18 November 2007

Pairing beer and turkey

It's Thursday, November 22nd. You've just arrived at your family's house for Thanksgiving dinner. What do you have to look forward to? Perhaps it's Uncle Mort's misguided, Lou Dobbs-style rants about the Mexican invasion of our country. Maybe it's Aunt Hazel's woeful tales of dealing with her colostomy bag. Or, it might be your cousin Larry's mind-numbing description of his day-to-day dealings in the derivatives trading business. Oh, so much to be thankful for...

Amid all the neurotic family chatter, you just want some turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and some fantastic beer to go along with what's on the Thanksgiving table. That brings up the following question--What the hell type of beer should you serve on Thanksgiving anyway? Well, if you are at my family's house, the best choice available is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It turns out that this isn't such a bad choice after all. According to the late beer expert Michael Jackson, a Vienna-style lager is a nice match with turkey.

These lagers are typically hoppy, crisp, and very drinkable, and Sam Adams happens to be a Vienna-style lager (in addition to being an appropriately American beer for a uniquely American holiday). Other good choices in this style are Great Lakes Brewing Company's Eliot Ness Lager, Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager, and the hugely underrated Negra Modelo.

If you're looking for these beers in Indiana, you can find Sam Adams and Negra Modelo just about anywhere that sells beer. Brooklyn Lager is available at liquor stores that stock American microbrews. But, unfortunately, Great Lakes is no longer distributed in Indiana, but a trip into Ohio to the legendary Jungle Jim's will solve that problem (if you're dedicated enough to drive that far for good beer). And if you go with the Negra Modelo, you might not want to sit next to Uncle Mort.


  1. I'm going to give Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale a whirl for Thanksgiving. I really enjoy that beer and will get as much as possible before it's all gone.

  2. That looks like a great beer, Matt.

  3. Where can you pick up Harvest Ale (in the central city area)?

  4. I was just at Party Pak a couple days ago and they still had plenty of it. 24oz bombers is all they have of it though. I've never seen it in 12 oz bottles. It sure is tasty.

    They brew it once a year though so it won't be around for long I wouldn't think. If you want to go downtown I think John's Spirits has some. I was there a few weeks ago and they had about 6 bottles at the time. Give them a call before you go though.