This is part three of three in the inaugural KC Beer Scouts Guide to Thanksgiving Beer Pairing. We’ve broken it into parts to cover the whole day: Before Dinner, With the Bird, and For Dessert. All the beers we suggest are available at many of the better liquor stores around town. None are too rare. Try Royal Liquors on 103rd and State Line, either of the two Lukas Liquors or any of the Gomer’s as a starting point. Enjoy!
The spread of desserts presented an hour after the meal at my family’s house is varied and wide. We usually have pumpkin pie, fruit pies, pecan pie, banana bread, and cookies. Someone usually throws in a surprise each year, too. Something like lemon bars or pineapple cake turn up more often than not.
All desserts are sweet; that’s what makes a dessert. So we don’t need an equally sweet beer to pair with them. The tryptophan will put us to sleep well enough without the help of a sugar coma. Something dry or dryish would be best. Maybe beers that hint at dessert flavors, a touch of chocolate, fruit or mild spices. And if we can throw in a decent amount of bitterness to balance out all the sugar, we can find something magical.
Stouts for Dessert
Let’s start with stouts. Small or large, a good roasty, chocolatey stout would pair wonderfully with pumpkin, cherry, or pecan pie. Stouts with enough sturdy bitterness from both hops and the highly kilned malt will help us to answer , “Yes” when mom asks if we want another slice. I’m suggesting dry Irish stouts, export stouts, and imperial stouts for dessert.
- Bell’s Expedition Stout
- Great Divide Yeti (or better yet, Oak Aged Yeti for some additional vanilla flavors)
- Porterhouse Wrasslers XXXX Stout
- 75th Street Muddy Mo Stout (go get yourself a growler)
- North Coast Old Rasputin
Witbiers for Dessert
For more spritely and brightly flavored desserts, like strawberry-rhubarb pie or lemon bars, a stout may just come across as too burnt. Let’s try something more spicy and citrusy, like a witbier.
Any of these choice should put a smile on your face as the long adventurous day of eating and family comes to a close. Sit back and digest a while. Watch some football. Fall asleep on the couch as the Plaza lights flash on. Thanksgiving is a day for family, eating, and being thankful. And the Beer Scouts are always thankful for family, food, and beer.
And in this spirit, we thank you for reading. Have a happy Thanksgiving. Safe travels and happy eating and drinking.