Thanksgiving is the best holiday, and second place isn't close. I deeply regret that I spent several obnoxious years pretending that Thanksgiving is overrated. That's preposterous, for it is impossible to be too enthusiastic about a midweek vacation day devoted entirely to sloth and excess.
Even if you get stuck working, it beats a normal day, because there's nothing much going on and no one's paying attention, so you can just play with your phone and drink blackberry brandy from a ziplock bag—please don't do this if you're a bus driver, say, or the guy in charge of not burning my pie—and if you're lucky, you might even get paid time-and-a-half to do so.
There's no religious component to fake, the only stuff you have to buy are things designed exclusively for pleasurable ingestion, and fine, fuck it, I'm a meathead, I'll say it: It's kinda nice to have football droning on in the background all day. You don't even have to pay attention. Just glance over at the tube every few minutes to see if Barry Sanders is doing something awesome. If he's not, no problem, just turn your attention back to auto-erotically asphyxiating yourself with mashed potatoes.
I do have one complaint about Thanksgiving, though: I'm tired of people who are tired of turkey. On the one hand, I get it. I'm not sitting here telling you turkey is the best. It's not ham, it's not lamb, it's not even peanut butter. But it's still plenty good enough, so let's all pipe down with the gratuitous contrarianism. Oh, are you cool and with-it and iconoclastic enough to stick it the man by making pulled pork on Thanksgiving? Well aren't you just spectacular. No, really, you are. That sounds awesome. I'll be over around 3.
I'm not saying you've got to cook turkey, I'm just asking that you respect those of us who go the easy, traditional route. No shame in rubbing salt all over a gigantic dead bird, tearing out its backbone, smooshing it into the oven, and hacking its unevenly cooked carcass apart several hours later to the roar of the crowd, you know what I'm saying? Turkey's good.
It is in the spirit of acceptance and magnanimity that I come before you today to apologize for my previous denunciations of the D. G. Yuengling and Sons brewing company. While it is still true that I find the mediocre-at-best Traditional Lager to be implausibly popular among insecure Pennsylvanians desperate for something to take pride in, it's not fair to insult an entire brewery based on just one beer. So let us now consider Yuengling Black & Tan, a bottled blend of Yuengling's Dark Brewed Porter with their Premium Beer (the latter of which is a lager similar to the flagship brand).
This beer pours half a tick lighter than black, with a fizzy tan head that makes it look like Coca-Cola. Good start: Who doesn't like Coca-Cola!? The aroma suggests a slightly roasted lager, with a faint hint of chocolate beneath sweet, grapey grain. Yuengling Black & Tan tastes clean, with a nice little cocoa-powder kick on the short, off-dry finish, and it's perfectly fucking fine.
Do you like to keep it traditional at Thanksgiving, with turkey and stuffing and football and all the rest of that good stuff? That's cool. Do you also like beer? Then consider a nice, refreshing saison with your meal, or a pilsner on the hoppier side for the style, like a Firestone Walker Pivo or a Victory Prima. Maybe stay away from IPAs, though? Excess hoppiness can overwhelm the blander Thanksgiving foods.
But hey, here's another idea: Do you want to celebrate America's greatest holiday by drinking a beer from our oldest brewery? Fine by me, friend. Try the Black & Tan.
This is Drunkspin Daily, the Concourse's adequate source for booze news, reviews, and bullshit. We'll be highlighting a beer a day in this space; please leave suggestions below.
Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., and some of his closest friends have met Certified Cicerones. Find him on Twitter @WillGordonAgain. Image by Jim Cooke.
The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter.