Beer of the Week: A Toast Before the Roast


Thanksgiving is the pinnacle of American traditions, no doubt. Stuff your face, watch football, pass out in a tryptophan-induced food coma before the nightly news. With so much awesomeness at hand, finding the appropriate ale to mark the occasion is a daunting task. Sure, the craft beer scene is awash in autumn-inspired offerings. It would be easy to pick any number of bottles stuffed with pumpkin spice and move on to food preparation. But you’re better than that. You need a beer that fires on all cylinders; something that tells any number of stories. Shapeshifter Scotch Ale is here for you.

Brewed earlier this season by Grimm Artisanal Ales, Shapeshifter arrived at the ideal moment in human history. For one, it’s brewed with dark candi syrup from Belgium, lending it the caramelized nuttiness that works well with any number of dishes populating the Turkey Day spread. An 8.3 percent ABV means you’ll be feeling its effects in no time, helping you deal with the stress of a lengthy afternoon with extended family. And the name of the beer itself also provides a coping mechanism, as you perilously attempt to squeeze into your jeans at the end of the holiday weekend. Surely it was the clothing, not your belly, that shifted shapes.

Shapeshifter is brewed in authentic scotch style, wherein the malt undergoes an extended boil, bringing more robust flavors and deeper mahogany colors into the glass. And as today’s headlines suggest, it’s a good time to be an immigrant in America. Whereas we might have once looked to pour out a suspected foreigner, drinkers are now free to weave Shapeshifter into the diverse cultural tapestry of the American dinner table.

So when you pop open a 22-ounce bomber next Thursday, remember you’re not just celebrating the beer’s well-rounded notes of toffee and spice, you’re also celebrating our way of life. Serve it out of a football, and you will have the most Thanksgiving beer of all time.

Grimm is a husband-and-wife team of nomads, making their limited releases in small batches at assorted breweries across the state. As such, no single offering will stay on the shelves for long. Check their twee-rific website for more info on where to track them down.