Beer Pairings for Thanksgiving

For writer Richard Bolster, the drink of choice for Thankgiving is beer -- the yeasty, malty brew goes great with generously spiced fall foods, and we figure if it was good enough for the pilgrims, it's good enough for us.

Orval Trappist Ale

Orval Trappist Ale
Serve flutes of Orval Trappist Ale (330ml; $5.99), a tripel-style ale from a Trappist Cistercian monastery in southwest Belgium, to start the meal. Its sage, pear, and apple notes meld with a winter squash and apple soup, and its champagnelike effervescence and refreshingly dry finish always make it a wonderful aperitif. See the recipe for Winter Squash and Apple Soup »Todd Coleman

Ommegang BPA

Ommegang BPA
For an American counterpart to the Orval, we like Ommegang BPA (750ml; $7.99). This Belgian-style pale ale has a hoppy snap that is assertive without being overwhelming, and it cuts through the richness of a ricotta crostini or other hearty appetizer. See the recipe for Ricotta Crostini with Chestnut Honey »Todd Coleman

Maudite

Maudite
With its clove and coriander fragrance and maple and malt sweetness, Maudite (750ml; $6.99), a strong, dark ale from the Canadian brewery Unibroue, tastes like Thanksgiving in a glass. The heady brew matches the range of warm spices in the main courses, yet its surprisingly crisp finish cleans the palate, readying it for each new dish. See the recipe for Autumn Vegetable Patties »Todd Coleman

Allagash Black

Allagash Black
In Allagash Black (750ml; $9.99), a potent stout from Maine, bitter coffee notes and a high-alcohol warmth are balanced by a sugary sweetness. It's great with rich side dishes like a potato and rutabaga gratin. See the recipe for Potato and Rutabaga Gratin »Todd Coleman

Founders Breakfast Stout

Founders Breakfast Stout
For dessert, the chocolate and espresso flavors in Founders Breakfast Stout (355ml; $2.50) mingle with cheesecake's nutty richness and the spice of an apple-cinnamon ice cream the same way a dark-roasted coffee would, while the beer's deep, creamy texture, derived from oats, mirrors both desserts' smoothness. See the recipe for Apple Cider Cinnamon Ice Cream » See the recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake With Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust »Todd Coleman