Thanksgiving Beer: Counting Our Blessings

As we all prepare to reap the bounty of the harvest on this third Thursday of the month of November, the flood of things that I am thankful for rush past my mind like the Mayflower rushing to the New World.

Family is an obvious one, friends is another, health, happiness, and love also make the list of blessings to count. And, as I slide the beads of my abacus over one by one while I count my many blessings, I am reminded of another one that we all can give thanks for: beer!

We at BlogAboutBeer.com felt the necessity to help you, dear readers, to set a proper table this holiday season, a table full of all the delicious items that incite your Pavlovian response during this time of year.

No Thanksgiving feast would be complete without a turkey, and so the main course of this meal would have to be Mayflower Brewing Company’s seasonal Thanksgiving Ale. A blend of American Strong Ale and English Old Ale, this brew is aged in American white oak. Full-bodied with hints of vanilla, caramel, and spicy nuts, it would be wise to “carve” out some time to try this brew!

Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale

Now, if your family is anything like mine, there will no doubt be no less than about 100 side dishes to accompany the main course. One such dish is yams, and thanks to Orange County’s The Bruery, we can pour ourselves a nice side dish for the holiday. A Belgian-Style Brown Ale, Autumn Maple is an offering from The Bruery that is brewed with yams, molasses, maple syrup, and spices. No baked-on marshmallows I’m afraid, but I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

The Bruery Autumn Maple
I know that many of you are fond of the gelatinous deliciousness that is the can-shaped cranberry sauce, but I offer up an alternative this holiday season, or should I say…Saison? Gilgamesh Brewing sets a place at our distinguished table by bringing us an “epic” side dish in the form of their Abandon Brew, which is a high gravity Cranberry Saison. Originating in Turner, Oregon, this beer is brewed and fermented with local cranberries and aged in Pinot Noir port barrels for 11 months. With tartness, clove, and banana esters in the flavor profile, I feel certain one won’t be too upset in benching the canned cranberries this year!

Gilgamesh ABandon Brew

In the hope that our readers will be saving room for dessert, we stuck with tradition for our final course of the meal. No Thanksgiving would be complete without a pumpkin pie. And as there is a multitude of choices on the market, many of which have been featured on this site, we went with one we had not experienced before. Cigar City Brewing out of Florida serves up dessert by way of their Good Gourd. Brewed with Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, Zanzibar cloves, and nutmeg, this Imperial Pumpkin Ale is worthy of topping off the meal. With notes of buttered pie crust, caramel, roasted pumpkin, and a smidgen of hop bitterness, this complex Ale is definitely something to be thankful for!

Cigar City Good Gourd

The season is upon us when we take stock of those things which we are grateful for, and as we put the leaf in the table as we prepare for all kinds of family members to invade our homes, don’t forget to take a “pilgrimage” to your local bottle shop to pick up some of these brews to “gobble” up this Thanksgiving!

Help us add to our feast! Anyone have a fun addition of a beer that would fit well on our table?

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About Ryan Van Brunt

Ryan is from Vancouver, Washington, a mere stone’s throw away from Portland, Oregon. Along with a love of craft beer and writing, he's a sucker for 80’s movies, hair metal, and most all other pop-culture.

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