Thanksgiving Beer Pairings, Part II: We still be all classy ‘n s$%t

It’s that time of year again: Awkward encounters with relatives you haven’t seen all year (for good reason), and spatchcocking your turkey. Of course, what you do with your turkey in the privacy of your own home is none of my business. But it’s not like awkward Thanksgivings are new.

Clearly, the first Thanksgiving wasn’t pleasant. First of all, after the brutal winter, there were only 4 Pilgrim chicks left to cook for like 140 people (who presumably got drunk and watched the Lions game instead of helping).

Second, eating over at the Pilgrims’ place was likely a bigger health crap-shoot than eating at the Moloka’i Jack in the Box. It’s well-documented that Pilgrims were so unsanitary that they smelled like the inside of a sweaty Wookie’s butthole. Further, the Pilgrims’ smallpoxy, plaguey, leptospirosisy explorer predecessors managed to wipe out 90 percent of the American Indian population with disease before the uptight, buckle-head Pilgrims even set foot on Plymouth Rock. So, undercooked meat and food-borne illness might have been the least of the problems.

Evidence suggests that American Indians phased-out handshake greetings in the early 17th century.

So, count your blessings and brighten your day with some solid beer choices. I had a comprehensive post last year that took into account many different food factors. You can reference it here. This year, however, I am keeping it simple and sharing the selections I am self-medicating with for Thanksgiving.

Saison Dupont – This is a Thanksgiving no-brainer. It’s earthy, crisp, grassy, slightly spicy, and ever-so-slightly reminiscent of a barn. It’s bubbly enough to cleanse your palate from the onslaught of the richest and biggest of Thanksgiving foods, and it finishes clean…instead of attention whoring it up and trying to upstage the food.

Stillwater Cellar Door – Another Saison/Farmhouse, but this one is a little more assertive. It’s got Sterling and Citra hops, which bring some spice and citrus character to the game. It has the always complex but subtle Stillwater farmhouse yeast character. And for the kicker: It’s brewed with white sage. This should go well with Thanksgiving dinner, because sage goes well with Thanksgiving dinner. (Note: If there is no sage in your feast, then you’re a communist. And nobody likes a communist. So, if nothing else, this beer will redeem you.)

Dogfish Head Bitches Brew – This is for dessert. It’s 2/3 imperial stout, plus 1/3 honey beer brewed with gesho root, which equals: Who the hell knows, but it’s 3/3 good. It’s got bittersweet chocolate, roast, coffee, and even more complexity as it warms up. It starts out sweet, but it is pretty well-carbonated and roasty, so it finishes almost dry. Which is good, because at this point in the program, the top button of my pants is undone, and I want something sweet but not huge and oppressive…otherwise I would have to take my pants off completely. And that’s not good.


18 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Beer Pairings, Part II: We still be all classy ‘n s$%t

  1. LOL! “Sweaty Wookie’s butthole…” PRICELESS!

    As far as the beer selections, can’t argue with any of it. Dupont rules the roost with regards to food friendly beers and I actually brought it to the in-laws for the festivities two years ago. Surprisingly well received considering that it’s more or less a macro brew crowd. At least they try them.

    Have only had one or two Stillwaters, and only wee samples. That’s the Maryland Gypsy brewer right? If so, he was at a Philly Beer Tweet Up last December at the Farmer’s Cabinet in Philly. I have fond memories!

    I believe Bitches Brew is on the slate this evening at a friends house (@TheAlemonger on Twitter and @alemonger on Instagram). We had the first batch 2 years ago. Spectacular! Looking forward to having it again.

    Great and hilarious read!


    • Thanks! And I totally agree. Dupont is versatile. I think we might have discussed it already, but Dupont even made a strong showing in my spicy food beer throwdown.

      And yeah, Stillwater is Brian Strumke from Baltimore. He makes some great stuff. Usually complex, but subtle.

      I see a lot of people whining about Bitches Brew (too sweet, not full enough, boring, blah blah blah), but I like it. It might be part of the general attitude of some towards Dogfish Head…I don’t know. I definitely think it’s a solid brew, though.

      • Totally agree on the BItches Brew! I did in fact have it about an hour ago. Absolutely fabulous! I’m not a sports guy, but I liken Dogfish Head to Ryan Howard of the Phillies. He swings for the fences every time and falls short quite often, but when he’s in the groove, he scores in a big way. Same goes for Dogfish head. They have a solid small bottle line-up, but their big bottles, particularly their weird archaeology series are hit or miss. This one on the other hand is a grand friggin slam. Fantastic!

        And yes. We discussed the Dupont during your meal of fire. Love love love it!

  2. Indeed, hard to go wrong with a dry saison to match with food. I actually tend to think of Cellar Door as being much dryer than Dupont, but I haven’t had either in a while at this point, so I’ll be curious to see how it turns out. And I do believe Bitches Brew will make for a good dessert beer too. Should be able to stand up to any actual dessert as well… Good choices! I should figure out what to bring to Thanksgiving as well…

    • I think you’re right. The Cellar Door is dryer than the Dupont. I am excited. I really like all these beers. And I am really excited about the Cellar Door with my Mom’s stuffing (which has sage and is heavy enough that it could benefit from something dry and lively).

      I will be interested to see what you pick out if you choose to share!

  3. That’s an awesome beer line-up. Do you have enough, though? Let’s hope you have some doubles so you can really enjoy Thanksgiving. And you can give thanks that there’s more for you now with the Haybag in her delicate condition.

    • Of the current attendees: The Haybag is abstaining (trying small portions of mine), my Mom drinks only red wine (with the occasional Crown and Coke), the Haybag’s mom doesn’t drink beer, and Bubba (my Mom’s husband) doesn’t drink fancy beer. I should have it all to myself! Maybe I’ll even finish up the evening with some Pernod.

    • Thanks. It should be tasty. I am guessing my Mother-in-Law will have the most to say about the Bitches Brew. Although, she usually has the most to say about everything…unless she is reading this…in which case she has just the right amount to say about everything.

  4. Sweaty wookie buthole? That’s the worst. Saisons really do it. i tried a saison from The bruery and that blew me away. My friend, a new craft drinker is bringing beer thurs so we shall see. And as for bitches brew. DFH nailed this.

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