Three Beer Styles to Pair with Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is the most American of our holidays. It’s a time to gather around the table with loved ones to celebrate what we’re thankful for, and of course, to eat. But with eating comes drinking, and at Perlick, the liquids are just as important – especially the beer.

Beer is often forgotten as an option to serve with turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, and all the great side dishes we associate with Thanksgiving. But there are many great Thanksgiving beer options for pairing with your meal.

Common sense says that lighter options would go well with turkey because of its rather mild flavor. As you progress through the meal, though, other flavors might be better like pumpkin pie spice, clove, or nutmeg. This year we did our research, and here are three great beer styles to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner:


A common favorite for Thanksgiving, saison style beers pair well with turkey and are also great to serve before the meal due to their lighter flavor profiles. You don’t want to overwhelm your guests with heavy beers before dinner, and serving a saison is similar to serving a glass of champagne.

Low in hop and malt flavors, saisons can have herbal and spicy complexities that are balanced with fruit flavors that can be sour or acidic. They are often yeasty and contain high amounts of carbonation.


As you progress through dinner, consider beers that are a little darker and maltier. Saison style beers go well with turkey, but so do brown ales with their caramel aromas and hoppier profiles.

Not like your father’s brown ale, modern versions brewed in American craft breweries contain a lot more flavor than what might be traditionally expected. They can be nutty and toasty, and some varieties even contain a stronger amount of hops. A good brown ale should be well balanced, but mild enough so it doesn’t overpower the food on your plate.


Who doesn’t like dessert? As you move through the courses of your Thanksgiving dinner, your food gets sweeter. If it were up to us, your beer would get darker. A good stout can be a great pairing with your pumpkin pie or even mixed in your favorite stout float .

Though everyone is probably most familiar with the famous Guinness Irish Stout, stout beers vary tremendously. Stouts served on “nitro” can often be found in bottles or cans and contain bubbles similar to Guinness. With no carbonation, they can be great to end a meal. Coffee stouts are also a great end-of meal option. Looking for something a bit more complex? Try an imperial stout with high alcohol content and a port-like consistency. And don’t forget to consider some of the great pumpkin stouts out there as you finish off your dessert.

Serving these styles in your bar or restaurant?

To bring out the optimal flavor profiles in your holiday beers, they should be served at ideal temperatures and without exposure to air. Find out the easiest ways to accomplish this in your bar or foodservice operation by reading the Perlick faucet guide.