Schlafly Tells Us What Beer to Drink on Thanksgiving -- Before, During and After Dinner

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       Schlafly's chief brewer says pumpkin ale is a must. | RFT Photo
       Schlafly's chief brewer says pumpkin ale is a must. | RFT Photo

Thanksgiving can be a long day. The cooking, the family time, the football -- all that can really take its toll. Luckily, there are plenty of beers to keep you going (and sane). We talked to Schlafly to get some advice on what our stomach can take come Turkey Day.

See also: How to Locally Source a Thanksgiving Turkey in St. Louis

Schlafly chief brewer Stephen Hale suggested we start with something light. "Keeping in mind what kind of a day it is for most people, it's all about generally large amounts of food and drink," Hale says. "That being said, you don't necessarily want to fill up on a strong, super hoppy beer, although some people might prefer those."

Start with a Kölsch while you're working in the kitchen. It's light, crisp and clean, and on the lower end of the ABV spectrum at 4.8 percent. The Pale Ale -- Schlafly's flagship brew -- is a good one for early in the day, too.

To pair with your dinner, Hale recommends the Christmas Ale. It's spiced with orange peel, juniper berries, ginger root, cardamom and cloves.

"It's a mouthful of flavor that compliments a wide variety of foods," Hale says. An IPA definitely belongs on the holiday table, too, if you can handle it. "The Tasmanian has lots of aromatic, hoppy qualities and is also very malty," he says. Not your thing? Try another seasonal favorite.

"If you're going to limit and hone down the list, I don't see how you can't have Pumpkin Ale somewhere along the line. It's sort of a natural to fit in with a large meal like this," Hale says.

Next up: dessert.

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