Thanks­giv­ing is an ideal time to sam­ple new sea­sonal of­fer­ings from lo­cal brew­eries

The Charlotte Observer - - Front Page - BY DANIEL HARTIS

Be­tween pump­kin ales at Hal­loween and spiced beers at Christ­mas, it can be easy to over­look Thanks­giv­ing as one of the best beer hol­i­days of the year. Un­like the two ma­jor hol­i­days be­fore and af­ter it, Thanks­giv­ing isn’t de­fined by any sin­gu­lar style. So what should you drink this Turkey Day?

In truth, it’s not too late for pump­kin ales, if you’re a fan. They’re more sea­son­ally ap­pro­pri­ate now than ever, and pair well with a num­ber of clas­sic Thanks­giv­ing dishes. The prob­lem here is that of­ten brew­eries re­lease their pump­kin ales late in the sum­mer, and many sold out weeks ago. You might use Thanks­giv­ing as a spring­board into Christ­mas beers, but those are best saved for colder De­cem­ber days.

As is the case with the meal it­self, the fo­cus should be on com­fort. Thanks­giv­ing is a great hol­i­day pre­cisely be­cause it’s not bound by a spe­cific type of beer. With notes of dark bread, roast and choco­late, many malt­for­ward styles do com­ple­ment the heartier-thanusual fare. But given the wide va­ri­ety of plates and palates at any given ta­ble, you’ll be best served with a more di­verse se­lec­tion of beers.

For­tu­nately we live in a city with an in­cred­i­bly di­verse beer scene, as is ev­i­dent by these newly re­leased beers (and some to come).

The Olde Meck­len­burg Brew­ery Bauern Bock: Though Thanks­giv­ing beers are any­thing but com­mon, OMB re­leases this dop­pel­bock ahead of the hol­i­day ev­ery year (it’s cur­rently out in the mar­ket). The strong lager is rich and fla­vor­ful with­out be­ing over­pow­er­ing, mak­ing it an ideal match for just about any­thing on the ta­ble.

Bird­song Bour­bon Bar­rel-Aged St. Tu­ber Abbey Ale: Whereas some brew­eries look to pump­kins for their fall sea­son­als, Bird­song turns in­stead to one of North Carolina’s most pop­u­lar crops: the sweet potato. They also add whole cloves to the Bel­gian dubbel, and if that’s not enough they re­lease a ver­sion of the beer aged in bour­bon bar­rels. Bird­song re­leased four-pack cans of the bar­rel-aged ver­sion at the brew­ery on Thurs­day, so call ahead to make sure this one is still avail­able at their tap­room.

NoDa Cran­berry Gose: NoDa Brew­ing Co. has re­leased a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ver­sions of its gose, but this cran­berry-

in­fused op­tion is ideal for the Thanks­giv­ing ta­ble. At just 4 per­cent ABV, this lightly tart beer is a great pre-din­ner choice (or, like an acidic vinai­grette, would work with a salad). The brew­ery will re­lease four-packs of cans at its tap­room on Nov. 16.

Triple C Up All Night Break­fast Porter: One of Triple C Brew­ing’s most pop­u­lar sea­son­als, Up All Night is brewed with honey, lac­tose, flaked oats, choco­late malt and cof­fee from Char­lotte’s Mag­no­lia Cof­fee Co. The beer makes its re­turn on Nov. 17, when the brew­ery will sell bot­tles and tap a spe­cial draft-only ver­sion brewed with vanilla, cin­na­mon, cayenne and ca­cao nibs. While you’re at it, go ahead and clear your cal­en­dar for Dec. 8, when the brew­ery will re­lease its bour­bon-bar­rel-aged ver­sion of the beer.

Bold Missy Bar­relAged Tripel: Wine is the bev­er­age of choice for many on Thanks­giv­ing, and if your guests pre­fer grapes to grain you might ap­pease them with Bold Missy Brew­ery’s sec­ond bot­tle re­lease. The crew at Bold Missy aged their Bel­gian tripel in oak bar­rels that once held Cal­i­for­nia red wine, cre­at­ing a beer with some­thing for wine and beer lovers alike. Bot­tles will be avail­able when the brew­ery opens at 4 p.m. on Nov. 21 — the day be­fore Thanks­giv­ing.

Sy­camore Christ­mas Cookie: Ear­lier I men­tioned that you might hold off on the Christ­mas beers, but if your tree’s al­ready up and your house is al­ready dec­o­rated, who am I to stop you? Sy­camore Brew­ing will kick off Thanks­giv­ing Eve by re­leas­ing its Christ­mas Cookie Win­ter Ale. Just re­mem­ber to save a cou­ple cans for Santa.

Cour­tesy of Bird­song Brew­ing

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