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Bringing Beer to Thanksgiving

Bringing Beer to Thanksgiving Dinner

So, you’re at the LCBO, a little lost in the aisles, trying to impress your guests with a bang-on wine selection for this year’s turkey dinner. Before you follow the second cheapest’ rule (we know you do), why not venture off the beaten path and head over to the Ontario Craft Beer section? Yes, beer pairs with food; arguably better than wine!  Here’s your one-stop shopping guide to pairing this year’s turkey dinner with beer and impressing your guests, just in time for Thanksgiving.  Yeah, we got you.

Beer Pairing 101:

Detour with Cheese

 

 The 3 C’s: cut, complement and contrast

Cut: Mad Tom & Triple Cream Brie

Think rich, creamy foods, like brie cheese, which leaves behind a velvety mouth coating. Enter: Beer.  The hop and carbonation combo slices right through that richness, clearing out any lingering creaminess and leaving your mouth watering and ready for the next bite.

Contrast: Shinnicked Stout & Cranberry Sauce

Tasty proof that opposites do attract!  Big, opposing flavours like sour, sweet, or spicy can be overwhelming on their own, but when paired together, something magical happens.  When contrasting flavours, ensure both flavour profiles are strong enough to stand up to its counterpart and not be overwhelmed.  Serving up Mom’s favourite cranberry sauce? This sweet, tart sauce is a perfect contrast to a dark, roasted stout. Think yin and yang; opposites living in harmony.

Complement: Cream Ale & Caramelized Onions

When in doubt, complement is your go-to.  Here, you are simply identifying similar flavours in your beer and food.  Got some tropical or stone fruit hops in your Session IPA? A perfect match for that peach and apple cobbler Grandma brought for dessert.  Picking up on roasted caramel flavours in your Cream Ale? Pair it perfectly with the pile of caramelized onions disguising the rest of your Thanksgiving veggies.

Winning Beer & Food Combos for Turkey Day:

First time hosting Thanksgiving and want to impress your in-laws? Muskoka Brewery is here, and we’ve got you covered.  Head on over to your local licensed grocery store, where you can grab all the beer and food you need to bring this turkey day menu to life:

Cream Ale Bacon and Cheddar Bread:

As a side to a salad or soup, start the meal off with Muskoka Cream Ale Bacon and Cheddar bread.  Yes, food and beer can pair so well that the beer can be used right in the recipe instead of on the side. Sound intimidating? We thought you might say that; don’t worry we have the easy recipe right here.

Beer bread can use many different styles of beer, but our malty smooth Cream Ale kicks this recipe up a notch.  With sweet roasted malts, is the perfect complement to a dense bread.  The cheddar and bacon saltiness is cut by Cream Ale’s smooth, caramel notes and slight floral hop profile.

 Roasted Veggies

Craft Lager and Roasted Vegetables:

We know everyone just takes some veggies so they can guiltlessly eat more stuffing and pie (and we’re totally on board with this).  Our crisp and effervescent Craft Lager has a slight malt sweetness that complements the characteristically sweeter fall vegetables like turnips, squash, and beets. To cut through the delicious, oily richness that typically blankets roasted veggies, Craft Lager is perfectly carbonated with a nice, clean finish to lighten things up.

 Cutting Turkey

Shinnicked Stout and Turkey:

Now for why we’re all here – the turkey and stuffing. Dark or light meat, served with cranberry sauce or gravy, or perhaps with a pile of stuffing, we won’t judge your choices. These combinations are all great with Shinnicked Stout.  Serve a pint and let the roasted malt of the beer complement the toasted, bready stuffing perfectly.  The semi-sweetness of the stout mimics the sweeter, rich turkey meat, while cranberries in the stuffing or sauce shine through in a bright contrast with the chocolate notes.

Bonus: Shinnicked Stout Gravy – There are many variations of stout gravy recipes: here’s one we love

 Pumpkin Pie

Harvest Ale and Pumpkin Pie:

Last, but certainly not least – your Grandma’s pumpkin pie. You’ve been waiting for this moment for 364 days, but are you ready? Serve a glass of our all-Ontario Harvest Ale on the side for a beautiful contrast.  The sweet, pumpkin spice is going to contrast the bitterness of this year’s freshly harvested Ontario hops.  The malt backbone prompts the pie crust to melt in your mouth, while notes of stone fruit complement the sweet pumpkin.

Our last piece of advice for you? Clear the table quickly, because after all those mind-blowing pairings, your dining room is going to be host to a tryptophan-induced nap party.

Want to learn more about food and beer pairings? Join us at Longo’s and Loblaws stores this fall for a class on beer and food pairings or check out the Food Pairings section of our website.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Muskoka Brewery team – cheers!

Danielle Smith
danielle.smith@muskokabrewery.com


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