This coming Thursday, 28 November 2013, a day of Thanksgiving feasting is traditional in most of the United States of America. It is a feast that tradition dictates includes roasted large foul, various tuber dishes and a number of root vegetables and onion dishes. Bread pudding and sweet berries are also iconic dishes often included.

According to the latest reports in the mass media, and the world of political blogsters, this year’s feast of over consumption has competition for the attention of the great masses of folks that live in the fifty United States. That competition is the sport of “holiday shopping”. This year almost all of the major national commercial retail stores are planning to offer goods for sale on the very day of the Great Feast.

The beer brewers of this fine country are not to be outdone by their commercial comrades. The following are just a short selection of the Holiday Brews offered by brewers hopefully in your neighborhood. However, just for good measure I have also included some craft beers that are brewed and distributed by breweries with multiple brewing facilities and with national distribution of those products. Blame their distributors for the European inclusions.

It’s never too early to try one or more of the following… in alphabetical order.

12 Dogs Of Christmas Ale, Accumulation White IPA , Affligem Noël , Anchor Christmas Ale  , Avery Old Jubelation , Boulevard Nutcracker Ale  , Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux , Cold Mountain Winter Ale  , Deschutes Jubelale  , De Dolle Stille Nacht  , De Ranke Père Nöel , Fantôme de Noel , Festive Ale , Fireside Chat,  Full Sail Wassail  , Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws  , New Belgium Frambozen  , Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve  , Samichlaus  , Scaldis Noël  , Sierra Nevada Celebration  , St. Feuillien Cuvee de Noel  , Three Floyds Alpha Klaus , Tröegs Mad Elf  , Winter Solstice, Widmer Brrr Seasonal Ale  , Yule Smith Winter               

Cicerone Certified Beer Server Jon Richardson from The Growler Station in Greenville, SC offers some tips when pairing beers with your Thanksgiving dinner:

·  Rich and earthy beers – Thanksgiving dinner is usually a rich, heavy meal, so Jon suggests pairing rich and earthy beers, such as Bell’s Cherry Stout. The fruit is subtle, and the beer has plenty of carbonation to lift the richness of the foods off your palate. With an actual stuffed turkey, this beer would be a game changer. 

·  Pumpkin Beer – This beer is complex and meaty enough to blend well with most dishes on the table. Pumpkin beer would especially pair well with candied yams. The similarity of the flavors is self-explanatory, but a good spicy pumpkin ale will add dryness to the yams, while the sweetness of the yams will pull the dessert flavors out of the pumpkin beer.

·  Belgian Beers – The earthy yeast character in Belgian Beers will blend well with the richness of Thanksgiving food. The fruity flavors of a Dubbel will work well with turkey and dressing. For dessert, pair a Grand Cru with creme brulee, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or a similar rich dessert. It will cut through the richness of the dessert while adding some spice of its own. 

·  Saison or Brown Ale- When in doubt, go with Saison or a Full Brown Ale like Bells Best Brown or Avery Ellie’s Brown. These beers will pair with anything on the table. They have enough spice to match the stuffing, as well as a good amount of carbonation to cut through heavy foods. 

At Chez LaFrance there will be two growlers of Portsmouth Brewery beers… report to follow.