It’s time to up your BBQ game, people. Stop putting out those same, weak, flavorless beers and offer up some smashing flavor combinations! There’s nothing better than sipping on a witbier as you dive into some freshly grilled shrimp skewers, trust us! Go on and discover how to perfectly compliment your favorite BBQ fare.
When deciding what to pair with your bird, first consider its preparation. If you' re serving up a zesty, citrusy, herby chicken, go with a beer that complements these flavors. Blondes, which offer a doughy mouthfeel with bright notes of citrus and pepper, are an ideal match.
If you’re adventurous and serving up spicy, jerked chicken, pair your poultry with a beer that will beat the heat like a helles lager or a blonde. The light, refreshingly sweet flavors of these brews cut the dish's spiciness and add complexity to the chicken’s flavor.
With their juicy meat, sweet sauces, umami cheeses, and sour pickles, burgers are a flavor seekers paradise. With all of this to offer, choose a beer that compliments the burger’s full packageand perhaps fills in the missing flavor profile: bitter. Black IPA’s give off roasty malts and bitter hops to add to the burger’s complexity and complete the tasty depth you seek. Another option is a smoked porter, especially for burgers topped with bacon, BBQ sauce, or bleu cheese. The roasty, smoky, bitter flavors will host the tastiest party for your taste buds when paired properly. Don’t be shy, try this pairing with this MexiBBQ Burger!
Opting for a lighter option? Then you should opt for a lighter flavored beer. Both turkey and veggie burgers (or Quinoa Burgers, for that matter) pair well with the caramelized maltiness and intricate hop-bitterness of English ESBs (extra-special bitters). Alternatively, brown ales are another great option for non-beef burgers. With their nutty, malty essences, brown ales help bring out the seasoning of your patties and compliment their lighter flavor.
For the purists out there, a steak is the perfect BBQ food. Thanks to their juicy fats, steaks offer a wonderful umami experience. As such, stouts and porters with a strong roastiness are fantastic at complimenting this sweet/salty flavor. When the malts of stouts and porters are deeply roasted, they experience the same carbonization as the blackened crust of a grilled steak. This creates a delightfully similar flavor and an outstanding pairing experience. Try it with this Hanger Steak!
You can’t go wrong with sausage. However, to please your inner cicerone, try pairing sausages with their kin – German lagers. Thanks to grilling, sausages acquire a nice, crispy, caramel crust that pairs excellently with the exceptional maltiness of dunkels, Viennas, of Märzens. Loaded with their own toasted caramel flavors, these brown lagers are superb matches for your grilled, meaty links. If you’re lucky enough to find a rauchbier (aka tastes-like-woodsmoke-and-bacon beer), you’ll be in sausage pairing heaven. The added smoke flavor will bring your Choripan con Chimichurri to the next level of mouthwatering!
Lookin’ to get wet n’ wild? Grilled seafood is a place to get a little more daring in your beer selections. If you’ve ever wondered what pairs well with a sour Berliner weisse or gose, white fish and shellfish are your ticket! Just think of the beer’s sourness as a spritz of lemon and you’ll be prepared to enhance your meal. For those on the fence about sour beers, take a good-old fashioned pilsner for a spin. The slightly dry and subtle bitterness of this beer will help balance fatty, buttery flavors common to salmon or lobster. As for shellfish specifically, witbiers do wonders with their spicy citrus-ness. They also help bring out shellfish’s delicate sweetness, especially with these Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers.
Prefer #thatveggielife? Cheers your grilled peppers, corn, or zucchini with light beers like German pilsners or helles lagers. The subtle flavors of these brews will simply brighten up the flavorings of your veggies instead of overpowering them with strong bitterness or maltiness. On the other hand, if you’re into veggies but want an extra, fatty punch, try elotes! Thanks to their added fats, these cheesy, mayonaisey delicacies pair excellently with APAs (American pale ales) or saisons. You can take our word for it, or make elotes for yourself!