The Best Beer for Turkey Day
Perhaps no other holiday is better suited to celebrating what it means to be an American than Thanksgiving. I mean, a day dedicated to binge-eating, beer, family, naps, apple pie, and more napping? Surely, this is the day Jefferson and Franklin dreamed for us to enjoy for all time. Plus, there’s the distinctly American tradition of enjoying a football game while fighting off the effects of a turkey coma. And if you’re in Michigan, there’s the added honor of watching our Detroit Lions embarrass themselves in front of a national audience.
But in order to enjoy Thanksgiving to its fullest potential, it’s crucial to have a decent beer at your side. We may be a bit (very) biased, but we firmly believe that the best beer on the planet comes from Northern Michigan. Here are five Northern Michigan craft beers that we highly recommend having on hand at your Thanksgiving festivities.
Short’s Brewing – Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
This seasonal from Short’s returns to Earth each autumn to abduct taste buds and thrill enthusiasts of craft beer around the Midwest. It’s a double Belgian IPA that isn’t very heavy, which means you have more room to indulge in turkey, stuffing, and pie on Turkey day. It’s a true Belgian, with a distinctly bitter taste. If you’ve never had the opportunity to give this brew a try, treat yourself to something new on Thursday.
Stormcloud Brewing Company – Rainmaker Pale Ale
Another Belgian and another Northern Michigan favorite; the Rainmaker is Stormcloud’s signature brew. It’s far less bitter than the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, as it’s made with strong Northern Michigan hops that bring the bitterness to an almost neutral level. The winner of the bronze medal in the prestigious Great American Beer Festival, this beer represents our state extremely well on the national stage.
Rare Bird – Kettle Cuddler
Light, accessible, and tasty. The Kettle Cuddler is the perfect pre-dinner session IPA that will fire up your taste buds for Thanksgiving’s main culinary attractions. A relatively low ABV of 5.3 also ensures things don’t get out of hand if politics comes up at the dinner table. You’ll have to pick this up at brew pub on Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so get over there ASAP.
Right Brain Brewery – Smooth Operator
If there’s one word to describe this brew, it’s smooth. With that being said, the name sure makes sense now, doesn’t it? RBB calls this a cream ale, and it’s billed as their answer to light beers. Leave it to Right Brain, a brewery known best for its bold stouts, to add their unique style to the those in the light beer segment. RBB set out to make a smooth, light, unique beer and that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished. They also got it named Best of Show at the 2015 World Expo of Beer, so hopefully those are sufficient credentials to make an appearance at your Thanksgiving Day feast.
Lake Ann Brewing Co. – Cordwood Savage Rye IPA
Lake Ann Brewing Co. are a plucky bunch who make beer that punches several rungs above their weight class. In fact, despite being a small brewery, their attention to quality and consistency allows them to produce a product equal to or greater than the “big boys” who have much more resources at their disposal. Evidence of this? The Cordwood Savage Rye. It’s a smooth, dry IPA that has a level of drinkability that few other rye IPAs can duplicate. Such a combination lends itself well to a Thanksgiving Day celebration; with no rush or worries, feel free to nurse this beer over the course of the afternoon.
So, what did we miss? Which Northern Michigan craft beers would have been in your top five? Be sure to let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also allow us to show you around our breweries by booking a tour.