Thanksgiving Menu Matchup 2014
Last year, I said I was starting a new, annual tradition of pairing an entire Thanksgiving Day with a brewery’s beer roster. (See post here: http://paalcohollaw.com/?p=55). Troegs Brewing was an easy choice as the first pick – I live less than 10 minutes from the brewery and have been drinking their beers since moving to Central PA. Although Troegs worked out well, there are so many great beer (and wine and liquor) choices out there that it feels a little constrained to limit a day like Thanksgiving to just one brewery. So I am breaking my tradition already. Without any limitations on who or what, here is what I have planned for Thanksgiving 2014.
Typically, I pack the family up and head to my parents’ house on Thanksgiving Eve; however, Mother Nature is apparently not going to cooperate with that plan. Instead, we will be making the drive first thing tomorrow morning. That will mean no “beermosas” this year. In their place, I plan on taking a growler of Pizza Boy Brewing’s Sunny Side Up. This is a fantastic coffee stout that will do nicely once we get to our destination later in the morning. The coffee aroma is strong, but the taste is not overpowering. It has a nice, creamy mouthfeel and finishes on a bit of a sweeter note. This will go great with any leftover cinnamon rolls or other baked sweets. Be careful though, this packs a punch with a high ABV of 11%.
Between second breakfast and the main course, I’m going to keep it very light, especially after that first pick. I’ll be taking a few options with me for this part of the day. The first is Bell’s Best Brown. Another well-balanced beer from Bell’s, this one will keep your taste-buds tempted with hints of cocoa and caramel. Another option is Jack’s Hard Cider. The Original Blend is drier than Helen’s Blend, but not too dry. The crisp apple taste, champagne mouth-feel, and dry finish will make for a good apertif.
Like I said last year, given the wide-variety of food served at our family’s Thanksgiving Dinner, it is difficult to find something that will pair well across the board. For this year, I’m taking a bottle of Saison Dupont, which has a good reputation for pairing well with food. The high carbonation will help keep the palate clean and the flavor profile ranges from spicy to citrusy so it should work well with a variety of flavors.
Wrapping up the day with desserts, I’ll bring along whatever leftover pumpkin beers I have left in the cellar, including Troegs Master of Pumpkins and Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. I’ll have plenty to share, as pumpkin ales can be a good entry to craft beer for some. For a night cap, I picked up a bottle of Samual Smith’s Winter Welcome, because, after today, it’s clear that winter is officially here.