If there's one thing to be thankful for this and every Thanksgiving, it's beer.
Dependable, delicious, and now available in thousands of varieties, beer is no longer plebeian swill sucked down in cans while watching football or mowing the lawn. Thanks to the craft-brew phenomenon, the beverage is finally getting the respect it deserves, and at bars and speciality stores across the country, it's now possible to find a beer for just about any situation. With Thanksgiving just acround the corner, we asked David Cichowicz, owner of the New York City shop Good Beer, to break us off with his picks for the five best beers to complement this week's feast. Read on, drink responsibly, and for god's sake, save the wine for book club.
Stillwater Stateside Saison: Brewed in Baltimore with European hops and malts from the U.S. and New Zealand, this is a beer of "unique design and exquisite taste," according to its totally modest makers. "Saisons are perfect for turkey with their bold spicy flavors and effervescent high carbonation," says Cichowicz. "This one is one of the best."
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale: Beer, like life, is all about balance, and this Cali ale features what Anderson Valley Brewing Company describes as a "slight caramel sweetness" and "crisp, clean finish." Or as Cichowicz puts it: "A delicious caramel malty flavor with little to no bitterness that goes great with stuffing and gravy and all the trimmings."
Thirsty Dog Citra Dog IPA: Bitter and full-bodied, just like Great Aunt Carlene, this Ohio fave will have you tasting grapefruit, orange, mango, and tangerine. "Hop heads are going to require dank bitterness no matter the menu, and this one is a citrus fruit bomb of flavor and aroma," says Cichowicz.
Brooklyn Sorachi Ace: Developed in the late '70s in Hokkaido, Japan, this blending of Japanese "Beikei No. 2," Czech Saaz, and British Brewers Gold disappeared for years after being deemed too strange for consumption. It was reborn stateside in 2008, and the Brooklyn Brewery describes its variation as "sunshine in a glass." No argument from Cichowicz. "Another great saison but with a citrus twist that not only will compliment the turkey but will pair incredibly well with lasagna if you are having a N.Y. Italian Thanksgiving," he says.
Southern Tier Choklat Imperial Stout: Born in Lakewood, N.Y., and inspired by the ancient Mayas, this one's all about cacao, and with its 10 percent ABV, it'll make conversing with the relatives much more tolerable. "A big, boozey, sweet imperial stout that is a dessert in itself but will also pair well with all your holiday after dinner treats," says Cichowicz.
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