All too often we spend countless hours, days, and weeks preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations. The whole family is coming to town, the house is decked out in deep hues of orange and red, and the table setting is fit for kings, and then we run to the store last minute for a handful of cheap wine.  This off-balance relationship between food and drink does not make sense when the right beverage can greatly enhance your feast. Stop this injustice, and read up on The Pint’s suggestions on what beers you need at your Thanksgiving dinner for 2015.

Friek Fruit Lambic- Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Co. 

Odell’s Friek is a mixture of a lambic style Kriek (cherry) ales aged in wood barrels then delicately mixed with raspberries. This sour beer comes in at 6.9% and is extremely drinkable. Even the most cautious beer drinker will be surprised how this sour ale open up their palate to a world of sweet berries, bright lemon, tangy cherry, a touch of sour raspberry and a dry champagne finish.  Friek pairs nicely with a refreshing spinach salad with a bright vinaigrette dressing garnished with cranberries, apples, and almonds. This beer will prepare your palate for heavier flavors, both in food and beer, throughout the day. www.odellbrewing.com

Spiced Apple Pie Cider- Wild Cider Company, Firestone, Co. 

With the anti-gluten campaign sweeping the nation, some is bound to need special food and beverage accommodations. Wild Cider Brewing Company to the rescue! Hailing from Firestone, CO,  gluten free Wild Cider has been dominating the scene with their seasonal favorites: Pumpkin Cider, and the newly released Spiced Apple Pie Cider.

Spiced Apple Pie Cider is a medium bodied cider that can hold it’s weight on a table loaded with dense thanksgiving textures. With tannins upfront, and notes of coriander, orange peel, and nutmeg, Spiced Apple Pie Cider pairs well with a tangy Lemon Bar, brussel sprouts, and cranberry sauce. More Champagne like than a typical beer, why not try a cider this year for your annual Thanksgiving toast? www.wildcider.com

Surette Provincial Saison – Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Denver, Co. 

OR

Saison- Funkwerks Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Co. 

Surette is a slightly sour and dry farmhouse ale that can be served alongside appetizers such as salty peanuts and funky cheeses. Surette is brewed with malted barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt and aged in barrels with a dose of wild yeast strains and Brettanomyces (a bacteria used in souring ales). Share a bomber of Surrette while mingling around the appetizer table, smearing crusty bread or crackers with gorgonzola, muenster, or blue cheese. Crooked Stave Surrette can be found in bombers at select liquor stores. http://www.crookedstave.com

FunkWerks Saison is an equally good choice to pair with appitizers and might be slightly easier to find. A GABF gold medalist, this flagship beer offers hints of black pepper, passion fruit, and ginger with the same dry and slightly sour finish typical of the style. FunkWerks Saison can be found in Bombers or 4 packs in most liquor stores. www.funkwerks.com

4 O’Clock Shadow Session IPA- WeldWerks Brewing Company, Greeley, Co.  and Grimm Brothers Brewing Company, Loveland, Co. 

For those of us who cannot escape the IPA’s firm grip, think about heading to WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley, CO and grabbing a growler of 4 O’Clock Shadow, a session IPA that won’t knock you into tomorrow with its friendly 5% ABV. Created with the help of Grimm Brothers Brewing Company and The Rio Grande restaurant, 4 O’Clock shadow has a citrusy hop profile from the use of unique German and American hops.This IPA would balance out sweet potatoes, and enhance the tangy nature of mom’s favorite cranberry sauce. www.weldwerksbrewing.com

False Summit Belgian Quad – Elevation Brewing Company, Poncha Springs, Co.

This complex bourbon barrel-aged Belgian Quadrupel is a perfect companion to smoked turkey or ham and an earthy stuffing (dried fruit, soft spices). It features flavors of dark berries, a malty sweet backbone, and a deep wine aftertaste and mouthfeel. This beer is dark burgundy in color with fruity belgian esters (banana and coconut) in the nose, and embodies a cozy attitude and would be a great edition to your thanksgiving spread. This beer is hefty with an 11% ABV, and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit and get you ready to chat up your awkward long lost relatives you only see once a year anyways… “Yes, I’m still single, no I don’t have a “real” job yet, Uncle Stuart.” Elevation’s False Summit Quad can be found in bombers in most liquor stores. www.elevationbeerco.com

White Rascal Belgian Style White Ale- Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Co. 

This Belgian beer has a thicker body, with a refreshing finish, and is also a crowd pleaser for guests who generally prefer beer adorned with oranges (ehem.. Blue Moon). Coriander, orange peel and unfiltered yeast are the main attractions for Avery Brewing Co.’s Belgian Style White (wheat) Ale. This beer would be great for sipping with a roasted turkey, with lots of spice, lemon, and a stuffing that features green apples, celery, and dried fruit. White Rascal has a 5.6% ABV and a low hop profile that is sure to satisfy those who prefer a milder, fruitier beer.

Sad Panda Coffee Stout – Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, Fort Collins, Co. 

The feast has ended and you are fighting the oncoming food coma. You want a cup of coffee, but you also want a beer. Dilemma. Or not… Craft beer brewers have found a certain freedom in putting whatever the hell they want in their beer concoctions. One of the most popular additions is the great and awesome coffee bean. Horse and Dragon’s Sad Panda is a robust stout boasting flavors of vanilla, roasted coffee, caramel and just the right touch of bitterness. sip this beer only a bit cooler than room temperature, and enjoy with your cousins famed pecan pie, or enjoy Sad Panda on its own, and defeat the urge for a post turkey nap. www.horseanddragonbrewing.com

Happy Thanksgiving, The Pint is thankful for your readership, support, and for bringing good beer to your holiday festivities!

Cheers!