Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thanksgiving Beer Dinner 2011

Since we moved our Thanksgiving Festivities to our house from my parent’s we have had a definite beer twist to our meals. Actually I have been refereeing to them as Thanksgiving Bier Dinners. Usually “Bier” since they are mostly Belgians. The beer menu usually consists of a beer for each course and a final digestive/final snifter. This is usually 4 different beers plus and extra one or two to account for personal tastes.

Before I get into this years menu I need say a few words about pairing and what I have done in the past.

Pairings can be “Complementary” keeping to similar flavors and style or “Contrasting" which would give you an opposite comparison. A complementary pairing would be; a pale ale with a poultry. Contrasting pairings usually come into play more with spicy foods. Like when you would offer a more malty beer to smooth or cut the spice of the dish. The challenge of a Contrasting Pairing is that you don’t want the beer to overpower the meal.  

In previous years for the main Turkey Entrée I have paired beers such as Pauwel Kwak, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, and La Botteresse Brune, Exquisite Artisan Ale brewed with spices and herbs such as sage. I must say that La Botteresse Brune is hands down my number one overall choice for Thanksgiving. This bier really is Thanksgiving Dinner in a Glass. If you have never had this bier you really need to treat yourself to it.

Last year I did something different and had all the beers from the same brewery, Sierra Nevada.

This year I decided to do the same thing with New Belgium. Although there were several New Belgian beers that I wanted to have that I could not find. So here is how the New Belgium Thanks giving beer dinner went down.

Thanksgiving Beer Dinner 2011
A New Belgium Celebration

Hors d’oeuvres/ Aperitif

Belgo Belgian India Pale Ale
Belgian IPA |  7.00% ABV
Very nice Belgian IPA perfect blend of Belgian yeast with floral and earthy hops.

Tripel | 7.8% ABV
An interesting Triple, Delicious and refreshing with a unique earthiness of a Saison.

 Turkey Entrée

Fat Tire Amber Ale (Complementary Pairing)
American Amber / Red Ale | 5.2% ABV
A simple refreshing American Amber Ale This may simply be the best American Amber Ale on the market today.

Ranger IPA (Contrasting Pairing)
American IPA |  6.5% ABV
A very impressive IPA that is interestingly balanced with an almost imperial quality to it.


Belgian Dark Ale |  5.5 % ABV
1554 is a excellently crafted Belgian Dark Ale with rich dark roasted malt flavors, dark fruit esters and earthy notes. What a great experience.

Additional Beers

This “Fresh Hop” IPA could also be a good substitute contrasting pairing for those who are having more then one with dinner.

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