Thanksgiving Beer Pairings from Drake’s

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, food. We’ve heard many people enjoy a good glass of wine with their Thanksgiving feast. Personally, we like beer pairings more. 


Because beer arguably pairs better with food.

We’re not backing down from this statement – there are a few beer styles that pair perfectly with all Thanksgiving foods, from the essential turkey and stuffing to our favorite side dishes like cranberry sauce and brussels sprouts.

We aren’t anti-wine. We are pro-flavor and pro-variety, and beers have more variety than wine. With so many different flavors and styles of beer out there, you can find a Drake’s brew to match any Thanksgiving dish.

Apart from the fact that it’s damn good, there are many reasons why beer should be served with Thanksgiving dinner. Rich and creamy dishes and desserts are complemented by a wide range of tastes, from bitter and hoppy to light and sweet.

Whether you’re enjoying a delicious turkey dinner, some roasted veggies, or your favorite mashed potatoes, there’s a beer out there that will perfectly complement the flavor of your meal.

Drake’s Beers to Pair with Thanksgiving:

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner as a whole, we recommend our Flyway Pilsner and our Amber Ale because they go well with a variety of fall dishes. Let’s be honest–we’re not eating any of the food below in individual portions. We pile everything together on one plate, and sometimes in one bite! If you’re looking for something to go the distance, you can’t go wrong bringing a six-pack of our new Flyway cans or a crowler or two of the Amber.

But — If you really want to geek out about beer and Thanksgiving pairings, here are some of our recommendations: 

For Turkey: We recommend a Denogginizer. This hoppy, bitter beer is the perfect addition to the savory flavors of a roasted turkey. As the main event, turkey deserves a beer that can stand on its own – or, at least one that won’t be outshone by it!

For BBQ turkey: We recommend a 1500 Pale Ale to compliment the smoky and sweet flavors of a BBQ’d bird – just don’t drink too much and play with fire. 

For a Tofurkey: If you’re plant-based, we recommend our Drake’s Amber to pair with any tofu turkey because it’s light and refreshing with some nutty undertones, making this English-Style Ale the perfect accompaniment to this vegan dish. 

For the Mashed Potatoes: If you love indulging in a big bowl of mashed potatoes with extra butter and gravy, then you should opt for our Tree Beer IPA. This West Coast IPA can hold its own with buttery goodness without having an attitude like some other IPAs.

For the Stuffing: Thanksgiving stuffing pairs nicely with our Bavarian-Style Hefe. This high-quality malted wheat Hefeweizen is light and refreshing, with a touch of citrus that complements the flavor of any stuffing without overpowering it. Just don’t forget to save room for seconds…or thirds!

For the Mac & Cheese: If you’re a fan of mac and cheese on Thanksgiving, then opt for Best Coast IPA. This hoppy beer has just the right amount of bitterness to balance out the richness of your mac and cheese. Better yet, add our beer TO your Mac & Cheese recipe: delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55283/beer-cheese-mac-recipe/

For Veggie Sides: Flyway Pilsner is perfect with roasted veggies – especially Brussels sprouts with bacon. Because everything, yes, everything is better with bacon — even Thanksgiving. 

For the Sweet Potatoes: If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes loaded with brown sugar, consider pairing them with 1500 Pale Ale. The Pale Ale will help the real star of the show shine! And let’s face it, dessert during dinner… what’s not to love?! 

For a Fall Harvest Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Spinach: Grab a pint of Flyway Pilsner that complements the mix of autumn flavors in your salad. They work together as the Pilsner highlights the sweetness of the apples and pecans while balancing out the bitterness of the spinach. We know salads aren’t exactly the most exciting part of Thanksgiving, but it’s helpful to bring some fiber into your carb-overloaded dinner. 

For Cranberry Sauce with Lemon Zest: Go for our Black Robusto Porter or any of our Advanced Oak Barrel Aged Stouts. The bold, dark beers bring out the tartness in cranberry sauce and the citrus from the lemon zest. It’s a match made in Thanksgiving heaven! They also go with canned cranberry sauce, so trust us – these beers are not picky! 

What about the Pumpkin Pie with vanilla ice cream? Pair our Santa’s Brass barrel-aged barleywine with this classic Thanksgiving dessert. This beer has vanilla, caramel, and bourbon spice flavors to complement the sweetness of your pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream. Now that’s a pairing that’ll make you give thanks.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing beer with food. Keep experimenting and have fun!

There is no right or wrong way to pair your beer with food, so have fun experimenting with the different beer styles and find what speaks to your taste buds. Share your favorite pairings with us on Instagram or Facebook, and let us know what you’re cooking up this holiday season!

Stop by one of our East Bay or West Sac taprooms to grab extra to-go beers as your contribution to the meal, and make everyone else cook…