Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?

Q.
I want beer. Any thoughts on which brews would go with the meal?
A.
Just about any good craft beers will do nicely, if you want to know the truth. But here are some specific suggestions.
It’s going to be a long, filling day, so I would start the party with beers that will energize the taste buds. Good pilsners snap you to attention with a lively, bracing bitterness. Lagunitas, Lakefront, Victory andBrooklynall offer good versions, as do Pilsner Urquell and Jever. An alternative might be a K├Âlsch, a crisp, clean, refreshing German ale, which I love. American versions are hard to find, but Gaffel and Reissdorf fromGermanyare fairly easy to find.
For the feast itself, you can’t go wrong with mildly hoppy pale ales like Flying Dog or Stoudt’s. I love porters, easy-drinking dark beers with a tangy malt character. Geary’sLondonPorter is terrific, as is Samuel Smith Taddy Porter fromEnglandand Deschutes Black Butte, if you live on the West Coast.

A bolder choice would be a Belgian farmhouse ale like Saison Dupont, an airy, spicy brew that is versatile with foods. Even more intrepid would be sour beers, a somewhat vague category of older styles characterized by great acidity. These would include Belgian lambic beers and especially gueuzes, which are incredibly refreshing and complex, and would go beautifully with the feast, though their unexpectedly pungent flavors can be polarizing. Cantillon Gueuze fromBelgiumepitomizes this style. By the way, I will have a lot to say about sour beers next week.

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