Thanksgiving is iconically “turkey day,” but of course, we all celebrate differently. The possibilities are endless. Maybe your family leans into tradition, setting a table for 24 with turkey, three different preparations of potatoes, and cranberry sauce straight from the can. Maybe a few of you get together and go vegan. Maybe you celebrate via zoom. Maybe you look forward to a potluck friendsgiving situation. Maybe Thanksgiving means a day of comfy sweats, your s.o. or roomie, Netflix, and whatever your favorite foods are. However you celebrate, everyone getting to toast to what they’re grateful for with their very favorite kind of drink is a guaranteed win for the holiday.
The possibilities there, too, are empty. That’s why we’re rounding up our suggestions for everyone’s perfect beverage. Maybe that means you and your loves ones getting to indulge in longtime loves, maybe it means being able to introduce your family member to something totally new and getting to watch them have that “I love this!” lightbulb moment. Either way, since you probably have it covered on whether you’re making green bean casserole or frozen pizza, let’s break down the drink options to make sure this Thanksgiving is special, shall we?
For Your Mom, Who Loves a Good Theme: Thanksgiving 2021 Strong Ale from Mayflower Brewing Company
If your mom has holiday-appropriate centerpieces and table settings for every occasion from Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day, she’ll definitely appreciate Mayflower Brewing Company’s Thanksgiving 2021. With its celebratory name and label art, this can fits right into the approximately 167 photos she’s going to take. Plus, Mom is bound to love the fact that for once, no one’s assuming that she only drinks white wine. This strong ale is perfectly indulgent without actually being heavy, or too strong, at 6.7% ABV. And with notes of caramel, vanilla, and spiced nuts, Thanksgiving 2021 is better than the best holiday pie--and pairs pretty great with one, too.
For Your Grandpa, the History Lover: Buzz Ale Belgian Blonde Ale from Montclair Brewery
It might be hard for Grandpa to tear himself away from The History Channel long enough to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, but this special beer from Montclair Brewery will be an instant hit. The Buzz Ale is brewed in honor of Buzz Aldrin, the legendary astronaut who just so happens to be from Montclair, himself. Montclair makes a habit of dedicating their unique brews to movers and shakers who have some connection to their own New Jersey territory. Not only will your grandfather get to geek out a bit with this brew, but it’s a crisp, balanced, hoppy, and hazy Belgian ale that’s refreshing, crowd-pleasing, and pairs well with truly any food that might be on the table.
For Your Cousin, Who Loves Keeping It Classic: R&H Pilsner from Rubsam & Horrmann Brewing Company
If your cousin prides themselves on being a purist, they won’t be able to find even one little flaw with Rubsam & Horrmann’s R&H Pilsner. A beer this crisp, clean, crushable, hop-bitter, and grainy-sweet is bound to delight literally anyone, but it’s so good that it’s indeed ready to stand up to even the most discerning tastes. It also happens to be a modern brew from a revived brewery that helped shape American beer, and is a shining example of the no-frills, simply and reliably good, versatile, and oh so classic pilsner.
For Your S.O., Who Knows Every Hot Hazy on Beer Instagram: Vision Quest IPA from Champion Brewing Company
There’s likely to be at least one other clued in craft beer geek at your festivities, aside from yourself, of course. Your S.O. might be the one up on every beer trend and every hot brewery, and there’s a good chance their regular go-to favorite is a hazy, juicy, hoppy IPA. If that’s the case, a special affair like Thanksgiving calls for a hazy IPA that stands out from a sea of other hazy IPAs, one that’s especially flavorful and well made. Champion’s Vision Quest Hazy IPA is more than up to the challenge. It’s brewed with flaked oats and unmalted wheat for a smoothie consistency that’s irresistible, ready to wow even a seasoned IPA fan.
For Your Aunt, For Whom Life Between Tropical Vacays Is Just Filler: Paradise Punch Sour Ale from TALEA Beer Co.
You’d call your aunt annoying with her endless photo show-and-tells and year-round flip-flops, but you know the truth is that you’re actually just jealous. The lady knows how to live her best life, whether that’s dancing at Margaritaville or gazing at endless sparkling blue water from a lounger in St. Barts. This lifestyle translates to a devoted preference for vibrant, fruity cocktails when it comes to imbibing, so your aunt has long assumed beer is not her cup of tea. But TALEA’s beautifully, expertly brewed beers don’t only make the hearts of dedicated beer fans sing. With harmonious balances of sweet, sour, tart, bright, smooth, and bitter, they capture everything you could love about wine and cocktails. Your aunt will swoon for the Paradise Punch Sour Ale, brewed with pineapple, strawberry, and mango. It will immediately transport her to her favorite island getaway.
For Your Roommate, Who Is Inspiringly Involved in Every Environmental Cause: Oystout Oyster Stout from Ross Brewing Co.
Your roommate is someone we should all take our cues from. They’re tirelessly rolling up their sleeves to do the work, advocating for environmental causes, raising money, and physically getting out there any way they can. You compost now, thanks to them. A lovely way to toast their dedication and the motivation it gives you is with a beer that will resonate with them in cause. Ross Brewing’s Oystout is brewed in tribute to the American Littoral Society and its work restoring native oysters to two New Jersey rivers, in large part because of just how effective oysters are cleaning water. Proceeds from this beer benefit the ALS, and the can has a QR code so you and your roomie can learn more. As far as the taste, your roommate will love this chocolatey, lush oatmeal stout, balanced by an element of salinity and minerality, like a sea-salted chocolate bar.
For Your Sister, The Family Trend-Setter: Strawberry Banana Hard Seltzer Smoothie from Smooj
No one is more in the know, well connected, and on top of trends than your sis--just ask her thousands of Tik Tok followers. She’s hip to what’s cool, and frankly, it makes your life easier, since you can just get all of your tips and tricks from your regular catch-ups with her. She’s bound to love the Strawberry Banana Hard Seltzer Smoothie from Smooj. What box doesn’t it tick, aside from being sweet and tart, totally delicious, and an incredible balance of crisp and slushie-smoothie-lush? It’s pushing the hard seltzer trend into even fresher territory, it’s novel and inventive, and it’s got totally Instagram-friendly branding.
For Your BFF, The Somm in Training: Red Raspberry Piquette Spritz from Ditto
When it comes to your bestie, it’s hard to introduce them to anything they’re not already an expert on in the wine world. They’re incredibly knowledgeable about every varietal, maker, and innovation, and passionate about classic styles and new developments, alike. Maybe they even work with wine professionally, or aspire to. One thing that will still totally knock their socks off is the Red Raspberry Piquette Spritz from Ditto. The piquette is a centuries-old style being reimagined by creative brands like Ditto, who have, uniquely, made it their focus, so it will scratch every itch of interest for your friend. It’s got a whole story behind it, it’s intriguing, and oh yeah, it’s also so wonderfully tasty--even a non-wine drinker would love it, so your BFF will definitely fall in love.
For You, Who Deserves Something Delicious After All This Planning: Spiced Chai Cranberry Hard Tea Seltzer from Owl’s BrewGood job delighting all your loved ones with truly celebratory beverages, you! We’ve got just the pat on the back you deserve. The Spiced Chai Cranberry Hard Tea Seltzer from Owl’s Brew will get even the most jaded beer/seltzer/RTD fan on the edge of their seats, waiting for this crisp crack of the can opening and that electrifying fizz of the pour. It’s so rare for a brand to nail the warmer, spicier, more fall and winter-perfect flavors of something like a tea in the form of a refreshing, easy-drinking hard tea seltzer--leave it to Owl’s Brew, flavor geniuses who let tea’s natural flavors do the shining, to nail it. This drink is so different, complex, and balanced, it will appeal to anyone, no matter what their normal tipple is, and it will always feel a little extra special.