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Thanksgiving is one of America's favorite times of the year to head to the liquor store. The family dynamics, time off from work, football, stuffing... the list for good reasons to enjoy your favorite beverage goes on.
For many this year, Thanksgiving is going to look a bit different. For one, it's tough to pass the cranberry sauce via Zoom. But it is also looking like the whole notion of regretting the previous night's drinking is becoming just a bit less appealing.
Don't get me wrong, there will be plenty of folks more than happy to knock back a few-too-many and enjoy their turkey stupor, but NA beers and other non alcoholic drinks are looking to join the party.
So if you are looking for a few alcohol free options this year to slip in between your full-strength glasses, or want to cut out the booze for the holiday but still enjoy a cold one, this list is for you.
As an added bonus, because these are all non alcoholic beers, they will ship directly to your door.
All Out Stout - Athletic Brewing
Sometimes the toughest part of bringing a non-alcoholic beer home to the fam is it isn't something you are too proud to show off. That is not the case with Athletic Brewing Co.
Athletic is known for their craft non alcoholic beer that can win over even the snobbiest of IPA-drinkers. They are on a mission to provide craft beers that don't interfere with a healthy, athletic, lifestyle. AKA this is the beer you drink before and after your workout.
My top Athletic non-alcoholic beer pairing pick for Thanksgiving: All Out Stout
As described by Athletic, "All Out Stout was built for cold weather. We recommend enjoying by the fire after a long day on the slopes. Expect a full-bodied mouthfeel and a pleasantly roasty finish, as well as delicate coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes. Pairs excellently with savory dishes like hearty chili or sweet treats for dessert. Don't hibernate this winter. Go All Out!"
Looking for a fun pre-dinner activity? Do a blind taste test and put a Run Wild IPA up against another of your favorite full-strength IPAs and see if your friends and family can tell which one is alcohol free and which has the higher ABV.
NA Black Ale - Hairless Dog Brewing
If you are craving something dark, but not a stout or porter, look no further than Hairless Dog Brewing Company.
Hairless dog is proudly brewing 0.0% beer and pioneering the NA scene from a state that understands cold weather: Minnesota. So you better believe they know a thing or two about what goes nicely with a warm plate of mashed potatoes and a fire going in the living room.
In honor of international stout day (Nov 5th) they even recently shared an NA beer infused non alcoholic mocktail recipe called The Hairless Dog Snakebike Mocktail along with food pairings, how-to videos, and more.
My top Hairless Dog non-alcoholic beer pairing pick for Thanksgiving: NA Black Ale
As described by Hairless, "Behold the richness of our darkest ale. Specifically brewed for those who crave a roasted malt flavor, and an ultra-smooth finish, without an overly bitter bite. And with 0.0% ABV, it’s your new anytime brew."
If you are looking for something a little darker, but still tastes like an ale, try this out.
Grainwave Belgian-style Hops - Ceria Brewing
If you told me something was made with blood orange peel and coriander, I would put money on the fact that it belongs on the Thanksgiving table. This non alcoholic Belgian-style brew from Ceria definitely belongs.
Dr. Keith Villa, the world-renowned brewer who created Blue Moon (and all around good guy), is the co-founder and brewmaster at Ceria Brewing. As Villa says, "We founded Ceria Brewing Company to create great-tasting non-alcoholic brews,so that no matter why you choose not to drink alcohol, you can still enjoy a great tasting brew. We’ve crafted these brews with you in mind."
My top Ceria non-alcoholic beer pairing pick for Thanksgiving: Grainwave
This medium-bodied white ale with hints of citrus is refreshing, tasty, and as far as I'm concerned, pairs perfectly with a dish like Turkey. Although I'm thinking this may be my while-I-cook beer this year.
Oatmeal Stout - Bravus Brewing Co.
If Ceria's Grainwave is my pre-dinner drink, then Bravus' non alcoholic Oatmeal Stout has got to be what I go to post-dinner.
Rich, creamy, but not too sweet, this beer is a perfect companion to your pie. The smell of it alone makes me want to curl up by the fire and play checkers (checkers feels like a game with the right amount of thinking involved post Thanksgiving meal).
My top Bravus non-alcoholic beer pairing pick for Thanksgiving: Oatmeal Stout
"If you're a fan of Guinness, this is the beer for you! With hints of chocolate, caramel and roast, it is extremely smooth and delightfully refreshing. Silver medal winner at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival." - Bravus Brewing
This is a delicious way to end the night - plus if you are someone who needs a little fuel for your online shopping spree, the smooth coffee-like finish will keep you going strong.
Non-alcoholic Lager - Gruvi
The list wouldn't be complete without a good ol' fashioned American Lager. And while I don't scoff at beers like Coors Edge or Heineken 0.0, there are also some solid craft lagers on the market.
The Lager from Gruvi is rock solid. And sure, this might be a more perfect beer for your Thanksgiving if you happen to live somewhere near a beach, it's the kind of beer that hits the spot no matter the location or the weather. It's light, crisp, and easy to drink. Plus, at only 58 calories it helps leave room for extra stuffing and pumpkin pie.
My top Gruvi non-alcoholic beer pairing pick for Thanksgiving: Non-alcoholic Lager
Honorable mention: Non-alcoholic peach-pie ale. I mean, come on... It sold out online in under 20min so I didn't get a chance to try it but the name says it all.
Conclusion: Drink What You Want
NA beer and Thanksgiving are a perfect match. So if you are looking for ways to skip the alcohol while avoiding another glass of sugary sparkling grape juice, give one of the non-alcoholic beers above a try. With so many more non-alcoholic beer options becoming available, I'm sure this time next year there will be a whole new wave vying for the top spot.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an NA Christmas ale.
I hope you find some non-alcoholic beers you enjoy this season and have a happy (hoppy) Thanksgiving!
Please consider sharing beer without a buzz with your friends and family. For more on this and other points of interest in the NA beer community, follow @beerwithoutbuzz on twitter and join the conversation.
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