6 Step Thanksgiving Beer Survival List

Thanksgiving is upon us. Whether you are feasting with family or having a ‘Friends-giving’, you want to make sure you have some good beer on hand to survive. Not so sure what beers to supply yourself with? While I am not an expert beer/food pairing person, I do know what will keep you and everyone happy this Thanksgiving holiday. Here are the six steps to any Thanksgiving, each step paired with a great beer.

Step: 1 – Turkey Prep
Notch Session Pils

Doesn’t matter if your preparing lunch or dinner, you want to start out on the light but still very flavorful side when preparing the bird on Thanksgiving. Keep some Notch on hand for this. A nice 4% session beer that will keep you focused during the brine, basting and any other preparations you do.

Step: 6 – Family Arrives
High and Mighty Beer of the Gods

The moment everyone is staring out the window for. Whether its the in-laws that want to find a good parking spot on your yard, or the late arrivals, make them feel extremely welcome with some High & Mighty ‘Beer of the Gods‘. This beer will please even the most hesitant to step into the craft beer world. Also, giving them a beer with a name like ‘Beer of the Gods’, they will likely stay out of your hair while you finish your final preparations :).

Step: 3 – Turkey/Ham is Served
Jack’s Abbey Fire in the Ham

You need an awesome beer to go with the intense flavors and smells of your Thanksgiving meal. Even though I don’t consider myself a good beer/food pairing person, I know for a fact the smoky flavors of Jack’s Abbey’s ‘Fire in the Ham‘ will go undeniably well with this meal. Heck, if your on a budget thanksgiving, only make sides and serve this beer as your Turkey or Ham. It’s that darn good.

Step: 4 – “Seconds, Please”
Rising Tide Ishmael

I’m a drumstick guy. Once I polish that off and really dig into the sides I want a beer that will go well with just about everything, while not overpowering my love for green bean casserole, stuffing, or that fresh cranberry sauce. Rising Tide’s ‘Ishmael‘ is an American Copper Ale that is tasty in it’s own right and will still keep you focused on the food at hand, because it comes in at 5% ABV. Keep your eyes on the prize, I think the pies are about ready.

Step: 5 – Desert
Great Harvest Cranberry Ale

If you are like my family, there are 3 pies, a stack of cookies and other deserts ready for the taking after the feast. Your belly is full, rightfully so, and I have just the beer to not fill you up and will go well with any tasty treat. Harpoon’s ‘Greatful Harvest Cranberry Ale‘ sounds like a fruity beer at first but it is so well balanced that you get the light flavors of cranberry and even a little tartness that won’t overwhelm your pallet.

Step: 6 – Post Dinner Black Friday Prep
Lefty’s Smoked Porter

You did it. The family has left the house, and while the pile of dishes is staring you in the face, the pile of Black Friday fliers is giving you a more welcoming “hey how you doing” stare. Me? I am a Black Friday veteran of 12 years. Each year brings a new battle. I want a great after dinner beer, one that gets me in that battle planning state of mind. Lefty’s ‘Smoked Porter‘ is just the beer. While this is the second smoked beer in the 6 step process, I think it has a subtle sweetness to it which means it won’t make you lose your cool at your friend who wants to go to Best Buy the exact same time you need to be at Target.

Even if you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, the beers listed above are my picks for this time of year. Hope you all have a great holiday weekend.