While many people will already start putting inflatable Santas and the Grinch on their front lawns the day after Halloween, the holidays don’t officially begin until late November when Thanksgiving arrives. This is the day when we “give thanks” to our friends and family by gorging on stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted turkey, and myriad other savory and sweet treats.
But you can’t just stuff your proverbial gullet like you’re a human-sized turducken without having something to wash everything down with. Sure, you can enjoy a tall glass of frosty milk, some seasonal eggnog, or a can of seltzer, but if you want to get the most out of your Thanksgiving feast, you’ll pair all the classic dishes with a complementary beer.
Although simply opening your fridge and grabbing random beers and pairing them with your favorite Thanksgiving foods might end up with great results, it would be better to find beers that match well with the various flavors. Below, you’ll see eight beers paired with some of the most traditional, flavorful Thanksgiving foods. Keep scrolling to see which beers you need to stock up on before the big day.
Sweet Potato Casserole and von Trapp Vienna Lager
If you’re attending (or throwing) a Thanksgiving feast where a marshmallow-covered sweet potato casserole makes an appearance, you’ll want to pair it with a great, malty, sweet Vienna lager. A good suggestion is the von Trapp Vienna-Style Lager. This 5.2% ABV Vienna lager is known for its caramel, cracker malt, floral, and noble hops flavor. All of which work well to complement the sweetness in the casserole.Learn More
Mashed Potatoes and Pilsner Urquell
If you’re going to eat (or make) mashed potatoes, they better be creamy and indulgently buttery and smooth. The overly buttery nature can seem like a bit much and needs to be tempered. A good idea is to pair them with a crisp, hoppy Czech-style lager. Or an actual Czech lager like the one that started the whole trend: Pilsner Urquell. The citrus and honey sweetness and floral, bright, lightly bitter hops pair well with the buttery, savory flavor of the mashed potatoes.Learn More
Macaroni and Cheese and Alpine Nelson IPA
When it comes to the pantheon of historical Thanksgiving recipes, macaroni and cheese might not be on the top of the list. But its cheesy flavor is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Like many of the over-the-top Thanksgiving dishes, you’ll need a beer to cut through the savory, cheesy flavor. A good choice is a classic IPA like Alpine Nelson. This 7% ABV IPA is known for its well-balanced flavor profile featuring tropical fruit flavors and bright, piney, floral Nelson Sauvin hops.Learn More
Sausage Stuffing and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Stuffing is an interesting Thanksgiving side dish. It’s ostensibly just a plate of pieces of bread, soaked in broth with mixed in seasoning that’s baked. Somehow, it’s a necessary, amazing dish. Add sausage to elevate this side dish. Make it even better by pairing it with sweet, malty porter. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald is a rich, robust, sweet porter that works well when accompanied by savory, spicy sausage stuffing.Learn More
Green Bean Casserole and Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale
Even if you aren’t a fan of green beans during the rest of the year, there’s a pretty good chance you pile it on your plate on Thanksgiving when it’s in the form of a green bean casserole. A nice brown ale like Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale. Made in the style of the traditional northern English brown ale, its flavors of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts pair well with the creamy soup, salty beans, and crunchy fried onions in this popular dish.Learn More
Cranberry Sauce and Allagash White
When it comes to unique Thanksgiving side dishes, there are few stranger (yet satisfying) than tart, sweet cranberry sauce. Whether you enjoy it on its own or you like to add it to your roasted turkey, it’s an important part of the Thanksgiving scene. Pair it with a wheat beer like Allagash White to get the most out of its berry-filled flavor profile. The mix of citrus, spice, and wheat adds another dimension to the already flavorful cranberry sauce.Learn More
Roasted Turkey and Ommegang Idyll Days Pilsner
Regardless of what other side dishes you have during your Thanksgiving feast, the roasted (or deep-fried) turkey is the star of the show. It’s just not Thanksgiving without a salty, savory, juicy, meaty turkey. And while you could pair it with an amber ale or a dark beer, a great choice is a flavorful, crisp pilsner. Cut the richness of the meat with Ommegang Idyll Days Pilsner. This unfiltered, Beglian-style pilsner gets its crisp, floral, malty flavor from the addition of Czech Saaz hops floor-malted barley, and flaked corn.Learn More
Pumpkin Pie and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Thanksgiving isn’t over until you get to enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie (or two). This seasonal favorite is known for its indulgent, sweet, lightly spiced flavors. Instead of a glass of milk, up the sweetness level by pairing it with a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. This sublime, indulgent beer already tasted like a chocolate-centric dessert in a pint glass. It’s the perfect companion to pumpkin pie.Learn More