Editor’s Note: The brewers’ picks in this article were submitted in 2018.
Most people drink brown liquor or red wine during Thanksgiving dinner. But before the big meal, everything else is fair game. And by everything else, we mostly mean beer.
To get a better handle on what to seek out before Thursday, we asked a handful of America’s biggest beer nerds what they’ll be drinking. From easy-to-find session IPAs to rare bottles of America’s most coveted beer, these are some of the best brews to drink on Turkey Day.
Suarez Family Brewery Proclivity & Whistlin
“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to pull bottles out of the cellar and try to convince all of the wine drinkers in my family that beer can be good, or at the least, well, interesting. At the table, I like to drink mixed-fermentation saisons and a lambic or two (if I’m lucky).
“I plan to pop a few bottles from Suarez as his country beers have just the right expression to add life to the table but not overpower the meal. I have a Suarez Proclivity and Whistlin on hand, both of which are brewed with herbs from the Hudson Valley and will meld with any dish on the table.” — Matt Levy, Threes Brewing, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Founder’s Brewing All Day IPA
“Before the big meal, it’s all about session IPAs, and there are few things more rewarding than finding a fresh 15-pack of All Day IPA by Founders. Before my pallet gets rocked by cranberry sauce and stuffing, [I find] a little candied orange and fresh pine essential to succeeding in my slippery slope of savory submission. It’s not until after dinner that I start cracking open the dessert stouts and sours.” — Joe Pawelek, Wicked Weed Brewing, Asheville, N.C.
Threes Brewing Vliet Pilsner
“For Turkey Day football viewing, I like to drink a crisp, refreshing Vliet pilsner from our friends at Threes Brewing.” — Sam Richardson, Other Half Brewing, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter
“This beer’s creamy mouthfeel and complex flavors will set the table for the meal to come. And if you want to bring it along for the main eating event, its roasty, chocolate-y notes, will put you in belt-busting heaven, especially with turkey and caramelized food.” — Ross Koenigs, New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Co.
Suarez Family Brewery Proclivity
“I just tried a beer from Suarez Family Brewery called Proclivity that would be a perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner. It is a mixed fermentation saison with a balanced acidity, some bitterness, minerality and a light fruitiness from the fermentation and use of pineapple sage. Its acidity and effervescence should reset the palate between bites of rich food, but its flavors are delicate enough to not overshadow white meat or stuffing.” – Adam Beauchamp, Creature Comforts Brewing Co., Athens, Ga.