Here’s a Milwaukee beer to pair with Thanksgiving dinner
Tommy Vandervoort, co-owner of Enlightened Brewing Co., 2020 S. Allis St., and Ron Hockersmith, owner of Amorphic Beer, 3700 N. Fratney St., offered suggestions for incorporating beer into the big day.
Although it’s not recommended to have a full beer with every dish, this guide provides options to elevate a dish or two on your Thanksgiving plate.
Pre-dinner snacks: Cream beer
A light, flavorful, creamy beer will allow the different flavors to come through without making you feel full before a heavy meal, Vandervoort said.
“When you dig into those inevitable pre-meal snacks at Thanksgiving like meat and cheese boards, dips and chips, or maybe an egg or two, I would pair that with our City Breaks Creme,” he said. “It’s a light beer that has a lot of flavor but doesn’t weigh you down before you dig in.”
Other Milwaukee cream brews include Outboard Cream Ale from Milwaukee Brewing Company and Midwest Chill from Gathering Place Brewing Co.
Vandervoort also said you can brush the turkey with cream mixed with melted butter, herbs and spices.
Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy: amber
Vandervoort said the amber beer would go well with turkey and most sides on a Thanksgiving platter given that the slight sweetness of the amber complements the saltiness of the dish. He recommended Kettle Logic Amber Drink from Enlightened.
“Kettle Logic amber beer goes well with many dinners, but I love it for Thanksgiving, which often features a lot of hearty, rich dishes. The beer — which is slightly acidic and obviously fizzy — will cut through some of those heavy dishes.” “The flavors, creamy sauces, potatoes, gravy and turkey with a little fat are very good,” he said.
Other amber offerings in the Milwaukee area include Raised Grain Brewing Co.’s quick release. in Waukesha and Can I Pet Your Dog? From Obi! Brewing Company in West Allis. Lakefront Brewery also offers a non-alcoholic version of its flagship amber beer, Riverwest Stein.
Filling: dark beer
Hockersmith said he would choose a dark beer, especially one made Czech-style, to pair with the filling.
“The subtle notes of toasted barley, while not too sweet, blend well with the bread, fruit, nuts and celery in the filling,” he said.
Small, weakly interacting amorphous particles were recommended. Lakefront’s Eastside Dark is another of Milwaukee’s dark beer options, but it’s from a Bavarian variety.
Grilled vegetables: Pilsner
Hockersmith said he will combine the pilsner with roasted vegetables, with roasted Brussels sprouts being the vegetable he’s looking forward to at Thanksgiving this year.
“It’s one of my favorite things on the holiday menu, and given its earthiness, starting with a pilsner would be my favorite. I prefer the Czech variety because it’s a little more flavorful and has a noble hop presence,” he said.
Amorphic’s CZ Turbulent Flow Grüngiest is a pilsner made from German hops, but it still has the hop presence that Hawkersmith favors.
Other brews from Milwaukee breweries include Czech Pils from Component Brewing, Onist from Central Waters, and Poor Farm Pils from Company Brewing.
Cranberry sauce: saison
Hockersmith said he would look for something drier, like saison, to pair with cranberry sauce, something he admitted to only having in a can before moving to Wisconsin.
“The amount of added sugar in the preparation definitely makes pairing difficult,” Hockersmith said. “I would go the opposite way and find a dry, light saison, preferably on the less alcoholic side.”
The Heights Farmhouse ale was recommended by his friends at Vennture Brew Co.
Other saisons from Milwaukee breweries include Bay View Saison from Supermoon Beer Co. and Saaz It Off from 1840 Brewing Co.
Cheese Potatoes: IPA
A hoppy IPA would go well with potatoes, especially if you’re going for the cheesy variety, Hockersmith said.
“The cheesy, salty goodness would go great with an IPA,” he said.
He recommended Amorphic’s Fluffy Logic Double IPA.
Almost every brewery in Milwaukee makes an IPA. Third Space’s Upward Spiral and Eagle Park’s set menu are two types that are easy to find in grocery and liquor stores.
For dessert, Vandervoort recommended a port like Enlightened’s Prototypical Porter, especially if you’re having a beer for dessert.
“It’s a dark beer that drinks light but still has strong cola, chocolate and roast flavors,” Vandervoort said.
Other Milwaukee-area breweries that carry MobCraft’s Vanilla Wafer Porter include; Night Rye’d Nitro, a nitro rye porter from Company Brewing; and Slow Drip from Lion’s Tail Brewing Co. In Wauwatosa.