If you’re serving any form of a Thanksgiving meal or snack in your bar, or even if you’re in a neighborhood full of festivities, people flock to meet-ups, gatherings, and get-togethers outside the home, during this time of year. The mood is light, the setting is warm, and good spirits invite early evening trysts with the latest craft beers and flavor pairings.
The only way to break this down is by each staple dish. Whether your guests have the opportunity to pair food and drink at your tables, or if they are simply invited to wash a meal down; knowing what flavors work for signature holiday foods, can only help stimulate your revenue for the season.
If you chose to center some activities around holiday food pairings, consider adopting a solution like TapHunter. Customers can use this app to stay up to date on your various festivities throughout the season, and share the event with friends.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Pairs with: India Pale Ale
Mashed potatoes during the holidays, are generously dressed with butter. Thus they can feel somewhat greasy on the palate. The carbonation in beer has a bubbly reaction with the fats, leaving your patrons feeling refreshed.
People also lean toward a robust and extra malty Porter. This is due to the heavier fats in mashed potatoes, like cream and butter. The hints of coffee and chocolate are truly elevated by this delectable holiday side.
Spice Infused Stuffing
Pairs with: Pilsner
Most likely the heaviest dish on the menu, a hearty stuffing side, calls for a light beer to wash it down with. Belgians are known to pair well with these bready dishes, and the Belgian Saison in particular. As stuffing is always packed with a healthy helping of onions, celery, and herbs, thus a light beer with fruity and earth character, is the most fitting for pairing.
If you choose not to serve any stuffing in your bar, it’s still a great rule of thumb when serving anything high in carbohydrates, like breaded dishes.
Tender Turkey Entree
Pairs with: American Pale Ale
Turkey can be a delicate meat, and if you’ve come up with some juicy slabs to serve at your bar around the holiday, it is best to stay light here. If you go too big on the beer, the taste of the turkey will be lost. Remember, turkey naturally causes fatigue, due to the levels of Tryptophan, so pairing this with a heavy beer, will only have your patrons retiring early.
Another great pick is a Belgian Dubbel. The dark fruity flavors like plum, raisin, and cherry give it a rich effect, but it washes down light. It pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the juicy white turkey meat.
Rich Pumpkin Pie
Pairs with: Imperial Stout
The meal has ended, and maybe if you didn’t serve any in your bar, this last pairing is the most important. That is because everyone at this point, will have consumed some rich classic dessert, like pumpkin pie, and are simply waiting to “go big or go home.”
The large craft beers of 10-12% alcohol content, have rich roasted flavors that draw out that air of pumpkin spice during Thanksgiving. You need a beer with earthy and slightly burnt characteristics. Serving a Russian imperial stout is a good start. The spice in the pumpkin pie plays well on heavier stouts, and the same can be said for the filling nutty flavors of a pecan pie.
Although this article focuses on beer, there are also a great many wines to pair with the dishes you are offering. Just like a fine craft beer, they take similar courses in dark and light, and sweet and earthy. Knowing your best pairings, can only boost your revenue, and impress your guests, during this delightful holiday season.