LUDB Thanksgiving Beer Pairing

Photo Courtesy: Allagash Brewing Company

The Holiday Season is fast approaching and Thanksgiving kicks off the start of that time of year where food, family and friends become centerpiece to all of your gatherings. What better way to tie great meals and fellowship together than with the perfect beer selections. You’ll spend a lot of time planning the table setting, decorations, meal and wine; but often, the beer selection is an after thought. This year, you’re not going to let that happen and I’m hear to help. The important thing is to keep things simple, so we will focus on three main areas: pre-gaming, main meal and post-gaming.


Right from the start, the selections for early arriving guests are where a lot of folks drop the ball. The most common mistake is picking something that is too robust and/or to high in ABV. Let’s face it, that barrel aged Imperial Stout at 11% ABV is going to have Uncle Earl fractured long before the cranberry sauce starts to warm. I recommend you go with something light, yet flavorful and no more than 5.5% ABV.

Beer styles to look for:
  • American Blonde or Golden Ale
  • American Lager or Light Lager (craft, not mass market!)
  • American Wheat Beer
  • Czech Pilsner
  • German Hefeweizen (Weissbier)
  • German Helles
  • German Pilsner

Recommended Non-Georgia: Firestone Walker 805 (Blonde Ale) 4.7%, Weihenstephaner Original (Helles) 5.1%, Notch Session Pils (Czech Pilsner) 4.0%, pFriem Helles 4.8%, Bitburger Premium Pils 4.8%, Victory Prima Pils (German Pilsner) 5.3%, North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner 4.5%, Paulaner Hefeweizen 5.5%. Pilsner Urquell 4.4%

Georgia Beers: Arches Lloyd’s Light 3.8%, Reformation Oren Pale Ale 5.0%, Line Creek Maverick 4.5%, New Realm United Craft Lager 4.5%, Tucker Brewing Southern Heaven (Hefeweizen) 5.0%. Terrapin Golden Ale 4.6%

Main Course (pass the cranberry sauce please!)

Whether it’s turkey, ham or both, here you have some freedom and flexibility. You just want to avoid heavy, full bodied beers like stouts and porters.

Beer styles to look for:

  • Belgian Ale
  • Dunkel Weisse
  • German Dunkel
  • German Pilsner
  • Marzen
  • Rye Ale
  • Saison
  • Vienna Lager
  • Witbier

Recommended Non-Georgia Beers: Allagash White 5.2%, Allagash Saison 6.1%, Ayinger Oktober Fest Marzen 5.8%, Dupont Saison 6.5%, KC Bier Co. Dunkel 5.1%, pFriem Vienna Lager 5.3%

Recommended Georgia Beers: Arches Mexican Empire 5.3%, Creature Comforts Reclaimed Rye 5.5%, Reformation Cadence (Belgian Ale) 6.9%, Reformation Haddy (Witbier) 4.8%, Tucker Brewing TKR Pilsner 4.8%


Here is a place to shine. You can go with something a little more sweet, robust and higher in ABV. Be careful; however, because some of these are up the ladder in ABV.

Styles to look for:

  • Baltic Porter
  • Barrel Aged Beers
  • Imperial Stout
  • Porters
  • Stout

Non-Georgia Beers: Allagash Curieux 11%, Fuller’s London Porter 5.4%, Highland Oatmeal Porter 5.8%, New Belgium Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 9.0%, Samuel Smith’s Chocolate Stout 5.0%

Georgia Beers: Burnt Hickory Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout 9.0%, Creature Comforts Awaken My Love 12%, Gate City Terminus (Baltic Porter) 7.8%, Orpheus Abandon All Hope (Barrel Aged Imperial Stout) 13.9%, Reformation Declaration Imperial Stout 9.7%, Pretoria Fields Walkers Station Stout 6.5%

Of course, there are tons more beers I could include in these recommendations; but these are ones nationally and locally that I believe are “can’t miss” selection.

Above all else, enjoy your Thanksgiving and please, Drink Responsibly!

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