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Add some Bell's beer to your Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving meal with Bell's beer

Thanksgiving is a day long marathon of football, family, beer and food.

As you put together your holiday shopping list, keep in mind that your selection can help make that Thanksgiving Day Parade your cousin wants to watch a little less painful, but can also complement your menu and even help take it to another level.

Here are some pairing suggestions to keep in mind.

General tips

Amber ale

Amber Ale  will pair with any holiday food. Both have a mild floral, fruity hop character that’s balanced by sweet malt undertones. Most cooking processes create caramelized flavors that pair very well with the caramel malts used in this beer. You can pair it with a wide range of appetizers, main plates, side dishes and desserts. Plus, the low ABV will hopefully fend off any sleepiness.

Oarsman Ale

Oarsman’s tart and refreshing nature make this a perfect choice to pair with appetizers and cheese plates. It can also serve as a great palate cleanser between each course. Use it to compliment tart fruit dishes or contrast with chocolate desserts. Oarsman is also a great beer to have in the fridge for your relatives that are normally wine drinkers, but may be looking to branch out into the craft beer world.


Bell’s Porter will pair well with glazed ham especially if you prefer to cook with pineapple. It will also pair well with anything on the chocolatey side of dessert as the slight bitterness, roast and coffee characteristics will complement the sweetness.


Expedition Stout is a great as a compliment to rich, decadent dessert dishes. Its roasted malt character, sturdy hop bitterness, and high alcohol balances nicely and helps cut through the sweetness and heaviness that most desserts tend to have. Or, skip the dessert and indulge in one on its own.

Winter White

Winter White will pair well with lighter dishes like a salad or a shrimp cocktail. It will also nicely compliment, but not overpower your turkey. This is also a great beer to pair with fruit desserts like apple cobbler or blueberry trifle.

Christmas Ale

This specialty has a new look and a new recipe. Now a traditional Scotch Ale, our Christmas Ale is rich and malty with notes of caramel and a warm finish. Certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable. Perfect to enjoy amongst the company of friends and family.

Thanksgiving Pairing Suggestions

Pre-dinner cheese plate

Oarsman will help calm the fat and salt found on a hearty cheese plate. Oarsman is also a great palate cleanser to utilize when you are hopping between a creamy cheve, a sharp aged cheddar and funky blue cheese while not over powering your palate before the main event.

Added bonus - the sessionable nature of Oarsman will also help you survive the day with family and football.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Amber Ale will compliment everything on your table as a whole. It offers a great balance between sweet caramel malts, moderate alcohol and a touch of hop bitterness.

Turkey: Winter White’s fruity aromas and moderate body and alcohol will nicely compliment your turkey on the day of, especially for white meat lovers.

Stuffing: Try a Sourdough stuffing with Oarsman. Its tartness will go nicely with the lactic acid found in the bread.

Cranberry Sauce: Oarsman again (sensing a theme here?) will nicely compliment the tart character of the cranberries. Conversely, try a Two Hearted to cut through the sweetness.


  • Pecan, sweet potato, and pumpkin pie: Expedition Stout will pair amazingly with these desserts. The roasted malt flavors and bitter hop additions will counter and help balance these sweet treats nicely.
  • Strawberry shortcake/Fruit tart: Winter White can last you through turkey and all the way to dessert if you need it to. Fruit and clove aromas along with a light body will complement the sweet flavors in your desert while countering the acidity from your fruit.
  • Skip dessert and indulge in a Third Coast Old Ale or Cherry Stout instead. Both of these beers offer great sweet flavors, are heavy bodied and provide a nice punch of alcohol that will end your Thanksgiving holiday in an appropriate and indulgent fashion.

Check out some of these great food pairing suggestions and recipes for your Thanksgiving. Cheers!

If you’re in Kalamazoo this holiday, the Eccentric Cafe will be closed on Thanksgiving but open on Friday. Stop by with the family for a pint!

Dark Night 2019

Join us the week of Dec. 16 for our annual celebration of the longest nights of the year, the Winter Solstice, with great beer.