Thanksgiving Beer Pairings
When I think of Thanksgiving two things come to mind: family/friends and food. It seems to many, these things typically go hand-in-hand: Going out to eat or staying in to cook after a long separation. A night out on the town for drinks in celebration of a promotion or achievement. I can only imagine that when many think of their family/friends memories of food and beverages may conjure in their minds. Being English, one of my favorite memories is of my Nana coming from the kitchen with her vintage beverage cart. One shelf filled with cookies, cakes and chocolates. The other with our favorite tea, milk, sugar, cups, and saucers. As I grew, the beverage option changed to a glass of wine or “wee dram” but the tradition of enjoying food and drinks together never faltered. That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite NRBC beers and their suggested food pairings. All are available in 32oz crowlers at the Taproom for you to take home and share with your loved ones this Thanksgiving.
MISFIT WIT | Witbier | 6% ABV | $12 32oz crowler
Witbiers are a very easy drink and pretty much anyone can enjoy due to its light body and balance of citrus and spice. This specific witbier is brewed with coriander and sweet orange peel. We then add Bartlett pear, Madagascar vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to secondary fermentation creating the perfect fall, non-pumpkin beer. Not that I’m knocking pumpkin beers my any means, I LOVE me some pumpkin, but our Misfit is a nice change to the landscape.
Start with this beer as a way to break the ice, letting everyone know you’re pairing beer with the food this Thanksgiving, not wine. And that it’s going to be magnificent!
Mild soft cheeses with fresh fruits- apple and pear. Light meats- chicken or pork with wild rice, dried fruit and nuts. Pear tartlets.
JARDIN AU POIVRE | Saison | 5.1% ABV | $12 32oz crowler
Jardin au Poivre is one of my favorite food beers because of its savory components. Brewed with white peppercorns and herbs from our garden (lemon-thyme, oregano, chive, and rosemary) it stands up to even the heartiest of dishes. Don’t let the light color fool you, this dainty looking beer packs a lot of flavor.
This beer is great as an accompaniment to heavy apps or entrées. Be careful not to pair this beer with inherently spicy dishes as it will increase the intensity.
Salty hard cheeses and cured meats. Cured olives and pickled vegetables. Traditional Thanksgiving fare- roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and braised vegetables. Anything with sage in it!
BOBBI BRUNE | Smoked Brown Ale | 6% ABV | $10 32oz crowler
Not being a fan of smoked foods/beverages, Bobbi Brune surprised me. Its subtle smoke from the Cherrywood smoked malt is well balanced by the winter spices used in the kettle. As skeptical as I was, it grew on me and is one of my favorite beers to suggest with food.
Given we are in the South, I know some of you plan on enjoying barbecue for Thanksgiving. To those of you, this is your beer! But it also might surprise you and pair well with items you wouldn’t normally think to try it with…
Salty, hard cheeses and nuts. Smoked fish. Barbecue or grilled meats and vegetables. Dessert, yes DESSERT! Pumpkin pie and dark chocolate covered almonds.
AFFLUENT | Tripel | 10.5% ABV | $12 32oz crowler
If for some awful reason you can only drink one beer throughout your dinner, drink this one. I liken it to champagne (no, I’m not saying it’s the “champagne of beers” because that would be copyright infringement) but I am saying it truly pairs well with everything. From light snacks, to heavy entrées and dainty desserts, it is the ultimate food beer… no explanation needed.
Cheese and charcuterie with fig jam. Honey glazed ham. Traditional Thanksgiving fare- roast turkey, candied yams, stuffing, and roast vegetables. Bourbon bread pudding, pecan pie and crème brûlée.
There you have it folks! Whether or not you test these pairings out, I hope you enjoyed my take on these four beers. Try them some at some point because drinking and eating is fun, especially when you’re thankful enough to be with the right people.
Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and yours.
– Jennifer Kolarov, Director of Sales & Marketing / Co-Owner