Thanksgiving is one week away. So what beer should you be popping the cap on with the bird around?
Before my suggestions, you need to look at the food that will be on the table, and in this case, the effects of said food. Since turkey has a bit of a tryptophan reputation, you don’t want to pair big ABV beers with it and put yourself to sleep even faster. Since the turkey and the side dishes – like starchy potato (original or sweet) – are generally more bland (barring a creative cook), look for beer with a spice kick or something that is really effervescent. This leads to that quirky Saison category, or Lambics (if not too sour) and the Belgian Tripel. Basically look to Belgium for the holiday.
Since most grocery trips involve Trader Joe’s, I have two beers to recommend from their Unibroue line that make perfect Thanksgiving sense. First is the Audaciter Blonde Abbey Ale. Blonde ales might normally get buried under other dishes, but in this instance, the Belgian notes would work well at the beginning of the meal. On this light side, I would also recommend growlers of Hayabusa Japanese-style lager from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing or Porto Pils from El Segundo Brewing Co.
In the darker side, I choose the horribly confusing names Quinquagenary Ale. Try typing that fast. It is the 2017 Vintage Ale for Trader Joe’s and for the price, it is an epic steal. Dark and spicy, this beer adds complex notes to meat, cranberries, and all the other fixin’s and can even perform double-duty as a pumpkin pie pairing. For the more adventurous, find a bottle of Cellador Ales Saison or a growler of Trois Filles Tripel from Ladyface Ale Companie.
Whatever beer you choose, make sure to give thanks to the hard-working brewers who create such great beers to grace our tables.
Your BEER OF THE WEEK comes from Strand Brewing Co. which is turning 8 years young this month and will be honoring the milestone with a party at their lovely Torrance location. They will certainly have plenty of fun and new beers on tap, but I suggest stepping back in time and enjoying their 24th Street Pale Ale. It is the first beer that I ever had from Strand and one that I come back to now and again to this day.
Your HOMEWORK is to set your Waze gaze to Burbank where two new beer endeavors will be open for the first time. Friday and Saturday will mark the grand opening of the Lincoln Beer Company taproom. Situated on Lima Street amongst in what appears to be a faux castle, their beers have been around town, but now you can get them at the source. Just a hop, skip, and jump away is The Empire Tavern which soft opens on November 18, adding a new craft-centric bar to the area. Burbank has a lot to be beer thankful for this year.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.