I am late to Thanksgiving this year because of my recent trip to Costa Rica with The Missus. However, we broke out the tofurkey and sides this weekend to finally get around to making our annual feast.
Naturally, that meant I had to find a couple beers to match up with our fake meat, mashed potatoes and more. Lucky for me, that wasn’t too hard thanks to handy tips from fellow writers at I Think About Beer and Beerbecue. After sorting through my local bottle shop I came away with Boulevard Brewing’s Tank 7 farmhouse ale and local (no relation) Roth Brewing’s FoeHammer, an English-style barleywine.
Why were they ideal? Hit the jump for some pint-sized thoughts. (see what I did there?)
Boulevard Tank 7
This was a perfect beer pairing for the meal itself, offering an amazing effervescence that cleansed the palate between each portion of food. The Missus reminded me how rude it was to take pictures at the dining table in front of guests, so I was unable to properly document this point.
Nonetheless, the smell of Tank 7 offered a wonderful collection of citrus aromatics, including orange and lemon zest, pepper and just a hint of tart cherry. The Belgian yeast used for this beer creates a wonderfully healthy foam that laced my glass throughout the meal and really helped to float the aroma of the beer right up my nostrils on each sip.
The taste was also perfect. While the yeast did a great job on the smell, its impact on the carbonation of the beer helped dance flavors of citrus zest, sweet malt and hiding funk across my taste buds. The body of the beer was light as well, keeping my palate refreshed on every sip, making it easy to go from tofurkey to stuffing to mashed potatoes to vegetables. If you like to eat variety in a meal – whether Thanksgiving or not – this beer is an ideal pairing.
If this beer sounds like something you’d like to try, be forewarned. All these great characteristics hide the beer’s 8.5 percent ABV so well that you don’t want to go too nuts. While you can find Tank 7 in a 750 ml bottle, opt for the 12-ounce version and merrily sip away.
Granted, I should have followed that good advice because after the meal, I turned to my “dessert” beer…
Roth Brewing FoeHammer
At 10.5 percent ABV, this is a perfectly solid barleywine that falls in a good middle range of alcohol content. I will note that this beer – like many of their others – was super carbonated from the bottle and offered lots of high-octane smelling and tasting foam to work through, thanks to the high ABV.
FoeHammer was ideal for dessert for numerous reasons – toffee, butter, vanilla, caramel, and honey. These are characteristics that hit my sense on both the smell and taste, easily hiding the alcohol and making this beer a great late-evening warmer. I’d avoid having this beer with food other than a dessert, as it might kick the ass of meat, bread or vegetables, but when paired with the sweetness of a pie, for example, it should hold up pretty well. I had it with a slice of cranberry-apple pie, which allowed the sour/tart notes of the fruit play off the sweetness of the beer.
I’d offer more of a description for this brew, but you can only find it in the Triangle area here in North Carolina and it was pretty basic in its presentation. None of that took away from a great enjoyment of FoeHammer, however.
… so I know it’s late, but did anyone else find any good food/beer pairings for Thanksgiving?