BeerDorks.com: Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

 
November 24, 2008

Beer Diary:

At Least Snoopy Served Popcorn

Even if you’re stuck eating oatmeal for Thanksgiving like Eddie this year, make the meal enjoyable by pairing it with Midwest craft beer.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
Bad news. Slick and Ma Glick are going on another weirdo cruise for the week of Thanksgiving. Sure, I get the whole house to myself (but no keys to the Gremlin—it’s in the shop), but that also means no Thanksgiving meal. Instead, the menu will be like it is every other Thursday night: oatmeal and PB&J, sans the J, unless I want to walk to the store like a fucking Neanderthal. Like I said, the Gremlin, a high performance machine, is in the shop for a tune up and detailing.

Normally you’d say something along the lines of “Sucks to be you, Eddie … as usual,” but you’d be wrong, because I have great Midwest craft beer to drink, so things can only get so bad. Plus, I’m not into this whole autopitification nonsense that a lot of folks seem to be into nowadays. I mean, sitting around on the couch watching bad TV (a redundancy, that), pitying yourself over and over until it’s too sore to pity anymore? Pretty pathetic. Instead, I’m going to reach out to all of you readers out there who will have some Tom Turkey to worship come Thursday, along with a big scoop of tangy cranberry, fluffy stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, buttery rolls, yellow peas, and a big-ass slice of pumpkin pie. Because I know of a sure-fire way you can make that bountiful feast a notch better: eat it while enjoying beer.

You’ll want to start with a brew to get your stomach warmed up so you don’t sprain it during the exertions you’re about to put it through.
But simply cracking open a can of Meisterbräu at the start of Thanksgiving dinner won’t do the trick. You have to make sure the brew you drink complements instead of ruins your mother-of-all-meals. Which is why I’d like to direct you to the Beer Dorks Midwest Beer And Food Pairing Guide, if you’re not already familiar with it. With this handy-dandy tool, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect Midwest brew to go with every dish of your meal—including the course I invented, dessert II.

But if you’re too lazy to peruse through our extraordinarily comprehensive list of to-do brews, I’ll be certifiably nice and lay out an entire beer menu for you.

First off—before you even sit down and start passing the plates—is what the frogs call an aperitif. Basically a brew to get your stomach warmed up so you don’t sprain it during the exertions you’re about to put it through. You’ll want something dry and hoppy, but mild and relatively uncomplex. I’d recommend Three Floyds Gumballhead: perhaps a touch hoppier than you’d want, but plenty light, with some fruity undertones. Two Brothers Prairie Path would make an excellent starter as well, being as crisp and clean as my conscience, after all. Then there’s the eponymous Half Acre Lager, which would be about as straightforward as you would want to get in a craft beer. Or try Summit Extra Pale Ale, lighter and less hoppy than your typical American pale, a perfect way to get your taste buds begging for more.

Most “fancy” dinners will start with a salad, but at the Glick Thanskgiving gatherings we eschew that Nancy-ass crap and go right for the main course: turkey.
Most “fancy” dinners will start with a salad, but at the Glick Thanskgiving gatherings we eschew that Nancy-ass crap and go right for the main course: turkey. The trick with turkey is it’s lighter than you initially think. So you don’t want anything too big and bold, otherwise it’ll overpower the bird. But on the other hand, you’ve got tangy cranberry and creamy taters that will render lighter beers tasteless. So you’ve gotta find a brew that’ll handle both extremes with equal aplomb. Obviously, no easy task, which is why you’ve gotta turn to the Belgians.

Spicy and highly carbonated, Belgian-style beers can really cut the mustard when it comes to starchy and fatty foods, but they’re light enough to let Mr. Turkey do his thing. The obvious choice here is the Midwest’s best Belgian-style tripel, Dragonmead Final Absolution. Light and spicy, with lots of scrubbing bubbles and alcohol, it’ll complement both your buttery rolls and your white turkey meat. Furthermore’s Fatty Boombalatty is a great second choice, but might be a hair too subtle for the heavier fare. If you like dark meat and pile the cranberry high, maybe look at Dark Horse Amber Ale, a brew with more body than a golden, but lots of spiciness to stand up against hearty sides. Also along those lines is Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, a fantastic Belgian-style dubbel that drinks lighter than you’d expect for the style.

OK, you’ve survived the dinner. Bring on the dessert! Big ass stouts are needed now to take on all that sugary goodness. You cannot, I repeat, cannot go wrong with Founders Breakfast Stout. Big, rich, and smoooooooth, it’ll triple your enjoyment of any dessert you pair with it. Great Lakes Blackout Stout is another silky-smooth, big brew that’ll go perfectly with apple pie or cherry cheesecake. Then there’s Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which’ll stand up to anything you could throw up against it, even, say, a solid block of chocolate.

After you’ve washed the dishes and taken that pre-bedtime nap, you’ve gotta do a cooldown to make sure your poor, distended belly won’t be all cramped up and sore for the rest of the week.
Dessert—done. After you’ve washed the dishes and taken that pre-bedtime nap, you’ve gotta do a cooldown to make sure your poor, distended belly won’t be all cramped up and sore for the rest of the week. Again, the frogs got a word for this procedure, too: the digestif. Between you and me, we’ll call it a night cap. That means something that you can sip and savor, with a soothing alcoholic kick to usher in some pleasant food-centric dreams. Like Founders Curmudgeon, an old ale that’s guaranteed to lube your tubes and numb your pubes. You could do a lot worse than Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, a pleasingly complex, bourbon-soaked brew to close out the night. But personally, I’ve found that nothing mollifies an overburdened gullet like hops, so at the end of a long day of cramming my piehole, I grab an imperial IPA, like Three Floyds Dreadnaught. Big, bitter, but balanced, I swear it’d probably cure malaria if taken at a high enough dosage.

So there you go. Lots of head candy for making your turkey day meal all the more spectacular. Drink up, enjoy, and give thanks. Just don’t think of me, poor Eddie Glick, licking clean my bowl of oatmeal and pining on for just a tiny smear of grape jelly to adorn my bland peanut butter sammie. Poor, poor, Eddie …





Comments
Thanksgiving to me means deer hunting, so I need a good brew for the occasion! So far I'm sticking to New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest, but I need others. Help me Eddie!
posted by Ryan | November 26, 2008, 7:32 PM
Malt and venison go hand in hand! Old ale like Great Lakes Nosferatu. Founders Dirty Bastard. Capital Autumnal Fire. Mmmmmm. Venison.
posted by EddieGlick | November 26, 2008, 8:39 PM

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