pairing pie and beer

Fall is the best season for craft beer. You get all the smokey, chocolatey and spicy flavors, aging in harmony. So why wouldn’t you incorporate it into your Thanksgiving meal plan? Instead of only cracking open a few during the game, bring these amazing flavors to your dessert table instead. Pie and beer should, after all, be a thing for obvious reasons. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Pumpkin Pie With Pumpkin Ale

Try Southern Tier Pumking imperial ale for this no-brainer, meeting of the greats. It is spice-forward on the nose ( think clove, vanilla, allspice, roasted pecans) and so decadent you could easily forgo the pie and just have two of these. Also try Southern Tier’s Warlock imperial pumpkin stout. There’s a hit of chocolate with this one.

Pecan Pie With Caramel Stout or Brown Ale

Pecans and caramel are a medley made in food heaven. We like the Left Hand Salted Caramel stout especially because you can’t go wrong with the nutty flavor from the pie, matched with caramel notes from the beer. If you’re up for the adventure, mix Lazy Mongolia’s Southern Pecan American brown ale with the caramel stout (half and half) to lighten it a bit, and have the best of both worlds in a glass.

Sweet Potato Pie With Milk Stout

Whether you call it a casserole, pie, or soufflé, a sweet potato pie begs for a beer. Double down on the sweetness and opt for a milk stout like New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel-aged stout. This is velvety oak and malt in a glass, basically.

Lemon Meringue Pie With Triple Ale or IPA

Canada’s Unibroue is an impressive brewery with very consistent and reliable brews. One of their crown jewels is the Le Fin du Mond triple ale. The lemony pour is blonde and creamy, so it pairs perfectly with something just as velvety as a meringue. The bubbles are fine, so they cut through the strong lemon flavor, making the whole experience light and refreshing—as a lemon meringue should be.

For all those hop-heads, Creature Comforts’ Tropicália IPA is also sure to do the trick. The big hop profile and bitterness will pair well with lemon. It’s a soft, fruit-forward, citrus-y beer. In other words, it goes down easy.

Chocolate Pie With Bourbon-Barrel Ale

Lexington’s Kentucky bourbon-barrel aged ale is one of our favorite beers of all time. It tastes buttery and is rich with caramel and vanilla notes. It’s aged in charred bourbon barrels, so you get the peaty taste of bourbon and oak, too. Warning: A slice of chocolate pie is decadent with this pairing. Use a snifter glass for this beer and make sure to get a good whiff before sipping.

Crème Brûlée With Belgian Ale

A classic crème brûlée is rich in vanilla flavors with a burnt sugar crust on top—that gives the dessert a delightful sweet and bitter combination. Pair this with what we like to call the real “champagne of beer,” Brooklyn Brewery’s Local #2 Belgian dark ale. It’s brewed with European malt and hops. The sweetness of the malts complements the bitterness of the sugar crust, and the hops cut through the sweetness of the custard. There are also hints of spice, dark fruit and honey in this one.

However, if you just want a beer form of this French dessert, consider Southern Tier’s Crème Brûlée imperial milk stout. Yes, it exists, and yes, it is delicious. This is a bold and heavy finish—but one you won’t be sorry about.

Blueberry Pie With  Sour

Sours beers all the rage these days. Go for a sweet-and-sour combo with something like a blueberry pie and Creature Comforts’ Athena Berliner weisse. It’s a German-style wheat beer and isn’t overly tart—it’s a subtle and balanced sour. (Hot tip: when Athena is mixed with a splash of orange juice, it is the perfect brunch beer cocktail. You must try it. Maybe the morning after all this beer and pie experimenting.)

For more great holiday hacks, tips, tricks, and recipes, check out our Ultimate Friendsgiving Guide.

Related Video: HLN Tips for the Perfect Friendsgiving

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