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Brews for the bird


Hometown hops abound for every part of your Thanksgiving festivities.

Matt Carney November 9th, 2011

All my extended family lives out of state, so we usually meet at my grandparents’ house in Missouri for the holidays. So close to Kansas City, Mo., Boulevard brews are aplenty, as are St. Louis’s Schlafly (they have a September- October-only pumpkin ale that literally tastes like you’re drinking a spiced pumpkin pie still glowing from the oven), but this year I’ll bring a handful of my favorite Okie beers to share with the cousins, aunts and uncles.

As each one is different, so is the occasion for which they’re best suited. Here are my picks and tentative plans for this Thanksgiving:

Coop Ale Works: Native Amber 
This guy’s crisp and delicious with a sweet hint of caramel, and comes in a tall, very regal-looking black can. Grab a koozie and it’s perfect for watching football, or pour it into a pint glass (it looks so festive all copper and thick, doesn’t it?) and enjoy with your first round of turkey and stuffing. It’s got a slight bitterness that really completes it. Drink with your first plate of food.

Mustang Brewing Co.: Washita Wheat 

Mustang’s wheat offering has a unique, earthy taste that mixes a bit of fruit with red wheat from the Oklahoma plains. There’s no aftertaste to speak of, so I think it’ll make a good substitute for a veggie dish at dinner. Drink instead of that side of green beans.

Battered Boar Brewing Co.: Heartbreak Hefeweizen Ale

The Heartbreak might well bring a tear to your eye, thanks to its initial spicy kick. The finish is really smooth, and at 7 percent alcohol by volume, this little golden firebrand will loosen up the early afternoon conversation to include a little more than the standard “Oh, that turkey’s looking good,” or “Man, the Cowboys sure are tanking again this season.” Drink with chips and salsa, or while you’re helping grandma with the fixings.

Choc Beer Co.: Pietro Piegari
Choc’s also got a nice American amber that hits you like a porter, but goes down smooth and nutty. It looks really hearty sitting in the glass: a deep red that swirls around rich and malty on the first drink. It’s the most festive- looking in this bunch, so I’d say break it out whenever you do the family pictures, and be sure to keep an extra box around for Christmas.

Marshall Brewing Co.: Atlas IPA 

What I like best about Tulsa’s Marshall brewery is their Atlas India Pale aAe, specifically how sharp it is for leaving no distinct aftertaste. It’s the rare IPA that you can drink two or three of without feeling like you need to scrub your tongue clean. I’d save this one for that second plate of food, when your gut’s getting full but your quest to overdose on tryptophan remains incomplete.

 
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