Caleb Weiland's Thanksgiving Craft Beer Suggestions

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Thanksgiving Beer Suggestions 

By: Caleb Weiland

The holidays are coming up, which is an exciting time for all of us (unless you’re a turkey, then it’s a terrifying time of year). It allows us to surround ourselves with loved ones we normally avoid/don’t get to see often and take part in socially acceptable competitive buffet gorging. But, in the words of Christopher Columbus, “what good are these yams, green bean casserole and turkey without a craft beer to wash it down?” That’s an important question and the guide below should help you decide what to pair and how to impress your dinner crowd for the holidays. 

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Everybody has a self-deemed chef in their family, who can excel in taking whatever ingredients you have lying around and make a delicious concoction out of them. I am not one of these people and, statistically speaking, neither are you. Which is why, when your guests arrive and you need an easy beer to serve before dinner, I recommend a 14% Samichlaus Doppelbock. After three sips of this barrel aged darling, nobody will care how dry your turkey is, that you used a bag of Craisins for cranberry sauce or that you used vanilla almond milk bought in July to stir the potatoes. You’ll be feeling so warm and jolly that all the small talk pleasantries with those cousins you didn’t even know you had will come off incredibly fascinating and not awkward. This highly sought after, Austrian beer is recommended on an empty stomach.

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When dinner is ready and the guests gather around the table, it’s important to have beer that represents unity to commemorate this special time. A popular family friendly recommendation is Citra Ass Down from Against the Grain and Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. Citra Ass Down is an 8% double ipa that showcases the wonderful  flavors and nuances of the popular Citra hop, while Arrogant Bastard is a 7% American Strong Ale that goes great with everything but spaghetti. Remember, though your uncle only drinks Schlitz, he’s had half a bottle of Samichlaus, so he shouldn’t care too much about drinking an ipa or a strong ale.

After you’ve partaken in the feast of meats and starches, you have approximately 25 minutes before your body realizes what you’ve done to it and goes into emergency nap mode for about four hours. If you want to combat this, HI Wire Strongman Coffee Stout is a perfect remedy. Brewed with Dynamite Roasting beans out of Asheville, this 5.3% is incredibly light bodied and easy to drink for a stout. Depending on your tolerance for caffeine, this is either the perfect wind down beverage or the kick starter you’ll need to go back to the buffet table for round two. 

This is just the tip of the ice berg of choices you have when it comes to deciding what to pair with holiday cuisines. Just remember, if there’s any beer unfinished beer,  be sure and rubber band some Saran Wrap over the top and use it as stocking stuffers next month.