Monday is here, and it’s time to start another week. Pick of the Weekend is our weekly post where we recap our favorite brews of the weekend past.
We’re back from the Thanksgiving Holiday, and we had a wonderful time experimenting with beer and food pairings, celebrating with friends and family, and feasting!
After last weeks in-depth coverage (more, and more) of craft beer and Thanksgiving we couldn’t wait to put all the tips and guidelines to the test with our own Turkey Day feast. Here are some of our favorite pairings and highlights of the big day:
Enjoy By 12.21.12
After a trip to the Pasadena company store for a growler-fill on Tuesday we couldn’t wait to break into the newest edition of Stone’s unique double IPA. This is the third release, and while they are all the same recipe we’ve tasted very subtle differences each time we’ve been able to try it. This release seems to have a touch more body to help balance out the big hop punch. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Enjoy By after the initial bottles, but it has grown on me a lot with each successive tasting. It made a great accompaniment to the pre-feast preparations on Wednesday night.
Golden Road Hefe
Breakfast on Thanksgiving is critical; you need to have a hearty meal to keep you fueled for a long day of cooking (and drinking). My traditional breakfast to start the day of feasting is turkey neck hash and eggs, and the GRB Hefe is one of my favorite breakfast beers to pair with it. The beer’s bready yeast flavors and strong orange notes are prefect morning flavors, and the lively carbonation refreshes and awakens your palate (and, along with the mild tartness, cuts through the richness of the hash and eggs.)
The Main Event
We decided to serve two glasses of beer for the turkey dinner, and settled on versatile pairings that would help enhance the meal without stealing focus from the food. Taking the advice of several cicerones we served a biere de garde – New Belgium’s collaboration with Brewery Viviant under the Lips of Faith label. The bergamot citrus infused farmhouse ale worked very well with the (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale brined) turkey breast and sausage dressing, but on its own the beer didn’t really wow us.
We also poured Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen’s Oude Geuze with the meal, and this was a big hit. While the more subtle nuance of the lambic may have been overpowered by the rich food, the sharp tartness and lively carbonation was an excellent match for meal. I love the way geuze works with food, especially rich and bold flavors, and the 3 Fonteinen’s offering is a wonderful balance of drinkable, affordable, and complex. This is a beer that will open people’s eyes to the breadth of flavors that beer can offer.
Something to Savor
After the plates are cleared, after the pie’s been served, and after the crowd of friends and family have returned home there is a time that I like to sit and contemplate the meal, the day, and just what I’m thankful for. This quiet repose at the end of the chaos and revelry of the feast day begs for a bold and special beer. We chose the new anniversary release from Firestone Walker, Anniversary XVI, a blend different Firestone Walker barrel aged beers including Velvet Merkin, Parabola, and several other. The 16%ABV beast is richly layered with flavor and depth, and it was a wonderful companion to the last hour of Thanksgiving 2012.
Those were the highlights of (one of) our Thanksgiving meals this year, and we hope that you were able to share some special brews with your friends and loved ones over the holiday. What were some of your favorite beer and food moments of Thanksgiving? Let’s hear about your favorite beers of the feast in the comments!