Top Beers For Thanksgiving

Depending on your Thanksgiving beer personality, there’s a brew for you.

We don’t know if beer was served at the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims, who had aimed for Virginia, landed in New England low on beer, which was safer than water aboard the ship. The Pilgrims possibly brewed hard cider. But Manhattan’s first brewery was already up and running, and Roanoke was brewing ale with corn. 

Toast the Colonists with beer at your feast—but which one? Let your personality be your guide:

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For the Wine Snob: Must you serve suds? Bring out some wine-like bottles of The Bruery’s Autumn Maple, a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, maple syrup, and loads of yams. Doug Cedrone, co-owner of Beer Noggin in Bronxville, suggests serving it after turkey but before dessert. Yams in place of  pumpkin make it more Thanksgiving, less Halloween.

For the Hearty Partier: Having buddies over for deep-fried turkey and football? Oktoberfest (aka Märzen) beer, one of the world’s great party styles, rules, says Jason Daniels, chief operating officer of Half Time in Mamaroneck. The malty amber beer with a clean, dry finish is a cheery companion to browned, caramelized foods. Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier, from the world’s oldest brewery, is the classic; Dinkelacker and Paulaner are other greats. Authentic Oktoberfest must be brewed in Munich, but to honor America, try Ballast Point Dead Ringer, Broken Bow Pumpkin Spiced Oktoberfest, or, for ecologically minded friends, Peak Organic Hop Harvest Oktoberfest.

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