Last night we made an early Thanksgiving dinner with beer pairings for every course. Our family thought it was our best beer dinner yet! This morning our mom said, “That dinner will go down in history.”
Our first course was an arugula salad with caramelized squash, avocado, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. This is an AMAZING fall salad, and was Rachel’s favorite course. Warm squash and creamy avocado combined with crunchy pomegranate seeds and pecans create a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.
We paired the salad with Potter’s Hop Cider. The dryness and hoppiness of the cider offset the sweetness of the squash and dressing perfectly. Potter’s is going to start bottling this hoppy goodness in December, and we plan on keeping several bottles on hand at all times. It is SO GOOD!
Course two was another incredible tart–this time with caramelized onions, butternut squash, fontina, and kale. Good. God. This thing is pure heaven.
We served the tart with Epic Brewing’s Utah Sage Saison because fontina goes well with sage and with saisons. What a perfect storm! The Sage Saison was loved by all; the sage is very noticeable, along with other spices, and it has a slight sweetness but finishes dry. This was Maddy’s favorite pairing of the night.
From bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, to pumpkin lasagna, to shredded brussels sprouts, to honey-roasted carrots, we had a LOT going on in the main course. We’ll make it simple and just tell you which dishes paired best with our two brews: Sierra Nevada’s Wet Hop IPA and Perennial Artisan’s Peace Offering.
Perennial’s Peace Offering is an ale brewed with squash and maple syrup. We thought it would taste like the Maple Mistress because of the similar ingredients used during brewing. Unfortunately, the Peace Offering has an overpowering taste of coffee, especially as it warms up. The subtle squash flavor did pair nicely with the pork tenderloin, though, and the maple sweetness balanced the salty bacon.
The Wet Hop went best with the pumpkin lasagna; the hops cut the slight sweetness of the pumpkin, and you can’t go wrong with IPAs and cheese (this dish has both fontina and ricotta!). If you’re in need of a vegetarian main dish for the holiday season, we highly recommend this William Sonoma lasagna recipe. Don’t use their pumpkin pasta sauce though– it has chicken broth! We got ours at Fresh Market, and it’s totally veg friendly. SO MUCH LOVE to Pammy for making this lasagna! It’s quite a laborious recipe.
For dessert we served mini pumpkin toffee cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. We replaced the milk in the cupcake recipe with 21st Amendment’s He Said Belgian-style Tripel, a tripel brewed with pumpkin and spices. Even though there was only 3/4 cup of beer in the batter, it was very noticeable (in a good way). It seemed to make the cake airier and spicier.
We paired the cupcakes with 21st Amendment’s other pumpkin-spiced brew, the He Said Baltic-style Porter. The porter’s smooth, creamy body and killer toffee-espresso flavor made this pairing dynamite! Maddy now says that this is her favorite pumpkin beer. Good thing she figured it out at the end of pumpkin season. 😉
We hope this post gives you some beer pairing ideas for your own Thanksgiving feasts. Have a fabulous holiday, and when it’s your turn to say what you’re thankful for, make sure to mention beer…