A truly traditional Thanksgiving dinner calls for a tasty beer

Posted on November 15, 2010 by Mary Ellen Brewington

The Pilgrims were fanatical about a few things: fleeing religious persecution in England, surviving passage across the “big pond” and making sure their beer barrels did not run dry.

It is well documented that the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock because the weary travelers feared that they were close to running out of beer. In 1620, beer was fundamental to the pilgrims’ diet because onboard a ship beer would keep longer and stay more pure than water.

Once the pilgrims were settled, the native Indians taught them how to make beer from the local maize. And, so began the long tradition of America’s love of beer and brewing. In keeping with tradition this Thanksgiving, enhance your celebratory feast with some Cherokee Distributing Company favorites appropriately paired with your customary holiday fare.

The Starter Course: Soup or salad? Wherever you begin your Thanksgiving culinary adventure, serve a beer that is crisp, light and not too overpowering for the first course. Harpoon’s UFO Hefeweizen is a perfect match and will suit the diverse palates of your guests. An unfiltered American wheat beer, UFO Hefeweizen has a light body with some citrus flare.

The Main Event: The noble turkey, a traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece, deserves to be paired with a beer as powerful as this MVP of the feast. Highland Oatmeal Porter is dark, robust and hinted with roasted chocolate flavor that would be especially delicious with smoked turkey. The Highland Oatmeal Porter is also tasty with non-traditional entrees such as pork tenderloin, veal or shellfish.

The Big Finale: No matter how much we eat around the dinner table on Thanksgiving, we cannot resist loosening the belt another notch for a slice of pumpkin pie. Enjoy a slice along with a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which will blend into a taste explosion when paired with the pie’s pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. This is the beer that made the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company a gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival three years in a row. Spicy, complex and full-bodied, this amber beauty will make your Thanksgiving dinner a winner too.

We hope this sampling of suggestions helps you plan for a flavorful holiday with family and friends. During this season of Thanksgiving, we want to express our gratitude to everyone at Cherokee Distributing Company who helps deliver the highest quality beverages from our warehouse to your favorite retail location.

Cheers to good friends, healthy families and this wonderful country in which we live and work every day!