‘Tis the Saison of Pumpkins and Giving Thanks!

KippySipsWine - Pumpkin beer

If you’re a pumpkin-anything lover, then this time of year probably makes your tummy and taste buds feel all warm and fuzzy. While there is no substitution for a delicious, rich, sweet and spicy piece of homemade pumpkin pie, there are some craft beers out there that can give you (some) of the same satisfaction.

May we recommend Southern Tier Pumpking available at the LCBO, 650ML. It tastes just like homemade pumpkin pie with a nice hoppy finish. There are plenty of pumpkin ales available at the moment, we feel this one has the perfect balance of pumpkin, spices and hops.

What Beers to Bring/Serve this Thanksgiving?

If you’re an over-achieving foodie who’s been planning what food and beverage you’ll be serving this Thanksgiving since the beginning of September, kudos! If you have no idea who/what/where in the family this Thanksgiving will happen, not to worry, we can at least help you with the trip to the LCBO or Beer Store while you scramble to grab beer pairings with the hearty dinner(s) ahead this Autumn long weekend.

As a crowd pleaser, try a 6 pack of the “Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest” Amber Lager (LCBO, 6-pack of 355ML). Not only will the amber hue get you in the mood for Thanksgiving dinner, its sweet doughy and caramel maltiness balanced by brisk hop bitterness will not offend anyone or any of the dishes being served.

One of our favourite matches for turkey and stuffing (especially savoury stuffing) is a crisp, bubbly, herby, citrusy and peppery Saison, such as “The Nogne Saison” from Norway (available at the LCBO, 500ML). This will clean your palate of any richness from each bite while picking up on some savoury notes along the way. While product may be limited at the LCBO, you can also try the Belgian “Saison Dupont” (LCBO, 750ML). This one is slightly more floral and yeasty and holds a long, grassy, dry finish.

Of course there will be more than just turkey and stuffing at the table! There will be all sorts of autumn vegetables like squash (pumpkins included!), sweet potatoes, green beans, roasted carrots and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the traditional turkey offerings have been replaced by some duck or ham? Regardless of these variations and changes to the traditional Thanksgiving menu, we do have a couple of suggestions to bring to the table for both.

If you are sticking with turkey and your sides include some of the sweeter characteristics (such as a decadent sweet potato mash), pick up a couple of bottles of the Belgian Trappist Tripel “Chimay White Cap” (LCBO, 330ML). With notes of coriander, raisins, clove, orange peel and candied sugar, this strong Belgian Trappist ale will match nicely with your turkey and all of its fixins. Although this beer lends sweetness up front, it finishes dry and pleasantly bitter so it will compliment both sweet and savoury dishes alike. If you decide to go with a richer, fattier meat such duck or ham, grab some extra strong and dark Belgian Trappist ale such as “Chimay Blue Cap” (LCBO, 330ML). Beginning with cookie and caramel malts, plenty of dark fruit, its floral hop bitterness will be able to cut through fatty, rich meaty goodness while complimenting all of the Thanksgiving extras on the table.

Whatever and wherever you end up eating this weekend, we wish you a very Happy and Delicious Thanksgiving! Bottoms up!

Written by Kristin Perrin
Originally posted for Brother Bistro Blog

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