount of leftovers.

Here are some beers to pair with those never-ending leftovers to make them all a little more enjoyable.

The trick with pairing beers with Thanksgiving dinner is to find beers that can handle a seemingly endless combination of flavors and textures that are present. Beers that have flavor, depth, and carbonation are the best pairings with common Thanksgiving dishes.

1. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales- Oro De Calabaza: This Bière de Garde has hints of citrus with some tart funky flavors as well and fantastic carbonation that is both effervescent and refreshing. The flavors will provide hints of acid to cut through the high amounts of fat traditionally found in the dishes and the carbonation will scrub the palate clean in between each bite. Definitely a beer that can tackle the heartiest of dishes.

2. Smuttynose Brewing Company- Pumpkin Ale: While many have already moved on from the pumpkin ale style by this time of year it still has a great home on your Thanksgiving table. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale provides a sweet malt backbone with subdued spice notes that will still compliment sweet potato casserole and turkey equally but not overwhelm anything.

3. Brewery Ommegang- Abbey Ale: This Belgian style Dubbel has strong notes of dark red fruits, toasted malts, Belgian yeast, and bright carbonation. This beer will add deep layers of flavor to the entire meal and also is light enough to enjoy with an after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. The 8.2 percent ABV may also aid as a buffer during those awkward moments at the table with family.

4. Unibroue- Éphémère (Cranberry)- Unibroue’s Éphémère line of beers features a wide variety of fruits but the cranberry version is especially enjoyable during Thanksgiving. The slight tart flavors and high carbonation will meld seamlessly with the meal and the carbonation will also clean itself up perfectly.

5. Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Oktoberfest: The rich malty flavors of toasted malts will highlight all the wonderful caramelized flavors from the turkey and any hint of sweetness from the other dishes. The smooth body and clean taste make this the Oktoberfest style a true workhorse for Thanksgiving and Great Lakes take on the style is arguably one of the best currently available!

While overindulgence is a common theme for Thanksgiving it is important to remember to give thanks for everything in our lives. So be sure to raise a glass with family and friends this year and give thanks for all that we enjoy in this great country!