Here in a few hours, we’re going to saddle up and head down to the wilds of Virginia for Thanksgiving dinner. The hostess mailed out a menu earlier in the week, and I’m skipping breakfast in anticipation.

My contribution to the menu is “Autumn Ales”. I wasn’t able to get the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale that I wanted, but I think I did okay otherwise. Here’s what I’m taking:

  • Anchor Christmas Ale: mainly this year’s vintage, but also a couple of handfuls of bottles from 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 as well. This is the bulk of what I’m bringing, and I think it’ll go well with most everything.
  • Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale: This one is like Cool Whip on your pumpkin pie — it’s not really optional.
  • Smuttynose Scotch Style Ale: part of Smuttynose’s BIG BEER series. I’ve had mixed opinions about different Smuttynose offerings in the past, but I’m a sucker for a Scotch ale, so we’ll see. This is probably the beer I’m the least sure about taking.
  • Ommegang Three Philosophers: this is a quad from the Cooperstown-based Ommegang crew, with a interesting twist: they add a bit of Lindeman’s Kriek — a cherry lambic — to the mix (at what stage, I’m not sure). We tasted this in-store at Chevy Chase last weekend, and it was excellent. I think this will go really well with the turkey.
  • Allagash Four: another Belgian-style quad, this one from the Maine-based Allagash Brewing Company. This is a big 10% ABV bottle-conditioned monster, but it’s tasty and goes down smoothly. I think this is the appetizer beer.
  • Stone 8th Anniversary Ale: this is a surprisingly small and mild-mannered beer, given that it comes from Stone. Of course, that means it would rank as pretty big, were it to come from any other brewery. Another potential pre-dinner beer.
  • Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock: I haven’t tried this one yet, and I’m really looking forward to it. The label says “…the beer is slowly aged on a bed of rich chocolate…”, and I think the only rational response to that is “Yum!”. This is the dessert beer, all the way.
  • Taster cups: because most of these beers are in big “bomber”-style bottles, and I want people to have a chance to sample before committing to a whole glass full.

And now it’s getting to be time to start getting ready to leave. Hope everybody celebrating today has as good a time as I’m sure we’re going to have.

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