Thanksgiving Brews with Joyce Tremel

You've probably got your menu all planned out for Thursday, but what about beverages? We at RT love to help, so we caught up with debut author Joyce Tremel, whose cozy mystery To Brew or Not to Brew, got an RT Top Pick! Joyce had some beer-y good ideas about what to serve at your feast this week. Take it away, Joyce!

Sure you’re an ace at fixing that turkey, making five different kinds of pies and arranging appetizer platters that make your guests ooh, ahh — and sometimes downright swoon. But when you try to decide which libations pair best with your culinary creations, you may seriously consider making restaurant reservations.

Have no fear—there really are no rules! It’s your party and there are plenty of options. And the best part is that pretty much anything goes. There’s also no law that you have to wait until guests arrive to imbibe, either. Drinking a mimosa or two with breakfast can be a new tradition.

Here are some suggestions for Thanksgiving libations that should make most everyone happy.

If you serve snacks and appetizers like nuts and cheese before the big feast, consider a Fest-style ale. Although Oktoberfest is over, there are still many similar ales to be found. Look for a malty light brown ale or a rich lager, like a Dunkel. With a lighter cheese like goat cheese, or fruit and raw vegetables, try a Hefeweizen. Its slight hint of banana and clove pair well with lighter fare. If your guests prefer wine, the same theory applies—heavier wine with nuts and certain cheese, and lighter wine, like a Reisling, for lighter foods. If you really want to get creative, try an apple cider shandy, which is a mix of beer and apple cider. For the less adventurous, mix them up a cranberry vodka tonic.

There is such a blend of flavors and textures in the main course that you can’t go wrong with serving a brown ale or a porter. Both are rich enough to be paired with anything you serve. For wine, stick with something dry, whether it’s white or red or somewhere in between.

Pumpkin beer is a favorite of some, so it makes perfect sense to pour one with dessert—especially pumpkin pie. Some type of holiday spiced beer, like a winter lager, goes well with anything sweet. If you’re serving anything chocolate, definitely pair it with a dark beer like a stout. Red wine also goes well with chocolate—or you can even try a chocolate wine.

No matter what you choose, try to relax and enjoy the day, and most importantly be thankful. That’s really what the day is all about.

To Brew or Not to Brew will be available in stores and online December 1. You can pick up your copy here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound. And why not check out some other mysterious tales on our Everything Mystery page?