The Best Local Booze to Bring For Thanksgiving

by: Jimi The Intern
November 19, 2017

In our family, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a fridge stocked with a variety of libations.

My mom brings the Pinot Grigio, my uncle has a fresh case of his Coor’s Orginal, and I bring the local flare. For family holidays I always enjoy showcasing and sharing what our area has to offer with my family.

With so many local options to chose from, it’s easy to put together a full menu of local drinks.

Planning a Local Thanksgiving: Guest Feature

Whether you’re planning the meal, or just need to bring a drink as your contribution, here are a few beer, wine, and spirit options to consider this Thanksgiving.

Naughty and Spiced Holiday Ale
The Brewery at Hershey

Holiday spices abound in this winter warmer. You get flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove with a refreshing punch of orange zest. The winter warmer base is sweet and tames the spices to create a balanced beer.

Blizzard of Hops
Troegs Independent Brewing

thanksgiving beer

Blizzard is best drank fresh. This is one of, if not my favorite Troegs beer, and I usually can’t get enough of it. I love the bright flavors of pineapple, citrus, and pine that comes from the hops, and the malt offers just a hint of sweetness.

Blizzard goes well on any table and is be a beer that can be enjoyed all day.

Critical Condition
ZerØday Brewing Co.

ZerØday’s imperial amber ale presents a great balance of malt and hops. It’s a little higher in alcohol at 8% ABV, but that makes it an ideal beer to sip on while preparing dinner or watching football throughout the day.

Grab a crowler or two and treat your family to this Midtown brew.

Bonus: If it’s available, grab a crowler of ZerØday’s ginger beer (only $5), and use it as a local (and better) substitute in any cocktail calling for ginger beer.

Mulled Naughty and Spiced Wine
The Vineyard at Hershey

thanksgiving wine

This mulled wine is built on a Chambourcin base and has similar flavors to the Naughty and Spiced beer with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, clove, and just a hint of anise.


Sara’s Picks: Thanksgiving Wine, Cider & Beer

I’m hijacking Jimi’s post for a few of my own picks. 

Seconding Tröegs Blizzard of Hops — My first post-baby case of beer, and I’m drinking a can right now. This delicious and refreshing “winter” IPA is great for long days watching football from the couch, and it sure to be a hit on Turkey Day. Also worth seeking out, Tröegs Dead Reckoning Porter is another lovely cold-weather treat.

Beaujolais Nouveau — Thursday was Beaujolais Day, a tradition I haven’t missed since I learned about it many years ago. This first press of the Gamay grape from the French region of Beaujolais has a sweet start (I tend to liken it to raspberry jam), but finishes with a pleasant dryness. Serve this slightly chilled, and it’s a crowd pleaser. Perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Plus, it’s just $12.

On our Thanksgiving table this year: Ploughman Cider Pinot N’Arlet, a wild fermented cider aged on Pinot Noir skins. I nabbed a bottle (okay, two) of this one Saturday at Broad Street Market. The Pinot Noir skins (from a neighboring vineyard) lend its pinkish hue, which plays to my love of rosé wine, and like rosé, this cider is delightfully dry.

Speaking of rosé, a bottle or two of Waltz Vineyards Stiegel Rosé would make a fine addition to my kitchen your Thanksgiving table.


Spirits from Midstate Distillery

thanksgiving booze

Whether your cocktail recipe calls for rum, moonshine, or vodka, Midstate has a spirit that can give your drink a local twist.

A simple vodka + cranberry can be an after-meal treat if you’re feeling full but are ready to finally relax with a drink after washing the dishes. Or, you can try your hand at making a large-batch cocktail, like this Honey Punch, and feature it as a signature drink for your guests.

Blue Agave Spirit
Tattered Flag Brew Works and Distillery

Do you want to bring something wild to Thanksgiving? This is your ticket.

Technically it’s tequila, but of course, since it is not made in Jalisco, Mexico, they can’t call it authentic tequila. It’s a Blanco-style, so you’ll get notes of citrus, spice, and earthiness with a smooth finish.

Although this “PA-Tequila” is not ready for to-go sales just yet, Tattered Flag will be releasing it this week just in time for Thanksgiving.

Crafty Cranberry Cider
Wyndridge Farm

Apples and cranberries are two fruits you’ll find on most Thanksgiving tables in some form, so why not feature those flavors in your drinks?

In Wyndridge’s Craft Cranberry you get crisp apple flavor with a slight tartness from the fresh cranberry juice. This dry cider would delight any gluten-free guests you have coming to your get together.

Be sure to also check out the Pennsylvania-made aisles at Fine Wine & Good Spirits to find even more locally made products to bring to the table.

What local drinks will be on your table for Thanksgiving?

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