Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As the Turkey Sits In Brine....

A heritage Red Bourbon Turkey. This is the breed of our bird.

A meal is not complete without the proper beverage. In my case, the beverage is beer. Right now our turkey, a naturally raised bird from Griggstown Farm in Princeton, NJ that lived only 40 minutes away from our house, is sitting in brine. So which are the best beverages to compliment all food which I am fortunate enough to receive? Even though my beginning beverage of choice, Weyerbacher's Rapture, there will be other beers enjoyed. So what beers would I recommend to you if you can get your hands on them? Here are 3 beers that will highlight your meal, then 3 more that will help highlight all those deserts.

River Horse Oatmeal Milk Stout. A yearly offering from the Lambertville, NJ brewery has been a fan favorite since it made it's debut about 3 years ago. This stout is easy drinking, and full of flavors that won't overwhelm your palate so you can still taste all those sides! The ABV is a little high for a beer you will certainly want more of. But at 6.7% it won't kill you to have two or three.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale. Another great seasonal beer. I just tried this for the first time this year and don't know what took me so long. It's easy drinking, has a nice maltiness to it, and the flavors just make you feel the fall season. Tumbler is also lighter on the ABV than the River Horse, coming in at only 5.5%. So this is one you can have a couple of without risking being asleep for dessert!

Lastly, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale 2011. Since Chritmas decorations pop up before Halloween now, I found it ok to list a Christmas Ale for a beer to drink during Thanksgiving. This beer is a tricky pick though. If you read the description, you find that Anchor has a different recipe every year for this seasonal brew. So last years may not be as fitting, and next year may be more fitting. But this years is on the spot. Check out my review of this beer 

Now on to dessert. So long as you didn't over do it on the food, and the beer, then you will be ready to go for the next round. These next three beers will heighten the flavors in all those classic deserts you're used to. Making the brown sugar stand out in a pie, or the earthiness of pumpkin be more defined.

Allagash Curieux. Curieux is aged for 8 weeks in Jim Beam Bourbon barrels. The result is a smooth ale that has sweet hints of vanilla and would compliment any dessert well. If you want to be daring, there are recipes on Allagash's site that you can tackle for a new Thanksgiving dessert! But even without a dessert, Curieux is so complex it can be enjoyed alone. It is a remarkable beer. Be careful though, Curieux is 11% ABV!

Souther Tier Pumking. "The most bizarre tasting liquid you will ever consume in your life." Is how I described this beer once to someone. It smells like a pumpkin pie, then tastes like one too! But it's a beer, and a high ABV beer as well at 8.6%. Pumking, like all other fall beers now comes out somewhere in July or August. But it apparently doesn't age well. So if  you're lucky to have one around, now is the time to drink it. This is a great beer to feature with a pumpkin pie.

Otter Creek 20th Anniversary Ale. Get it for this years dessert, or don't get it at all. This is a one time only beer that's in limited quantity. It has a bourbon like flavor and the caramel malts with dark fruit flavor will compliment all your dessert from pies, to cookies, to cakes. The ABV is booming at 12% so either choose to share a bottle or get crazy with your own. But either way, you will enjoy this one as this is the only year it's here.

Well enjoy! Let me know what you chose, what you thought, and how the turkey turned out. I will be sure to post my review of Rapture.


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