My family has always traditionally drunk wine at Thanksgiving, but I’m doing my best to educate them that beer is not just fizzy yellow crap (which they do enjoy, too), so I’m hoping to break the mold this year with some good Thanksgiving beers.

The good news is that traditional Thanksgiving feasts are going to do well with darn near any beers, so long as you stay away from some of the really hoppy stuff. Brown ales, dubbels, tripels, pale ales, ambers… they’re all going to be good.

I was reading Garret Oliver’s book, The Brewmaster’s Table, which is all about beer and food, and he says that the perfect Thanksgiving meal beer is the French style of biere de garde. To the best of my knowledge, I have yet to drink a biere de garde, but I had a bunch of them in my collection, so now is as good a time as any to break them out! (Correction: I reviewed La Divine back on July 18, 2009, here)

Biere de garde is a French farmhouse style, related to the Belgian saison, that was traditionally brewed in early Spring and then cellared until the warmer months to drink. These are common beers in northern France, so they will be very “Belgian” in character. They are available as blonde’s, ambers and browns (much like my womens! lol) and tend to be malty, spicy, with very little hop characteristics and a dry finish.

I have a Schlafly Biere de Garde to try out, as well as two from La Brasseurs de Gayant (who makes my favorite witbier, Amadeus, reviewed earlier), their La Divine label and Goudale. So, I’m looking forward to it. I will probably polish off a few Ska Brewing True Blonde’s during the day, too, and I’m taking my supplies (2:1 simple syrup and Angostura bitters) for Old Fashioneds, too, in the event that I stop while in Iowa for a bottle of Templeton Rye!