I love reading lists of beers for the seasons. For example, here is an excellent article, Thanksgiving Craft Beer Shopping List by Andy Skelton on CraftBeer.com, to assist you with beer selections for your Thanksgiving Day. But you know the problem with all of these articles is when you go to try to purchase Beers from these lists you discover that many of these are not shipped to your location.
So, if you live around Kent Island Maryland you’re some excellent Thanksgiving beers that you are likely to find.
Pairing With Turkey. I agree, witbeer is an excellent choice to pair with turkey. Probably the only ones you'll find off this shopping list is Namaste by Dogfish Head and Winter White Ale by Bell’s Brewing (a relatively new brewery to Maryland). To add to that list, look for Clementine White Ale by Clown Shoes and Blanch de Chambly by Unibroue (pronounced yoo-na-bru). An even better choice may be the Unibroue Sommelier Selection. This is a 6-pack of some of their best beers.
Under farmhouse ales and saison, you’re likely to find the Brooklyn brewing Sorachi Ace and perhaps the Saison Rue by The Bruery, both excellent and favorite brewing establishments. I like to add another of my favorite beers to the list, the Tank 7 by Boulevard Brewing. One more, while not a Saison, Belgian beer go well with just about any meal. Boulevard Brewing’s Long Strange Tripel would be an excellent choice. Okay, one more in this category is Unibroue La Fin du Monde. For the money, I don't think you’ll find a better beer. While it translates as “the end of the world”, your world won't end if you bring (or serve) this beer to Thanksgiving dinner.
Under IPAs, you’ll likely find Hop Stupid by Lagunitas but I have some other choices for you. Look for Mo by Maine Brewing rather than the Lunch. By all means Lunch is a great beer but you're not likely to find it while Mo is more commonly found. Also, Bell’s Brewing Two Hearted Ale, while not an IPA, a very well balanced pale ale and constantly showing up in best beer lists.
On to porters. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is a very drinkable dark beer but is on the lighter side, meaning not so thick, for the style. It has a hint of vanilla and is not overpowering. To bump it up some other dark beers to look for is Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. This could be a meal by itself. Okay, it has been once or twice, I'll admit. But it is always a favorite and I often have this with a meal when found on the menu. The oatmeal adds a very nice smoothness to any beer.
Some other beer selections to go with turkey are the marzen or Oktoberfest beers if you can still find them. A Vienna lager falls into that category as well with a good choice is the Great American Beer Festival Gold winner Devil Backbone’s Vienna Lager. A malt-forward beer that pairs very well with the light meat of a turkey.
On to dessert. You really didn't think we could miss this category. For sweetness, if that is what you are after try Southern Tier’s Choklat. Another dark beer of choice is Ballast Point Victory at Sea. This porter is much heavier than the Breckridge selection mentioned earlier and with hints of coffee and vanilla, make it a great beer for sipping after the big meal. Lindeman’s lambic fruit beers are great for their sweet notes and effervescence. Try the kriek (cherry). To go with the pumpkin pie try a pumpkin beer. This time of year it may be hard to find any left on the shelve since they first begin to appear in July. Always my recommendation, if you want a pumpkin beer for Thanksgiving, show some discipline, buy some and put them away. You should still be able to find Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale, one of those I look forward to every year.
Two sipping beers for you to consider. Allagash Brewing Curieux is a strong bourbon barrel-aged ale, usually found in 750 ml bottles. At 11% ABV, share this one with a loved one (of age of course). Also, White Oak by The Bruery is another favorite that would go well at the end of the evening. They call this a blend of wheat-wine aged in Bourbon barrels and their Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale.
Well, that’s a lot of beer, so you shouldn’t go without some excellent drinks to impress your guests or hosts. Cheers!