Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving with American Beers


So, my friends, my first mission has begun. I am hearing rumours that American Beers are worth investigating. I also hear that today there is a big celebration called Thanksgiving taking place in the USA, so what better time to put my sleuthing powers to the test . . .?

My cousins in Yellowstone Park tell me that for Thanksgiving they get together with family & friends every 4th Thursday in November & have a big feast, mais pourquoi?

I have discovered that Thanksgiving is a day of communal celebration, where people of all faiths express their gratitude for the good things in life. It marks the anniversary of the day in autumn 1621 on which the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest together with their Native American neighbours. Aha!

Our chums in the USA are known to take turns around the Thanksgiving table stating what they are each thankful for. I would like to say, I am thankful for a chance to try American Beers!

MAGNIFYING GLASS MOMENT Your Sleuthing Squirrel Friend (moi) has done some research. I have discovered that although most of us dans l’Europe think of American Beers as mass-produced & bland, this is far from the truth. In fact, since the 1980’s, the USA has become “home to the worlds most diverse & dynamic beer culture” (The Oxford Companion to Beer).

This diversity was created, it seems by a variety of factors, cultural & historical.

It is often thought that the Pilgrim Fathers (yes, them again) themselves introduced beer to America but in fact, the local indigenous people already brewed beer in North America. Immigrants added to the mix as brewers from Holland settled in Manhattan, German brewers brought their specialist techniques & yeast strains & the British brought their IPAs (India Pale Ales) & ales. The Czechs brought pilsner-style lager beers & us Belgians took our creativity!

Moments in history have had a big influence on American Beers over the years. Prohibition, the Gold Rush, the creation of giant brewing dynasties such as Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors & the Micro-brewing Revolution of the 1980’s all played their part in the development of beer style & flavour. We don’t have enough room here to cover it all, perhaps another day! . . .

ALORS, LET’S TRY SOME BEER I have a petit selection for you to try, from the big name lager beers to the less well known but popular IPAs. They are available from most supermarkets or off licenses.

Budweiser www.budweiser.co.uk or www.budweiser.com

Samuel Adams www.samueladams.com

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale www.sierranevada.com

Goose Island IPA www.gooseisland.com

Blue Moon www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.co.uk or www.bluemoonbeer.com

Why not try them & tell me what you think? I will post some tasting notes tomorrow, along with some ideas for food to go with them. Remember, keep an open mind. Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving!

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