Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and though big family get-togethers are off the table this year, Thanksgiving food will be a familiar comfort for us and many of you who are still planning to find a way to celebrate. Finding great beverage pairings for Thanksgiving can be tricky. Turkey and all the fixings are less straight forward than pairing the tannins of Cab Sav with the richness of red meat or the decadent creaminess of a triple cream cheese with bubbly.
I’ve always thought of farmhouse and sour beers as versatile for food pairing, because of the breadth of flavor in this particular style of beer. You generally want to stay away from things with really high acid or lots of fruit character because there’s more possible conflict, particularly when you’re trying to pair with an entire meal and not a single bite of something, but anything that’s not too extreme has the potential to be great.
To make things a little easier, though, I’ve highlighted a few of our beers that I think are particularly suited to the Thanksgiving table. Take a look below for some pairing suggestions and thoughts about why they work.
Cellador Beer Thanksgiving Pairing Guide
Deadcrush ‘2020’ is our newest release. It’s our second release of this beer
(last year’s was a member-exclusive), and I really love it. It’s a wine/beer hybrid, clocking in at 11% abv. We fermented Petite Syrah grapes on the skins in our open-top barrels, before pressing the juice off of the pomace and blending it into barrels of beer. If you remember Moon Water, that beer was aged on the pomace from this batch of grapes, and Deadcrush was blended with the must.
Why it works:
It drinks a lot like a light red wine with low carbonation. This beer has light tannins and moderate acidity, making it perfect for pairing with turkey. We also get tons of red fruit character, letting it play a similar balancing role to cranberry sauce, and lots of warm spice notes to play well with rich holiday food that uses plenty of baking spice.
Also, great for a holiday dinner, this year’s release is available in 375ml, 750ml and Magnums!
Saison du Rosier, which you may know well already, is one of our core beers.
It’s an homage to Saison duPont, but is not at all a clone of that beer. It’s got a light acidity with tons of tropical fruit and oak character.
Why it works:
Saisons are always super-versatile for food pairings. The complexity of a beer that can at once hit earthy, fruity, herbal, spice, hoppy, malt and yeast character, makes that beer work with tons of stuff. That said, Saison du Rosier is very dry, making it work well with the rich foods on a Thanksgiving table, but the dryness is rounded out by the oak and tropical aromatics, preventing it from coming off as too harsh for anything. I also think that the pineapple notes from this beer are especially great with poultry herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary, which find their way into just about everything on the table.
A little bit nerdier – Saison du Rosier has methyl butyrate and camphor flavors, which come off as pineapple and the menthol flavor of pine and rosemary. These and similar compounds are present in the turkey and all of those herbs, allowing them to riff on each other in a pairing.
Baril d’Or is a great example of Cellador’s style, unflavored and allowed to shine.
It’s a straight-ahead sour, using the highest quality malt we source, from Admiral Maltings. It’s got moderate acidity, with the characteristic flavor of our house cultures, which is lots of stone fruit and honey character.
Why it works:
Baril d’Or is both a great example of the core of our flavor profile as well as a showcase of some of the more malt-driven and grainy notes in our beers. The cereal grain flavors are a great fit with Thanksgiving food, and the roundness of the beer and moderate acidity with touches of fruit character make Baril d’Or very versatile for pairings.
We hope you have a fantastic and delicious Thanksgiving, however you’re able to celebrate this year.
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