Thanksgiving Day - Cook with Beer Recipes and Beer Pairings

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of spending the day with my beautiful family from near and far, catching up, playing games, laughing and of course eating. And it's not just eating your everyday meals, I'm talking about rich, fatty, sweet, heavy foods. Foods that you are allowed to indulge in specifically on this special holiday. Diets are thrown out the window for 24 hours, but usually 48 (thanks to the many leftovers). And even though these filling foods leave me full and sleepy, I add delicious filling craft beers into the mix. I love craft beers in the Fall. Sweet and malty ales like Belgian Dubbel, Tripel or Quad, Brown Ale, Porter and Stouts. So warm and comforting. Oh and Pumpkin Ales. So good.

I love cooking with beer, especially when I am using my own homebrews. But if you don't homebrew, that is fine. There are tons of amazing craft beers on the market that are easier to find nowadays. And if you don't want to necessarily cook with beer, you can do some terrific thanksgiving dinner beer pairings. If you live near any microbreweries and own a growler, I recommend seeing what they are offering for the Fall season before heading to the grocery store.

Pairing food and beer is fun and very satisfying. You are bringing new life to your dishes as well as your favorite craft beers. I am thrilled to bring you some wonderful recipes that use malt forward ales as well as some great thanksgiving dinner pairings for Belgian Dubbel, Brown Ale and Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

Belgian Dubbel

Belgian Dubbels are generally clear and appear to be dark amber to copper in color with a reddish depth of color. The aroma of a Belgian Dubbel is complex, with rich malty sweetness and may have hints of chocolate, caramel and/or toast. The Dubbel is also known to have fruity aromas such as raisins, plums, dried cherries, banana or apple. You may also notice spicy notes which include light clove, coriander, black pepper, rose-like and/or perfume. Spicy qualities can be moderate to very low. The flavor is rich, complex medium to medium-full malty sweetness on the palate with a moderately dry finish. The flavor balance is always toward the malt with medium-low bitterness that doesn’t persist into the finish. These flavors and colors are almost entirely the result of the heavy addition of caramelized beet sugar, which ferments completely into alcohol and lightening the body of the finished beer.

These beers enhance the richness of gravy and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and turkey.

Cook with Beer Recipes

Beef Sliders with Allagash Curieux-Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Blue Cheese

Roast Turkey Breast with Dubbel Shallot Gravy

Grilled New York Strips with Dubbel Butter

Gingerbread Ale Ice Cream

Beer Doughnut Holes

Pair with Beer

Butternut Squash Soup

Oven Roasted Turkey with Stuffing

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Glazed Carrots

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Gravy

Pumpkin Pie

American Brown Ale

There are several types of Brown Ales, but for the purpose of cooking and pairing with Thanksgiving dinner, American Brown Ale will be highlighted.

American Brown Ale is a modern beer style derived from the English Brown Ale, but contain more hops. Overall the American Brown Ale is a malty but hoppy beer. The hop flavor and aroma complement and enhance the malt rather than clash with it. The aroma is moderate malty-sweet to malty-rich with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty characteristics. The hop aroma is typically low to moderate. The dark malt character is more robust than other brown ales, with fruity esters being moderate to very low. The American Brown Ale should be a clear beer and appear light to very dark brown in color. Just like its aroma, the American Brown ale will have a malty-rich flavor with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty malt complexity, with medium bitterness and a medium dry finish.

These beers enhance the toasty qualities of foods cooked in the over, a brown gravy and cranberry sauces.

Cook with Beer Recipes

Brown Ale-Brined Turkey

Brown Sugar Beer Glazed Ham

Sweet Potato Brown Ale Fries

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Tossed in Warm Bacon and Brown Ale Vinaigrette

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Smoked Bacon and Beer

Soft Batch Beer and Brown Sugar Cookies

Pair with Beer

Deep Fried Turkey

Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Corn Bread Pudding

Southern Pecan Pie

Belgian Golden Strong Ale

The Belgian Golden Strong Ale resembles a Belgian Tripel except it is lighter in color and body.

Overall it is a pale, complex, effervescent, strong Belgian-style ale that features fruity and hoppy flavors. The malt character is light and slightly grainy-sweet. The aroma is complex with significant fruity esters reminiscent of lighter fruits such as pear, oranges or apples. It will have a low to moderate peppery spiciness and low to moderate alcohol levels. The hop aromas are likely to be floral and perfumed.

The Belgian Golden Strong Ale uses Pilsner malt for its base malt, which has flavors reminiscent to graham crackers. Therefore a great beer to pair with stuffing. The malt flavors work well with white meat and is an excellent choice for using in a brine for flavoring your turkey. These beers enhance the toasty qualities of foods cooked in the over, a brown gravy and cranberry sauces.

Cook with Beer Recipes

Belgian Golden Ale-Steamed Mussels

Belgian Strong Glazed Pork Chops

Beer Banana Pudding Recipe

Pair with Beer

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Vinaigrette

Brined Herb Crusted Turkey with Gravy

Freshly Baked Bread Rolls

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Green Bean Casserole

Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Mac ‘N Cheese

Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Thank you to the following for all of the great recipes:

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

The Beeroness

Draft Magazine

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