Beer & BBQ Pairing
Primal scents of smoke and charred meat really get the thirst going, especially during those warm months. Some reach for wine or a cocktail and that’s fine, but for most aspiring grill masters nothing fits the bill like a good brew. Not only is the bubbly fermented barley beverage uber refreshing but it pairs remarkably well with food.
Some frosty cold ones and grilled/smoked BBQ go hand in hand. Here’s a little guide to know what to crack open with what ‘cue.
Here’s a few popular grill and barbecue favorites along with beer styles that enhance the experience.
Steak (beef)- The rich, hopefully tender cut of red meat needs a robust beer to compete.
Goes best with: Ideally Porters but also Stouts, Red Ales, and IPA’s (particularly if the steak is spicy.)
Burgers (beef)- An American backyard favorite that is full of flavor. Burgers need a slightly less potent suds style to wash them down.
Goes best with: Red and Amber ales are versatile and perfect for burgers. Brown Ales, Pale Ales, Lagers, and Porters will do the trick as well.
Chicken- Lighter in flavor than beef or pork, the good bird needs a brew that isn’t overpowering.
Goes best with: Blonde ales and American Wheat Ales go nicely. Belgian Wits and Hefeweizens are decent choices.
Pork Tenderloin, Chops, and Pork Shoulder (pulled pork)- Moderate, lesser hopped beers with some fruit notes seem to work best with swine.
Goes best with: Belgian Wits and Ales (usually wheat) brewed with fruit pair well. Pale Ales, Amber Ales, and Blonde Ales are adequate selections too.
Ribs- The indulgent, spicy barbecue favorite needs a fermented barley elixir that can stand up to its many flavors but yet doesn’t bully the babybacks.
Goes best with: Red and Amber Ales really compliment when eating high on the hog. Pale ales, IPA’s, and lagers are also solid at the table as well.
Wings- Spicy and tangy wings need something to stand up to the heat. Hop forward brews are a necessity.
Goes best with: IPA’s are perfect for wings. Pale Ale’s and Amber/Red Ales will work in a pinch.
Bratwurst- This versatile crowd pleaser really shines with an easy drinking beverage that has enough malt flavors to balance the sausage out.
Goes best with: Porters, Red Ales, Brown Ales, and Lagers are all excellent cooler selections. Pale Ales and IPAs are ok.
Beef Brisket- The quintessential BBQ hailing from Texas needs a big beer to compete with its big flavors-it is from Texas after all.
Goes best with: Roast-y Stouts pair perfectly with brisket. Porters work alright and IPA’s will hold their own to a lesser degree.
Seafood and Shrimp- These grill favorites are delicate and its important to buy suds that don’t overpower.
Goes best with: Hefeweizens and Lagers are classic pairings. Belgian Wits, many Blonde Ales, and some Pale Ales will work but aren’t ideal.