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Brews News: Beers for Thanksgiving Meals

Put down the Bud Light and grab a beer that really goes well with that Thanksgiving turkey.

The South Bay Brews News is publishing today instead of the usual Thursday column to give everyone a head start on finding the right beer for their Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.

Because turkey and all the Thanksgiving side dishes are not usually heavily spiced, the important thing to remember when choosing a beer pairing is to not choose a beer that will overpower the food.

According to Wes at the Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach, beer styles such as porters, brown ales, Bier de Gardes and Belgian Tripels typically pair well with the popular turkey dish.

For desert, Wes recommends the bigger, richer stouts as well as seasonal fall beers that utilize pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices in the brewing process -- especially with pumpkin pie.

While your beer choices are always a subjective choice, the folks at Select Beer have recommended six different beers that pair well with all stages of a Thanksgiving feast (Beer descriptions from Select Beer's Heather):

Starters:

  • Ommegang Hennepin (7.7% ABV): A farmhouse-style golden ale with a champagne like effervescence, light hop character, hints of ginger and coriander. This beer has a crisp, but light on the tongue finish. Brewed in Cooperstown, New York, this beer is similar to a Belgian saison style beer and works well as an aperitif.
  • Stillwater Brewing Cellar Door (6.6% ABV): An extremely well-balanced ale with a delicate complexity. This beer uses a base of German wheat and pale malts accented with a blend of sterling and citra hops to provide an intricate blend of herbal grass and tangerine citrus flavors and aromas. A touch of white sage provides a mild earthy spice character and the saison yeast brings all the elements together for a dry finish.  

With Turkey Dinner:

  • Unibroue Maudite (8% ABV): A Canadian-brewed, mahogany-colored, rich-tasting premium Belgian style amber ale that has a distinctive, complex taste. A robust maltiness and spiciness is counterbalanced with an assertive crisp hop finish.
  • The Bruery Autumn Maple (10% ABV): Brewed down the road in Placentia, California, this beer utilizes 17 pounds of yams per barrel providing a different take on the pumpkin beer style. This beer is also brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup before being fermented with Belgian yeast. 

After Dinner, With Dessert:

  • Knee Deep Tanilla Porter (6.3% ABV): This vanilla porter uses Grade A Tahitian vanilla beans to complement this robust style of beer. This porter has a smooth chocolate flavor complimented by the delicate intensity of vanilla beans and a rich aroma of coffee. 
  • Highwater Campfire Stout (7.3% ABV): A great finish to a wonderful meal. This beer has flavors of chocolate and graham cracker, finishing with a hint of toasted marshmallow. A great beer to enjoy while you sit with family and friends contemplating all of the things your are thankful for this year.

After you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, have a look at what is happening in the craft beer world in the South Bay of Los Angeles:

Breweries

El Segundo Brewing | El Segundo 

El Segundo Brewing will be open for Thanksgiving growler fills on Wednesday from 5:00-9:00 p.m. but will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day. 

On Black Friday, the brewery will tap the first keg of their Blue House IPA, which has been on a one-year hiatus.

According to El Segundo Brewing, Blue House IPA is a "Fuller bodied IPA with Crystal 15, 40 and Munich malts providing a broad base for the irresponsible amount of Simcoe we dry hop this bad boy with."

The following day, on Small Business Saturday, the brewery will offer $3 pints of their beers at the tasting room with any purchase of a gift card or El Segundo Brewing merchandise.

Tap room hours for beer tasting and growler fills are:

Wednesday: 5-9 p.m.
Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: 5-9 p.m.
Saturday: 2-9 p.m.
Sunday: 2-7 p.m.

The Brewery at Abigaile | Hermosa Beach

Head brewer Brian Brewer said that another new beer has been tapped in addition to last weeks "Exile IPA."

The new "Half Nelson XPA" is now being poured at the restaurant and is described as a pale ale dry hopped with New Zealand nelson sauvin hops, simcoe hops and centennial hops.

The brewery and restaurant will also be closed on Thanksgiving.

Strand Brewing Co. | Torrance

Pint Night | Congregation Ale House | Long Beach
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 6:00 p.m.

Rich from Strand will be on hand as the Congregation Ale House features Strand beers including Beach House Amber, 24th Street Pale Ale, Black IPA and a new release East India Pale Ale.

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Current Tap Room Beers (As of Nov. 15):

  • Beach House Amber
  • 24th Street Pale Ale
  • Atticus IPA
  • Black IPA
  • Batch 100 Stout
  • Ito-Weisse Berliner Weisse

Tap room hours this week for beer tasting and growler fills are:

Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: 4-9 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.

Monkish Brewing Co. | Torrance

Tap room hours this week for beer tasting and growler fills are:

Thursday: CLOSED
Friday: 4-9 p.m.
Saturday: 3-8 p.m.
Sunday: 1-6 p.m.

Beer Bars & Restaurants

Select Beer Store | Redondo Beach

Select Beer will be open for limited hours on Thanksgiving night for those looking to have a pint after dinner. Hours will run 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

On Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, Select Beer will host the Southern California celebration of Figueroa Mountain Brewing's 2nd Anniversary. For those that can't make it up to Buellton to celebrate in person, go celebrate simultaneously at Select Beer Store and enjoy a glass of their special limited release 2nd Anniversary beer.

Current Tap List (As of Nov. 20):

  • Drake's 1500 (Pale Ale)
  • Ommegang Scythe & Sickle (Biere de Garde)
  • 1809 Berliner Weisse
  • Hangar 24 Hullabaloo (Winter Warmer)
  • Firestone Walker Double DBA (Barleywine)
  • Drake's Black Robusto (Porter)
  • Stone Ruination (Double IPA)
  • Sierra Nevada Tumbler (Brown Ale)
  • New Belgium Snow Day 
  • Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin (Oatmeal Stout)

Naja's Place | Redondo Beach

Wednesday, Nov. 21 | 8:00 p.m. | New Belgium Keep the Glass Night

Naja's Place will host a "Keep the Glass Night" featuring New Belgium Brewing beers starting at 8:00 p.m. next Wednesday.

The popular "La Folie" sour brown ale will be on tap, along with many others from the Colorado brewery.

Editor's Note: Only establishments that have submitted updates are included in this column. If you own a beer bar, brewery, beer store or beer-centric restaurant in the South Bay of Los Angeles and would like to include your establishment's updates in this column, please send editor John Schreiber an email at John.Schreiber@Patch.com. This column relies on the updates from local business owners to keep it running—please contribute!

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