Thanksgiving dinner calls for some class. Wine is the obvious choice, but if your apron is selvedge and your turkey is heirloom, your tipple should be similarly trad. And that means beer. Here are a few great beer suggestions to bring to your Thanksgiving celebration.
Logsdon Seizoen Bretta, 8.0%
This true-to-the-name farmhouse brewery makes one kind of beer: saison. And they make it well. Run by the mad, yeast-wrangling genius behind Wyeast, Logsdon isn’t afraid to play with untraditional fermentations. This particular brew is spiked with brettanomyces, a wild yeast that gives it an extra-dry kick and a boisterous boost of carbonation — my bottle gushed like something possessed; keep a towel handy. When the head dies down, you’ll taste hay, horses, and funk with a prickling, appetite-whetting finish. Start your meal here.
Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies, 7.2%
Ring in the harvest with this fresh-hopped IPA, dosed with just-picked Amarillos straight from the Washington farm that first discovered the now-classic strain. But don’t fear: this is no palate-wrecking, resinously bitter boozer like other big IPAs. The orange-blossomy hops are kept well in check, their citrussy oils turning more refreshing than overpowering, making the beer a great spritzy intermezzo.
North Coast Old Stock 2011 Reserve, 15.2%
Classically British, with rich Maris Otter barley and flowery Fuggle and Golding hops, this winter warmer is as close to port as beer can safely get, packed with chewy, butter-toffee sweetness. Used to be, stock ales like this were brewed on a first son’s birth and not cracked until the heir turned 18. Strong enough to stand a year or more in the cellar, save a bottle for later — if you can.
Firestone Anniversary Ale XVII, 13.3%
Firestone is a barreled-beer specialist, its cellar masters keeping watch over some 1,500 casks at a newly-built satellite brewery focusing just on wood-aging. Their Anniversary releases put that archive to use. This year’s is a blend of seven of Firestone’s barrel-aged beers, including classics like Double DBA and some unexpected twists like a blonde barley wine with tropical El Dorado hops called Helldorado, all mixed by a team of local winemakers. It’s dark and rich and dizzying strong, nutty sweet and glazed with caramel. Have your rum cake, and drink it too.
The Bruery Oude Tart, 7.5%
A Flemish-style red ale, aged in wine barrels for a year and a half, Oude Tart is sweetly sour, like high-octane balsamic vinegar drizzled on cherries. It’s a perfect cleansing dessert when the gravy boat runs dry — a near-repentant tangy slap to smack the grease off your palate.