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Five Ways to Make Thanksgiving Better With Beer

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Thanksgiving is a time for coming together with the ones you love: your friends, your parents, you in-laws, those family friends who are guaranteed to strike up an awkward conversation with you, your crazy uncle who just wants to tell you stories about "the war" (which he may never have participated in). Shit, we need a drink already.

Chances are you do too, so we've prepared this quick guide to strategic Thanksgiving beer drinking.

For starters: toss one back approximately twenty minutes before your first Thanksgiving guests are scheduled to arrive. We'd say ten, but Lord knows Aunt Marcy is as punctual as she is scented like a drugstore candle. If you're heading out, drink a good brew before you head off (and get someone else to drive).

Before carving the bird: make sure all of your cool relatives (i.e. the ones you can have a decent conversation with) have brews in their mits. That way when Uncle Fred says grace, you can counter with a boisterous, group "Cheers!" Even your strange relatives will laugh (awkwardly) but you and your crew will feel secure in the knowledge that you're about to have a fabulous time.

The beer fake-out: Uh-oh! Grandma Jean wants to ask you how old you are...again. Explain to her politely that you're just on your way for grabbing a brew for Cousin Max and would it be okay if you came right back upon delivery. Once she's latched on to your younger sibling instead, she won't remember that you were supposed to come back. Sometimes you've got to pay your dues, kid.

The beer come-back: Grandpa Mort is a nice guy and just wants to share a beer with you. Unfortunately, his beer is frequently advertised during Football commercials and tastes like watered-down urine. That's when you strike with the beers you hid in the fridge earlier. Tell him you'd "love to share a beer and it just so happens that I brought these." Your goal is twofold: avoid the bad beer and perhaps expand the beer-drinking horizons of a dear family member. Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks.

Tryptofan afterglow: You're stuffed and you've managed to turn a potentially ugly family affair into the best time you've ever had with people you're related to. Time to sit back and enjoy your victory. That means it's time to break one open for yourself. We recommend finding a nice easy chair to lounge in as you do. If that's not something worth giving thanks to, we're not sure what is.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.