I wrote about this topic a couple years ago, but my tastes have changed, and the beers available have changed. So here’s a mildly amended list of beers to serve up with turkey on Thanksgiving. But, as I said back then, the best choice is whatever sounds good to you. There is no wrong call on this, or in any other beer match-up.
1) Tank 7, by Boulevard. This stuff is perfect for a rich turkey dinner. Light in body, flavorful, effervescent and hoppy enough to cut through the fats in the rest of the meal. If Tank 7 isn’t available, ask your beer vendor for a Saison – it’s a French farmhouse style ale that goes great with almost any meal.
2) Dead Guy Ale, by Rogue. This is a rich, malty, ale version of a Maibock. It is tasty enough to stand out, but won’t dominate the meal. If you can’t find Dead Guy, ask for a maibock.
3) Blue Paddle Pilsner, by New Belgium. This looks like a typical pilsner, but it is bursting with hop flavor. The malt body is really pretty impressive, but the hops steal the show, and will awaken your palate between bites. If you can’t find Blue Paddle, ask for an American-made hoppy pilsner.
4) Boulevard Pale Ale, by Boulevard. One of the most under-appreciated beers in the land, this has the balance between malt and hops to wash down the whole plate of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pumpkin pie. If you can’t find Boulevard Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada is a great choice, too.
5) Baltika #6, Baltic Porter. This beer doesn’t get the love it deserves – you can usually find a 16.9 oz bottle for a couple bucks. This is a big, rich beer, so don’t mess with it unless you are wearing loose sweat pants and going for the sheer gluttony approach to the meal. It’s not subtle, it won’t clean your palate, and it will coat your tongue with another level of richness after turkey meat, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!