Hudson Valley Beers to Enjoy With Your Thanksgiving Dinner
With a big holiday meal coming, I started to think about what local beers would be great to enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner. So, not being a person who knows a whole heck of a lot about beer, I reached out to someone who does, Hutch Kugeman, Head Brewer and Instructor at the Brewery at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Hutch was kind enough to give us a few local beer suggestions that will work really well with your Turkey Dinner. For the following suggestions he took into account what would pair well with the main meal, the turkey, the stuffing and sides.
He suggests if you'd like a beer that has some flavor and a medium mouth-feel, which will work well with the earthy Thanksgiving food flavors, reach for a Vienna, helles or amber-type lager.
Would an Oktoberfest work with the dinner? Hutch says yes. If you would like something with a bit more of a malt overtone and a touch of sweetness, go ahead and reach for an Oktoberfest lager. As a whole, they are very drinkable and low in overall bitterness. Here are some of the Oktoberfest beers he would grab.
Belgian farmhouse style ales. These guys are lighter bodied and earthy. They may or may not be spiced. Some Saisons would work (if they aren't too fruity).
Other Belgians - Trappist beers can work, especially Belgian Dubbels
Spiced beers - some Belgians would fall into this category. But also...
Pumpkin beers - if any are still around
Winter/Christmas beers. Hutch says that he really doesn't have a specific recommendations for this category, since most of the local breweries haven't put those styles of beer out yet.
Another great style to try, that he has a suggestion for, is Brown ales or Porters.
Just when I begin to think that this email conversation was about over, Hutch reminds me that there are beers that you can enjoy with your dessert (or as your dessert). With dessert, he suggests going with a 'bigger beer' to balance out pumpkin, pecan or apple pie. He says to ask for an Imperial Stout or other strong stout, but that a strong Belgian, would also work too. Here are a few that he recommends from local breweries: