From apps to afters: Pairing your Thanksgiving meal with Mraz beer
Thanksgiving is a time to come together with family and celebrate that for which we are all grateful. But lets’ face it, when most of us think of Thanksgiving, our minds immediately drift to visions of fluffy stuffing, a succulent bronze turkey and sweet pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. But for craft beer lovers, one other crucial consideration comes into play on turkey day: “Which type of beer should I celebrate with?”
Fortunately, the diversity of a multi-course Thanksgiving feast lends itself to an array of beer pairing options from the pre-meal snacks to the gut busting desserts. To help guide you through each course by beer-type, Mraz Brewing Company Tasting Room Manager Justin Simarro detailed which beers currently available on tap or in bottle are best suited for which types of holiday fare.
IPAs and Double IPAs
With most pre-meal snacks and appetizers leaning toward the saltier side, you’ll want to seek out a balancing beer. The bitterness and slight hint sweetness in a Double IPA like our EDH, Brothas and Beer Black IIPA, or X-Files 2XPA pair very well with any salty selection. Just remember to go easy on them and give your palate plenty of time to refresh before dinner as the inherent bitterness of a Double IPA can overwhelm more subtle flavors on the table.
This is the perfect beer if your Thanksgiving figures to include more than a couple pints. Ideal for refreshing the palate in between courses or beer styles, a lighter profile beer like our Cream Ale won’t overwhelm anything on your menu and makes for the quintessential all-day beer.
Belgian Dark Strong Ales
A more malt-forward offering like our Repentance Belgian Dark Strong Ale is a great complement to main-course plates piled high with savory meats, bread stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes dowsed in gravy. With its complex profile, Repentance also doubles as a wonderful dessert, or pre-dessert option, pairing nicely with pecan pie or sweet potato casserole.
Characteristically Belgian in their notes of spice and alcohol sweetness, Belgian Tripels like our Window of Opportunity complement crisp, colorful salads, as well as rich, cheesy sides. Offer this beer to the white wine drinker at the house who turns their nose up at a beer. The notes of oak and white wine from the barrels in which we age this beer are sure to pleasantly surprise them as an outstanding complement to cheese and crackers before the meal, or a main course of roast, duck or deep-fried turkey.
Flanders Red Ales
The refreshing tartness and deep malt profile in a Flanders Red Ale like The Cardinal invigorate a salad course and pair sublimely with grilled meats. It also might be the next best thing to accompany chocolate ice cream since caramel sauce (in our humble opinion).
A Porter such as our Operias Imperal Porter is a wonderful dessert beer. Enhancing everything from rich, dark chocolate creations to fruit-filled cakes to pumpkin pie, this lightly hopped, dark, chocolaty, roasty beer is the perfect capper to a Thanksgiving meal.
Stop by the tasting room Wednesday to fill a growler or take home a few bottles to pair with your meal.