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Thanksgiving beers

Don’t get us wrong: We love turkey and stuffing as much as the next red-blooded American. But during this food-filled holiday, we sometimes require something a touch harder than gravy to get us through the family-filled celebration. Eeek, the family. On Thanksgiving, try one of these 25 beers, which will take you from appetizers to entrées and dessert. And yes, it’s totally appropriate to drink your dessert.

APPETIZERS
Hangar 24 Orange Wheat: Whole oranges are added to this California wheat ale, giving the tangy treat a beguiling citrus profile.

Victory Prima Pils: This bracingly effervescent pilsner is snappy and spicy, with a serious bitter bite. It drinks dry and ends with a gently sweet aftertaste.

Stone Levitation Ale: Though California’s Stone is known for big, bitter beers, the brewery also has deft touch with lower-alcohol beers. This copper-toned brew possesses a caramel backbone, with light floral hops and a mild mouthfeel.

21st Amendment Bitter American: The canned beer is a low-alcohol beauty boasting an appealing bitterness that’ll keep you sipping through the entire six-pack.

Lagunitas DayTime: This is one of my favorite new brews of 2012. The “fractional IPA” dials down the booze, but still presents lovely layers of citrus and grass matched to toasty malt.

Orval: You’ll spot Orval by its unique bottle, which recalls a curvaceous bowling pin. Inside sits a generously hopped elixir that, when consumed fresh, offers up spicy bitterness and a dry character. Given time, the bitterness fades and Brettanomyces yeast adds a funky, pleasing component.

Maine Peeper Ale: The small, Portland, Maine, brewery focuses on flavorful, compulsively drinkable suds such as Pepper, a West Coast–style pale ale bursting with a fresh, citrusy scent.

Hops & Grain Pale Dog: The Texas brewery’s canine-themed ale displays a winning pedigree. It’s dry and hoppy, with an appealing bitterness supplied by Summit, Columbus and Cascade hops.

MAIN COURSE
Southampton Saison Deluxe: 
The pale-gold saison pours displays dense head, with tropical notes of pineapple and passion fruit. It drinks smooth, with delicately fruit, earth and an herbal bitterness.

Two Brothers Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale: The smooth and malty amber brew’s bouquet recalls caramel and toast, which is echoed on the palate. It’s finished with a bit of hop bitterness.

Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale: The Boston-based brewery uses locally harvested cranberries in this malty, lightly sweet beer with a subtle tart finish.

Ommegang Abbey Ale. The ruby-hued brew’s 8.5 percent ABV slices through starches and fats, imparting flavors of dried fruit and licorice. There’s some nice sweetness in there as well.

Funkwerks Saison: This Fort Collins, Colorado, brewery makes some of America’s best Belgian-inspired ales. Try the flagship Saison, a tour de force of citrus and black pepper

The Bruery Autumn Maple: The perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner? Perhaps this Belgian-inspired beer brewed with boatloads of yams, plus cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup.

Pretty Things Jack D’Or: Brewed by husband-wife duo Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette, Jack is peppery, yeasty and citric, with a hint of hop bitterness.

Saison Dupont: The farm-based Belgian brewery uses spring water and proprietary yeast strains to manufacture this style-bearing saison. Its vibrant lemon-honey hue is partnered with a bouquet of cloves and pears and energetic carbonation.

DESSERT
Magic Hat Heart of Darkness: The Vermont brewery’s silky winter seasonal decants the color of coal, with a lovely jolt of bittersweet chocolate.

Founders Breakfast Stout: The smooth, rich and roasty stout is like drinking drunken coffee with a splash of cream.

Deschutes The Abyss: Deschutes’ dark jewel is brewed with licorice and molasses, then partly aged in oak and bourbon barrels to soak up the flavors of spirits and wood. The blended outcome calls to mind coffee, chocolate, vanilla and roasted malts.

Southern Tier Pumking: The New York brewery tosses in tons of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into Pumking, which drinks like boozy, liquefied pumpkin pie. In fact, it’s so sweet that you might just want to serve it for dessert.

Cape Ann Brewing Company Fisherman’s Stout: This stout is brewed with pumpkin flesh, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Happily, these spices remain subtle accents and never overwhelm the rich, silky creation.

Furthermore Fallen Apple: The blend of cider and a cream ale is smooth, tart and bubbly as all get-out. It’d make a great mate to apple pie.

Unibroue Éphémère: A measure of apple must gives the cloudy blanche, or witbier, a tart nose and a quenching sour edge.

AFTER DINNER
DuClaw Retribution: The Maryland brewery’s imperial stout takes a long nap in bourbon barrels, creating a snifter-worthy indulgence loaded with flavors of espresso, chocolate and vanilla.

Samuel Adams Utopias: The 10th anniversary of the Utopias project checks in at 29 percent ABV, calling to mind sherry, port of Cognac. Sip it slow.

Read more Thanksgiving booze stories on Food Republic: