Tradition

26 Nov

I love this time of the year

This weekend, more than any other of the year, makes me think of the importance of tradition.  We get together with friends and family for a turkey dinner and we decorate our Christmas tree several days later.  That was how we always did it in my family, and I have been adamant about keeping that tradition alive in our house.  

Another tradition I intend to keep up is the brewing of our holiday ale: The Gobbler.  I got the idea to brew this beer three years ago as a beverage to compliment my turkey dinner.  I roast a big bird every year in my pig roasting box (37 lbs this year!) and decided that many of the spices I use in my brine would fit nicely in a beer.  The Gobbler has a dark copper color and a big malt profile that Mike and I compliment with orange peel, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaf, and peppercorns.  The sweeter spices come through with the initial tastes, while the savory peppercorns and bay leaf round out the back end as the beer washes over the sides of the tongue.  The hops are relegated to bittering duty in this beer…we don’t want them stealing the show from the spices and working against it’s natural inclination to pair well with Thanksgiving-type foods.  This beer can stand up to any savory dish on your Thanksgiving table, as well as most desserts.  This year’s version was slightly sweeter than last years, but the cinnamon got toned down, which really allowed the other spices to shine.  I was really happy with how it turned out.

Even though we have tinkered with the recipe every year, we are committed to the intent of the beer: a holiday ale brewed specifically for Thanksgiving dinner, yet still good for any cold winter night in Portland.  It’s only three years old, but a tradition has to start somewhere.

That’s what a 37 lb. turkey looks like after I get done with it.

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