For most, Thanksgiving is a heady mix of relaxation and stress with uptime and downtime, socializing and food prep, a big parade, televised sports, and marathon food consumption followed by a tryptophan-induced food coma. Thankfully, there’s a perfect beer for every phase of this yearly test of gastrointestinal fortitude.
Morning—AleSmith Speedway Stout
Nothing starts the day quite like a bit of “hair of the dog,” and since you’re not working today, we’ll assume you began celebrating on Wednesday night. Speedway Stout is the perfect blend of hangover cure, pick-me-up, and social lubricant—a shot of locally roasted coffee coupled with sweet roasted malt that swirls into creamy chocolate goodness like a grown-up iced mocha latte. If your family frowns upon drinking beer for breakfast, pour it into a Starbucks cup and they’ll be none the wiser.
Midday—Wicked Weed Pernicious
By midday, the appetizers start to fill every nook and cranny of the house, the kitchen feels like a sauna, and football is in full swing. Time to relax with something crisp and refreshing, and Wicked Weed Pernicious is the perfect IPA to sip (or chug if your team’s performance leaves something to be desired—we won’t judge). Juicy fruit flavors in the IPA pair well with most appetizers, while that refreshing bitterness cleanses your palate and prepares you for another sip.
The medium body and mild fruit notes of Funkwerks Saison can both complement and contrast the rich, earthy flavors of dinner dishes such as turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and any veggies. The crispness of the dry, well-attenuated saison helps cut through the large flavors and fat of your Thanksgiving dinner and remains refreshing sip after sip. Grab extra sips as your uncle helps himself to three portions of sweet potatoes because every glass makes Mom’s question of “why don’t you have kids yet” a bit easier to stomach. Can't we switch to buffet style already, Ma?
Odell’s Friek is the perfect choice to either accompany your pie or count as your first slice. The firm, upfront, wine-like acidic note melds into rich cherry and raspberry flavors and lets the earthy/woody character shine through with just a touch of sweetness for balance. It’s an easy drinking beer that, to our palates, is more “tart” than “sour” but is mostly just delicious. If you’ve decided to pair it with your pie, the fruit flavors will blend great with any pie crust but work best with desserts of the fruit variety.
Nightcap—Perennial Vermilion Barleywine
Barleywine is the perfect digestif to end a Thanksgiving day, and Perennial’s Vermilion is one of the best. It’s like a liquid dark fruitcake, with notes of black cherries, leather, molasses, raisin, figs, and dried apricots. Grab a snifter, find the comfiest chair, sit back, relax, and enjoy every sip. You’ve earned it.