As turkey day approaches, forums on beer websites start to focus on the obligatory question – “what beer do I pair with my Thanksgiving feast”?
The first response is almost always “a good barleywine”. Other typical responses cover a plethora of Belgian styles. Of course there are no right or wrong answers. Try what you like. Or, look for a brewery to make the process fool proof for you by producing a beer called “Thanksgiving Ale”. We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but when you see a beer with that name, it’s hard to pass up for this purpose.
Thanksgiving Ale is an English old ale brewed by Mayflower Brewing Company, which DBNE recently visited. Given their name, location, and back story, I can’t think of a more appropriate brewery to make a beer solely for our November holiday.
We tasted this brew last night. Pouring it into a tulip glass, we generated very little head but liked its deep, dark auburn color. Aromas of brown bread, vanilla, molasses, and brown sugar were all there. This immediately reminded me how much I like canned brown bread with cream cheese. But I digress.
The flavor profile matched the aroma, but with an added note of raisin. The more the beer warmed up, the less sweet it became. I began to taste the essences of wood, peat moss, and earth which provided enough bitterness to keep the sweetness in check. Near the end of the glass I noticed a note of cherry. There are layers of flavor here, and that equals two-thumbs up from me.
If you’re considering a beer pairing with your Thanksgiving dinner, I suggest seriously considering Mayflower’s Thanksgiving Ale. It clocks in at 8% ABV and will run you approximately $6 – $7 for a 22 oz bottle, and you have fewer than forty eight hours to get yours in time to pair with mom’s sweet potato pie.