We’ve talked a lot about how to pair your craft beers with killer brewpub kitchen creations. While you might have the day off tomorrow, don’t miss out on an opportunity to try out different beer and food pairings — especially if someone else is cooking. Grab a few of your latest experimental beers, plus a couple of your flagships, to share with family and friends and see what goes well together. For a few pointers, here is some pairing advice sent along by the pros at World of Beer.
“The Thanksgiving meal traditionally hits all palate notes, including hearty, savory, sweet and tart,” said Marc Sawyer, director of brewery & distributor relations, World of Beer. “Beer is the only tipple that offers flavors in the same categories to complement the large spread and tastes.”
Overwhelmed with so many options? No need to be. Sawyer and World of Beer’s director of brand marketing and Certified Cicerone Hannah Davis sat down with Brooklyn Brewery’s chef and head of culinary programming, Andrew Gerson, to create the beginners pairing guide.
“When it comes to the fall forward flavors of Thanksgiving, I always reach for a Brooklyn Oktoberfest or Brown Ale,” Gerson said. “Whether it’s perfectly roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce or your aunt’s roasted green beans, the malt forward caramel nuances of these beer styles can help to elevate your turkey day experience.”
Check out the trio’s recommendations below:
- Sweet potatoes: Belgian dubbel – Typically prepared with lots of butter and spices, the Belgian yeast spice will help to complement. Rich and complex with a malt sweetness that will match the sweetness of the yams. (Sawyer)
- Cranberry sauce: Berliner weisse – The sweetness and citrus of the cranberry sauce tame the sour qualities of the Berliner weisse. Try the Berliner weisse with a traditional woodruff or raspberry syrup added for a touch of sweetness to contrast the tartness of the cranberries. (Sawyer)
- Mashed potatoes: White wheat – The richness of the mashed potatoes should be complemented with something with a similar mouthfeel. Creamy on top of creamy. We are indulging after all. The tiny bubbles that give you the creaminess in the wheat beer will also help to cleanse your palate after each delicious bite. The slight coriander spice and orange flavors from the beer help brighten up the buttery side dish. (Davis)
- Green beans with bacon: Rauchbier – If you’re going to have greens on your plate, they might as well taste like bacon, right? The German rauchbier is made with smoked malts that literally make the beer taste like a piece of smoked meat. It’s going to complement the bacon in the green beans perfectly. (Davis)
- Pumpkin pie: Post road pumpkin ale – When it comes to pumpkin pie, the best way to enhance your dessert is through a pumpkin ale. The combination of the pumpkin flavors will take you back to the original dinner between the pilgrims and Native Americans through the richness of the combined, beloved fall flavor. (Gerson)