Looking to spice up your Thanksgiving meal with light libations? I’ve pulled together the perfect pairings for each part of the meal.
Rockmill Saison, 6.5% ABV, Lancaster, OH
Try pairing your sweet-tart cranberries with Rockmill’s saison. This delicious Belgian farmhouse-style ale combines floral lemon, spicy pepper, and earthy Noble hops. The wheat and specialty malts in the grist create a cloudy, golden-copper color not unlike fresh pressed cider. The Belgian yeast and high fermentation temperatures bring out a funky, spicy smell that screams ‘Saison!’
Corn & Green Beans
Columbus Brewing Co. Pale Ale, 5.3% ABV, Columbus, OH
This hazy golden-amber brew from C-town is a great beer without the food. It’s a simple, citrusy, to-the- point pale ale. Their IPA is also great, but stick with the pale ale for this pairing to avoid overpowering the dish with a hop bomb. At only 5.3% ABV, don’t be afraid to down the whole six pack (that’s what I would do).
Elevator Brewery Procrastinator Doppelbock, ? ABV, Columbus, OH
Alt: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Oktoberfest, 6.5% ABV, Cleveland, OH
While my tastes generally gravitate toward the extreme – the hop bombs and the 12% barleywines – the delicate flavor of turkey deserves a more subtle approach. If you’ve managed to stash away any Great Lakes Oktoberfest, now would be a good time to break it out. The clean, crisp malt-forward flavor is sweet and smooth, with enough hops to keep it balanced. Since it’s out of season, I recommend Elevator’s Procrastinator Doppelbock. While much stronger and darker than GLBC’s Oktoberfest, the similar clean, malty flavors accentuate the flavor of turkey without overpowering it. If you can’t find either, you wouldn’t be too far from the mark with Sam Adams Boston Lager. [Note: I believe you would have to get a growler fill from Elevator, I haven't seen Procrastinator in six packs.]
Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale, 8.3% ABV, Akron, OH
I said it before, and I’ll say it again – this is the best Christmas ale. It’s balanced, aggressively spiced, and complex as hell. The liberal use of cinnamon and nutmeg complement the pumpkin pie, and the ginger-alcohol warmth reminds you that you’re also getting drunk. You might wind up on the floor, but I’d still drink the whole sixer.