What Beer to Pair With Your Thanksgiving Meal

400dpiLogoSo you’ve been charged with finding the right adult beverages for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Wine?  No problem, you’ve got that – Chardonnay, Merlot or Beaujolais, and nice Port for dessert.  Beer?  Well, there is so much variety, what do you do?  The bad news – there are no hard fast rules of thumb like wine’s whites with fish and chicken, reds with steak and pork.  The good news – there are not hard fast rules of thumb.  Even so, it’s nice to have a few guidelines to make the selection process a little easier.  No worries!  Let’s take a look at some simple recommendations.


The key here is to keep it light and on the low ABV side.  That Belgian Dark Strong Ale you’ve been dying to show off.  Keep that in the holster, lest your guests will be stoned before the salad is served.

Recommended Styles:  American Blonde or Pale Ale, Czech Pilsner, Munich Helles, or Witbier

  • American Blonde/Pale Ale
    • Widely Distributed – Ballast Pointe Bonito Blonde (4.5% ABV), New Belgium Dayblazer (4.8%), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (5.6%)
    • Georgia – Creature Comforts Table Beer (4.2%), Terrapin Golden Ale (5.3%),
      Creature Comforts Table Beer
      Creature Comforts Brewing Co. Table Beer

      Monday Night Brewing I’m On a Boat (4.8%)
  • Czech Pilsner
    • Widely Distributed – Pilsner Urquell (4.4%)
    • Georgia – Creature Comforts Bibo Pilsner (4.9%)
  • Munich Helles
    • Widely Distributed – Weihenstephaner Original (5.1%), Hacker Pschorr Munichener Gold (5.5% ABV)
    • Georgia – Arches Brewing Heritage (4.8%), Creature Comforts Classic City Lager (4.2%)
  • Witbier
    • Widely Distributed – Allagash White (5.2%), St. Benardus Witbier (5.5%), Hoegaarden Wit Blanche (4.9%)
    • Georgia – Reformation Haddy (4.8%)

Main Meal Turkey/Ham

At this point there are a lot of good choices.  Try to stay away from big, overpowering beers as the main goal.

Recommended Styles:  American IPA, Marzen/Amber Lager, Belgian or Trappist, Weissbier

  • American IPA
    Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA
    Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA


    • Widely Distributed – Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA (6.8%), Founders All Day IPA (4.7%) 
    • Georgia – Creature Comforts Tropicalia (6.6%), Sweetwater IPA (6.5%), Terrapin Recreation Ale (4.2%)
  • Marzen/Amber Lager
    • Widely Distributed – Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen (5.8%), Victory Festbier (5.6%), Samuel Adams Octoberfest (5.3%)
    • Georgia – Arches Brewing Southside Lager (5.4%)
  • Belgian/Trappist
    • Widely Distributed – Duvel (8.5%), Chimay Premiere (7.0%),  
      New Belgium Abbey Style Dubbel Ale (7.0%)
    • Georgia – Reformation Cadence (6.9%), Reformation Jude (9.0%)
  • Weissebier
    • Widely Distributed -Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier (5.4%) or Kristall Weissebier, Schneider Weisse Original (5.4%), Ayinger Brau Weisse (5.%)
    • Georgia – Arches Brewing Queen’s Weiss (5.2%)

Dessert/After Dinner

After dinner, later in the evening is a great time to go Porter or Stout.

Recommended Styles: Porter, Stout, or Russian Imperial Stout

  • Widely Distributed – Founder’s Robust Porter (6.5%),  Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
    North Coast Old Rasputin
    North Coast Old Rasputin

    (6.5%),  North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (9.0%)
  • Georgia – Reformation Stark Toasted Porter (5.5%), Reformation Declaration Imperial Stout (9.7%), Terrapin Moo Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout (6.0%)

Additional recommended beers:  Cigar City Classic Lager, Full Sail Session Premium Lager, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Firestone Walker Lager, Firestone Walker Easy Jack IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (IPA), North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, Victory Prima Pils, Arches Mexican Empire (Vienna Lager), and Sweetwater 420 Pale Ale

Of course, there are a number of good style,  substitutions for the main meal category.  German Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Red Ale, and even some Brown Ales.  The most important thing is to keep what your guests may like in mind.  I have an aunt who drinks Corona Extra almost exclusively.  Admittedly, not one of my favorites at all; but I definitely make sure there is plenty on hand for her.  My challenge is to bug her to death to try something better, err – new.  I’ll try to have Full Sail Premium Session Lager or Creature Comforts Classic City Lager on hand to give a go with.

Happy Thanksgiving and please drink in moderation.  Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer.


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