Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means heaps of food washed down by pints of beer. Sure, you could just serve any old beer that’s in your fridge, but that really wouldn’t give your guests something to give thanks for would it? For the last installment of “How to pair New Belgium with Thanksgiving,” we’re taking a look at hops. Brewery analyst Matty Gilliland and Liquid Center manager Michael Bussmann point out some genius ways to incorporate New Belgium’s hoppier offerings into a Thanksgiving feast.
OK, first things first: IPAs and imperial IPAs aren’t exactly the easiest styles to pair alongside a Thanksgiving meal. “They can be pretty overpowering,” says Gilliland. “Thanksgiving doesn’t really lend itself to that: It’s more of a savory meal that doesn’t have a lot of spice.” But, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Ranger IPA: This bitter American IPA’s built for spicy and fried foods, so try catering the meal to the beer’s strengths for amazing, untraditional results. To spice things up, Gilliland suggests adding a healthy dose of Andouille sausage to the stuffing, or seasoning the meat with Cajun spice. For a crispy pairing, break out the vat of oil and deep fry your bird (just remember to thaw it out first!).
Rampant: This brawny imperial IPA may not be the best pairing beer alongside a bite of turkey, but it could be an awesome ingredient to slather over turkey. Gilliland suggests whipping up gravy featuring Rampant with a healthy dose of rosemary to complement the hops.
Hop Stout: Save the current Hop Kitchen series for the last course: The hoppy beer brightens up a bite of cheesecake, and cuts through the rich dessert.
Accumulation White IPA: Our creamy winter white IPA inspired Bussmann to dream up a creative leftover pairing: Spicy Thanksgiving soft tacos: “It’s like a Thanksgiving sandwich, but in a taco,” says Bussmann. “It’s the day after Thanksgiving, you have turkey and you don’t know what to do with it, so you make turkey tacos. Take a little bit of turkey, a little bit of gravy, a little bit of mashed potatoes, cranberry, and a nice pungent hot sauce. That creates a contrast in the taco, and then you throw the hops on top of that and it could be pretty good.”
More master pairings for Thanksgiving: