Your NFL Beer Pairings: Thanksgiving Football 2011 | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Your NFL Beer Pairings: Thanksgiving Football 2011

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Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge *Actual Sizes May Vary
  • *Actual Sizes May Vary
Turkey. Beer. Football. Also known as the three pillars of Thanksgiving. If your plans for Thursday include watching the game, enjoying a fine ale (seasonal perhaps) and feasting like a Nordic barbarian, allow us to help you optimize your day. We've compiled a rundown of each NFL matchup and beers to pair with each game. Turn the page.

click to enlarge PACKERS.COM
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions (9:30 a.m., NBC)

Beer For Die-Hard Fans

Lions: Stroh's

Packers: Schlitz


Six weeks ago, when both teams were 5-0, this matchup looked to be a veritable clash of the Rust Belt titans. Since then things have diverged somewhat: the still dangerous Lions have dropped a few close games due to an uneven offense while the undefeated Packers have continued to barrage defenses with the kind of aerial attack that puts Operation Iraqi Freedom to shame. This one has shootout written all over it.

Food-Beer Pairing

This game kicks off midmorning on the West Coast, a time some haters will no doubt insist is too early for beer. Nonsense. Belgian farmers were known to enjoy a hearty breakfast of sausage and witbier (and they woke up at the crack of dawn). Try something refreshing and citrusy like Firestone Walker Solace, Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat or Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss. All are easy drinking, lightly hopped, and low enough in alcohol to ensure you don't start swerving before the rest of the family changes out of their pajamas. You might even be able to convince Grandma to pour a bottle into her orange juice for a beer-mosa.

click to enlarge DALLASCOWBOYS.COM
Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins (1:15 p.m., CBS)

Beer For Die-Hard Fans

Cowboys: Shiner Bock

Dolphins: Presidente


After starting an abysmal 0-7, Miami has picked up some momentum by winning the past three games with help from QB Matt Moore and RB Reggie Bush (also known as the man who dodged a Kardashian-shaped bullet). The Cowboys have won three straight as well, the last being a shaky overtime victory against the hobbled Redskins. Dallas is favored, but QB Tony Romo's schizophrenic squad could be ripe for an upset.

Food-Beer Pairing

By early afternoon, the turkey has begun to brown slightly, the yams have been sprinkled with marshmallows, and whoever was charged with peeling potatoes is feeling the aftereffects of acute carpal tunnel. It's also when the game-time appetizers come out. For richer items like cocktail weenies, roasted nuts or a pimento-studded cheese ball, pick something spiked with enough hops to help cut through the fat. Deschutes Inversion IPA and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye both pack a piney punch, but are balanced by malt and caramel notes. For salty snacks like Chex mix or pretzels, the adventurous drinker might prefer a sour ale. The acidity of beers like Telegraph Reserve Sour Wild Wheat Ale or Ommegang Zuur will be cut by the salt, bringing out their yeasty, complex flavors.

click to enlarge 49ERS.COM
San Francisco 49ers v.s. Baltimore Ravens (5:20 p.m., NFL Network)

Beer For Die-Hard Fans

49ers: Anchor Steam

Ravens: National Bohemian "Natty Boh"


With the amount of storylines in this marquee matchup, we would be surprised if Hollywood hadn't already optioned the movie rights. The 49ers have amassed eight wins in a row, despite being forecast as duds in the preseason. The Ravens are looking particularly fearsome after an emotional win over the Bengals last week. Then there's the fraternal aspect: 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is facing off with his brother, John, head coach of the Ravens. Grab a comfortable seat; it's looking to be a classic slugfest between the league's top defenses.

Food-Beer Pairing

By now the tryptophan has taken over your system. You're ready to sink into the recliner, enjoy the final game, and perhaps indulge your holiday sweet tooth. Pass on the pumpkin pie and choose a malty Imperial stout instead (or better yet, have both). A good stout gives off rich and creamy roasted chocolate notes without the cloying aftertaste. Pair beers like Great Divide Espresso Oak Yeti, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, or Victory Storm King with desserts like you would a cup of black coffee. At around 9-10% ABV though, don't expect to feel too alert afterwards.

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