Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations

With Thanksgiving upon us, we have those who have helped us in our hearts and turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie on our mind. Or maybe that’s just us! Many will spend the day with family and close friends, enjoying football, cheese balls, turkey, green bean casserole, pie and, of course, a good beer to wash it all down. That being said, you should put some thought into the beer selection you make.

There are a few things to take into consideration when picking out your beverage for the day, keeping in mind when you’ll be having it and what you will be eating. Your favorite beer might be a stout, but drinking something dark and heavy early in the day will fill you up quickly, leaving no room for all the fixins’ you thought about for the last week. Instead, stick with something light, like a lager or pilsner, until it’s time to enjoy your big meal.

When choosing a beer to have with dinner, you can go in a variety of directions. Sticking with the light beer you’ve already been drinking will allow you to taste all the flavors that are on your plate. Another option is a darker, malty beer that will allow the flavors to complement one another. If you are skipping the bird and having ham instead, it’s suggested that you pair it with a wheat beer, or “Weizen” as the Germans call it. And if you’re thinking about picking up an IPA, DON’T. The extra hops can take away all the rich flavors you’re expecting to have in the perfect bite you have on your fork.

After dinner is over and you’re ready for dessert, bring out those dark, heavy beers that you enjoy so much. The sweet, spiced or fruity beers pair perfectly with many of the desserts you may find on the table. A chocolate stout or a sour beer might bring out a few extra flavors in the pie mom made! Or maybe this year that pumpkin ale you’ve been dying to try will take the place of that piece of pie that you always have!

And if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the day without stepping foot in the kitchen, you should be extra thankful!

Lagers/Pilsners: Coors Brewing “Coors Banquet”, Bards Brewing “Bards (gluten free)”, or Flying Dog Brewery “UnderDog Atlantic Lager”

Ales: Big Sky Brewing “Moose Drool Brown Ale”, or Anchor Brewing “Brekle’s Brown”

Wheat/Weizen: New Belgium Brewing “Sunshine Wheat”, or Boulder Beer “Sweaty Betty Blonde”

Stouts: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Stout”, Lagunitas Brewing Company “Cappuccino Stout”, or Alaskan Brewing Company “Stout (oatmeal)”

Pumpkin Ale: Coors Brewing “Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale”, or Tommyknocker “Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale”

Zquila’s Bold Flavors Join Downtown

Picking a place to eat downtown just got that much harder.

Zquila Mexican Restaurant has now joined in the mix, giving us one more place to add to the list when deciding where to grab a burrito and a beer.  Lucky for us, we got an invite to check out the new digs before the official grand opening!  Zquila held two days of soft openings with a lunch and dinner session during each of the two days.  Each patron that was lucky enough to get an invite was able to order an entrée and soft drink of their choice on the house tab.  Clearly this was not an opportunity that we were going to pass up!

So a few of us stopped in for an early dinner on Tuesday to see what it was all about.  It was clear from the moment we walked in that they had paid attention to every detail, even the interior was amazing; we were in for a real treat.  After being greeted immediately by a more than pleasant staff, we sat down at our table and opened the menus.  Let’s just say that with 20 margaritas, over 40 tequilas and a wide variety of domestic and import beers it took us a minute (or two) to make our selection.  With drink decisions out of the way we turned our attention to the food menu which offers everything from enchiladas and tacos, to the Burrito Mignon and Zquila Caps (two choices we’d highly recommend!).

After four hours of great drinks, food packed with bold flavors, awesome service, and a lot of stories and laughter we called it a night.  It has already been decided that we’ll be making another visit soon, even if it’s just for their awesome early or late happy hour specials.  We’d highly recommend you check it out for yourself; they officially opened their doors for business today!

Big thanks to Zquila for the opportunity to check out the new place.  Welcome to the fun of Downtown Fort Collins!

The “Glass That Gives” and Gives Some More

This time of year reminds all of us to be thankful for the many great things in our lives.  Food, shelter, family, friends and fun are just of the few that come to mind first.  Being thankful is a great feeling and one of the best things to do this time of year is give a gift to show your appreciation to those that have been so good to you.  Besides, who doesn’t love seeing the look on someone else’s face after they receive a gift?  No one!

So New Belgium is helping you give two gifts at once!  They started their “Glass That Gives” promotion this week, and with every purchase of a pair of specialty New Belgium glasses they will donate $1 towards the charity of your choice.  Four organizations have been selected for your donating pleasure; Water Keeper Alliance, People for Bikes, Organic Farming Research Foundation and  These organizations aim to keep drinking water safe, increase the funding of our bike friendly community, raise the awareness of the benefits of organic farming, and focus funds on the climate issues surrounding the world.

We just wouldn’t have felt right not sharing this double dose of kindness.  Plus, this act of philanthropy is coming just in time for the holidays!