When you’re making your plans for hosting the ultimate Thanksgiving feast for your friends and family, don’t stop at the food dishes and desserts. Whether you’ll be sitting around watching football throughout the day or just gathering for a meal, the right beverages will complement all the snacks and dishes you’re preparing. Pairing the right styles of beer with meats, side dishes, and desserts will bring out the flavors in the food. Picking the best beers for Thanksgiving dinner is simple with our guide.
Best Beers to Pair with Roasted Turkey
The most popular main course at Thanksgiving dinner is roasted turkey. It’s traditional, savory, and roasting one all day fills the house with delicious aromas. Amber and brown ales are made with a caramelizing process similar to that of a turkey roasting in the oven. The flavors of amber and brown ales will complement a roasted turkey dinner well. However, if you or your guests prefer something a bit lighter, many lagers taste great with turkey.
Best Beers to Pair with Side Dishes
If your dinner feast will be heavy with a variety of side dishes, you might consider offering a selection of beers that will go well with them. If you prefer starchy, potato-based sides, you’re more likely to enjoy a heavier beer with them, like a stout or porter. Think about how well a dark Guinness goes with shepherd’s pie, for example. Yet, if you’ll be serving many lighter sides like green beans, cauliflower, or carrots, a lighter lager or hefeweizen will pair well with them.
Best Beers to Pair with Sweet Potatoes
A popular side dish at Thanksgiving is sweet potatoes, complete with broiled marshmallows on top. This sugary side dish crosses a vegetable dish and a dessert. If you will feature this side dish at your dinner this year, offering a bitter India Pale Ale (IPA) will offset the sweetness and make a perfect beverage companion.
Best Beers to Pair with Desserts
The choices for desserts are just as varied as side dishes. However, some of the most common are pumpkin and apple pies. A thick, hearty beer will stand up well to pumpkin pie. Examples include a milk stout, chocolate mocha porter, and coffee-forward brown ales. With an apple or other fruit pie, try a lighter beer like a Belgian ale or Kolsch.
Best Beers to Pair with a Football Game
Football isn’t part of your meal course, but it’s often an integral part of a Thanksgiving dinner gathering. If your guests will be kicked back watching the game, the best type of beer to serve is a session-style beer. Session beers have a low alcohol content (ABV) of under 5%, so people can consume more glasses without becoming overly intoxicated. Most session beers are lighter, like some pilsners, IPAs, and hefeweizens, but you can also find darker session beers. For example, Guinness is technically a session beer because it has an ABV of 4.3%.
Let The Growler Guys help you plan the best beers for Thanksgiving dinner.
Explore the growing variety of beers in one taproom, The Growler Guys. Each of our locations carries the best local varieties, from the palest ales to the darkest stouts, along with ciders and kombucha. Our friendly staff is happy to walk you through the characteristics of every style to help you discover your personal favorites. Take home the beers you love best in a growler to share with family and friends. View our online tap list to learn about the selections currently available at a location near you!