“Pick Cider” -Mattie Beason
Thanksgiving is a wonderful meal. What’s not to love about a tender turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, gravy, and pie? There is one element of the meal that has always felt… under considered. So much thought goes into food at the most festive meal of the year, that when it comes time to grab a drink most of us tend to reach for whatever is handy. Beer? Sure, as long as it’s cold. Wine? Yup. Bourbon? Just cut to the chase and make it a double. But, let’s be honest, none of these beverages seems to fit with the seasonal glory and bold flavors of the holiday table. Even seasonal craft brews often come up short. After all, does anyone really want to drink a beer that tastes like pumpkin pie with, well… pumpkin pie? The rise of craft ciders is the answer we have been waiting for. They provide one of autumn’s essential flavors — apples, which though they may be a crowd favorite when incorporated into pie, are far too often overlooked in our Thanksgiving spirits. Light and acidic cider cuts through the gravy and provide a palate cleanser in between bites, and its relatively modest alcohol content ensures that everyone will be awake for the fourth quarter.
North Carolina is embracing the craft cider boom, so we paid a visit to Carolina’s top cider evangelist, Mattie Beason, who gave us the lowdown on cider and why it works so well with Thanksgiving. Beason, who offers upwards of 90 different ciders at his restaurant, Black Twig Cider House, in Durham, gave us a shopping list of five North Carolina ciders that are sure to perk up your tastebuds for that third helping of stuffing.
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