Thanksgiving is a pretty great holiday overall. You (usually) get the day off work, you get to eat more food in one day than a human being should eat in an entire year, and then you put on sweat pants and watch football until you pass out in a turkey-induced coma. Thanksgiving is a holiday that was undoubtedly created by men and we salute them.
What would make a day like this even better? Beer.
Thanksgiving is a special occasion, which means you really need to stop pulling out the Coors Light from the back of the fridge and make a trip to the store for some good stuff. We do feel Thanksgiving is first and foremost about the food (oh yeah, and family…), so we’re not going to recommend that you go out and buy a ton of different beers that pair well with all different foods. Instead, we want to focus on one type of beer that can take you throughout the day.
The main type of beer that is universally regarded as the ultimate Thanksgiving beer is bière de garde. Bière de garde is a traditional farmhouse pale ale that has its origins in the Pas-de-Calais region of northern France (French beer on an American holiday. Deal with it.) It has a light to moderate toasty character and a fairly prominent malty-sweet aroma.
Garret Oliver, Brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, has been quoted as saying, ” Bière de garde is brilliant with turkey. And not just with turkey – it is also brilliant with the turnips, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the potatoes, the whole darned thing. Bière de garde is the Thanksgiving beer.”
So, what are some good bière de garde brands you should get your hands on for turkey day? Grab whatever suits your fancy, but here are a few brands that we recommend:
- Oro De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
- Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
- Lips of Faith – Biere de Mars from New Belgium Brewing
- Scythe & Sickle from Brewery Ommegang
- Avant Garde from The Lost Abbey
Enjoy the brew and eat as much turkey as you want. It’s a holiday after all.