As a craft beer enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to add great beer to my dinners and thought I’d share two of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes I’ve made with beer.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Making your own cranberry sauce is super easy and tastes so much better than the canned stuff. Following the directions on the bag of fresh cranberries you would normally add water and sugar, bring to a boil then chill when they’ve all popped. I’ve spiced this simple dish up by substituting water with my favorite citrusy IPA. The hops bitterness really takes things up a notch! A bag of cranberries costs less than a dollar so you can play around with different beers beforehand and find the right one for your palate. Finch Beer Company’s Plumage should fit the bill. You could also try substituting Crane’s Gooseberry Gose for a unique twist!

Sweet Potato Casserole

I’ve made this dish for years and get rave reviews. I start by boiling two cans of sweet potatoes (drained) in my favorite pumpkin or nut brown ale until tender. This transfers the spices from the beer to the potatoes. While the potatoes are boiling I add about a ¼ cup each of real maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir often. Once the liquid has mostly boiled away I mash the potatoes and put in a casserole dish. While the potatoes are boiling I combine half a stick of softened butter, a cup of walnuts and a ¼ cup of brown sugar to top the casserole. Sprinkle the coated nuts around. I then bake the casserole at 350 until it firms up a bit. That usually takes about 30 minutes. It’s so good! Piney River’s Sweet Potato Ale or Goodwood’s Walnut Brown Ale are excellent choices for this recipe.

For more ideas, check out Draft Magazine’s recipe list and Craftbeer.com beer Thanksgiving Dinner beer pairing guide. Don’t forget to get your Thanksgiving Day growlers filled by Wednesday! You’ll find several of the beers mentioned above on our tap list.