I had intended to post earlier this week with beer recommendations for your Thanksgiving meal, but I got delayed by work, and in the interim it would appear that every other beer blogger has already posted these thoughts. And while it is Thanksgiving eve, and most of you have already bought your turkey day brews, I'm gonna plow ahead and say drink local and seasonal and still give you my thoughts on three great, local beers for your Thanksgiving holiday festivities.
Mayflower Brewing, Plymouth, MA
I love seasonal Ales that are NOT spiced. This is one such beer. It's brewed in the style of an old English Strong ale and aged on oak.
This beer pours a very dark brown- maybe ruby red when held up to strong light- clear, with a low, white head. Hints of oak and fruit are immediately noticeable on the nose, but it's not overly sweet. There is a strong,earthy maltiness as well.
This is a full bodied beer- thick and chewy, with mild carbonation.
The first sip produces expected notes of oak up front, and a strong malt profile. There's a nice alcohol warmth also, but its not overwhelming. The finish is clean and crisp.
This is a great beer for a heavy thanksgiving meal- its got a lot of flavor that won't wilt under the assault of gravy and turkey that greets most of our palettes on Thanksgiving. It also won't overpower the meal or knock you out with an absurdly high alcohol content- this beer checks in at a moderate 8%. It reminds me a lot of Greene King Brewing's "Crafty Old Hen", an English Ale blend of a Strong ale aged on oak and a young ale.
Grateful Harvest Ale
Harpoon Brewing, Boston, MA
A portion of the sales of each six pack of Grateful Harvest go to a local food bank. How cool is that?
This is billed as a cranberry ale, but I think it more accurate to describe it as an Ale with cranberries. Its not a lambic style, where the cranberries are front and center. In Grateful Harvest, the cranberries are clearly a supporting actor, bringing a very subtle sweetness to robust and malty red/brown ale. It's lighter than the Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale featured above, but still has enough flavor to stand up to a hearty meal. I love this beer, and its social conscience.
Jacks Abby Brewing, Framingham, MA
My thoughts on Jacks Abby are well known- I love their beer- and their flagship Hoponius Union IPL will be in my glass on Thanksgiving afternoon. Hop Union has an amazing aroma and a bright, clean taste that will cut through the heft of any meal. If you haven't tried it, what are you waiting for?
Happy Thanksgiving all! On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of you that read this humble beer blog! Cheers to you!