Would You Like Some Turkey With That Beer?

Friday, December 05, 2008

One of my favorite things to do is imagine what beer I would pair with a particular dinner. When the dinner in question is "special" in nature, like Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Bar Mitzvahs, or no-kids-all-alone-with-the-wife dinner, I actually bring the imaginative venture to life and introduce the beer in question to the table.

This Thanksgiving, I chose Founders Brewing Company Harvest Ale, a nice, hoppy, beefed-up American Pale Ale.The moment the beer touched my glass, it brought to life a massive, mountainy full white head which capped my pint glass, growing like a fertile garden, nearly out of control. The beer itself, under that massive mound, was a gorgeous, glowing golden straw color, ready for the harvest. This beer just looks like a harvest of plenty: sunny, bright, warm, inviting. If a beer could look like the rest of the Thanksgiving spread, it's this beer: the whole table summarized by a glass of beer. Even the head clung like turkey gravy down the sides of the glass.

And again, on the aroma: the table in a glass. Fresh and inviting, warm and intimate. Sweet citrus like grapefruit and lemons, tops the nose. Pine trees atop a bed of sugary malt and fresh grains. Alcohol sneaks in, but only to add to the warmth and invitation of this glass of plenty.

The taste is a full cornucopia. The beer itself is the perfect marriage for every part of the Thanksgiving meal. Biscuits, grapefruit hops, a blend of spices from the alcohol. This is not a hop attack at all. Each part of the beer fits with the other, like the massive meal spread before my eyes. The hops cut through the fatty, dark meat of the turkey to accentuate turkey's natural sweetness. The malts highlighted and sweetened the breast meat. The alcoholic spice married perfectly with my mom's deep, spicy meat dressing. The residual sweetness of the harvest ale wedded the traditional bread stuffing. Mashed potatos and sauteed squash broke bread with alpha acids in the hops and the bready malt backbone of the beer. Even the cranberries didn't overpower the pine-and-lemon of the hops in the beer. Bit after bite, sip after sip, beer and food blended together, neither wrestling for notice. It was a table of plenty.

The medium body of the beer certainly contributed to the happy, healthy fullness in my tummy. The carbonation in the beer cleansed my tongue between bites of food and sips of beer that had me grinning like a fool for the entire meal.

Alone, the beer will be fine; I like a good pale ale. But with a full turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? Let's just say that Thanks was Given.

AND SPEAKING of Thanksgiving: 75 years ago today, Prohibition was officially repealed! December 5, 1933 is a day we here at Around the Keg are surely thankful for. Raise a pint (of Founders Harvest Ale) for repeal!


Sopor 12:49 PM  

I KNEW it was you Smitty! Check THIS out!! Lol!!

To the point though... I'm upset that I did not get a chance to try the Harvest Ale this year! In fact, thanks to current "circumstances" I am missing out on lots of this years goodies... but WOW you make this stuff sound like Heaven on Earth!

Smitty 12:50 PM  

I'm confused...what is your link taking me to?

Sopor 1:25 PM  

Lol! I somehow linked back to this post! Let's try this one.

Smitty 1:52 PM  

That is so "female," that my next beer review should only be 6 words, and one of those words must be "meat."

George 1:58 PM  

No, all 6 words should be meat. And then you have to link to a wave file of a burp.

Smitty 2:15 PM  

My revised "Would You Like Some Turkey With That Beer" beer review:

Meat. Steak, pork, sausage, hamburger. Meat.

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