If you’re anything like us, your summer weekends (and some weekdays) will be littered with backyard barbecues, yard games, and a whole lot of sitting in lawn chairs throwing back beers. Summer is grilling weather, after all, and it’s time to take advantage of that. To fully appreciate the season, your’re going to want to have marinated meats, burgers, sausages, corn, vegetables, and maybe even something for your vegan and vegetarian friends (Impossible Burger, anyone?) on the grill as often as possible these next few months. You’re also going to want some brews in the fridge.
So what beers pair well with food hot off the grill? To solve that riddle, we asked some of our favorite brewers to tell us their go-to beers to drink at cookouts and barbecues during the dog days of summer.
Founders Red Rye
Jason Santamaria, co-founder and brewmaster at Second Self Brewing Co.
A Rye IPA, like Founder’s Red Rye, has always been my favorite for BBQs. The spice from the rye brings out the smoke of any dish, and the hops have a way of cutting through the fat of any BBQ dish.
Dogfish Head SeaQuench
Matt McCall, brewmaster at Coney Island Brewing
Dogfishead’s Seaquench is my new go-to. It’s super sessionable but has a lot of culinary-inspired ingredients — which pair perfectly with BBQ.
Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Steven Pauwels, brewmaster at Boulevard Brewing Company
Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze is my grilling pick — it cuts through any greasy burger and just tastes good in a back yard on a hot day.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Rhett Dougherty, head brewer at Veza Sur Brewing Co.
The interplay between roasted meats and dark beers can be such a thing of beauty. Deschutes Brewery has the perfect complement to burgers and steaks on the grill with their Black Butte Porter. This beer is wonderful to enjoy while in the acts of both cooking and eating and is the quintessential porter of the Pacific Northwest.
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
Mike Stoneburg, brewmaster at Blue Point Brewing
Sam Smiths Nut Brown Ale. Malty, nutty and dry. Perfect for some flavor in the sun.
Josh Waldman, brewmaster at Elysian Brewing
Georgetown Brewing — Lucille. It’s delicious. Bright and bold aromas.
Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap
Cody Reif, research & development brewer at New Belgium Brewing
When I think BBQ, I think Austin and when I think Austin, I think Austin Beerworks. Their Pearl Snap is perfect for everything from burgers to brisket. Malty without being too much. Full of flavor but also refreshing.
Sudwerk Hoppy Lager
Scott Ungermann, brewmaster at Anchor Brewing
That depends on what I’m cooking, but let’s assume it’s grilled chicken and grilled salmon. I’ll have a Sudwerk Hoppy Lager.
Sierra Nevada Torpedo
View this post on Instagram
#sierranevadabrewing #sierranevadatorpedo #ipa #americanipa #indiapaleale #craftbeerlife #craftbeer #craftbeerlove #craftbeerlover #craftbeers #craftbeerporn #craftbeerfan #craftbeergeek #craftbeerculture #birra #birrapertorio #birrapertoriodelxino #cervezaartesana #cerveza #cervejaartesanal #cerveja #cervesaartesanal #cerveceros #cervejeiros #cervezaartesanal #cervesaartesana #americanbeer #americancraftbeerweek
Tim Matthews, head of brewing operations at Oskar Blues Brewery
Sounds like I’m swinging by for a six pack of Hop Torpedo by Sierra Nevada. I tend to love the whole flower hop flavor from Sierra Nevada when I’m eating off the smoker or grill.
Dan Weber, innovation brewer at Dogfish Head
My go-to brewery when food is in the mix is Allagash. Allagash White will go with any dish and now is available in cans, which I love. River Trip is also an excellent choice from them for food pairing. Don’t be afraid to drink dark beer just because it’s warm out though. Lots of brown ales, porters, and stouts are truly what pairs best with barbecue if that’s what you’re after.
Chris Rockwood, head brewer at Magic Hat
Ommegang Hennepin: I have always had a strong appreciation for Belgian style beers and Hennepin is one I have enjoyed for a while. Every backyard BBQ has a different food menu, though there are often a few staples. The yeast character and flavor profile stand up to the boldest dish yet are delicate enough for the lighter options that might be offered.
De Dolle Oerbier
View this post on Instagram
비정기 맥주 시음기🍺 No. 3 ⠀ <De Dolle Oerbier> 드돌레 오르비어 ⠀ 이 리뷰를 아현이에게 바칩니다🙏(@cherrycake26) 생일 선물로 사다줬는데 이제야 먹어보는 맥주. 위트위트에 찾아갔을 때, 계산대 옆 신상 라인업에서 봤던 기억이 있다. 먼저 귀여운 캐릭터와 패키징으로 눈을 사로잡는다. 색깔은 갈색에 어느 정도 탁도가 있으며 거품이 풍성하게 난다. 칠링하지 않은 잔에 별 생각 없이 따랐다가 끊임없이 올라오는 거품에 애를 먹었다더라. 한 입 머금자마자 꽤 도수가 있다는 것이 바로 느껴진다. 그제서야 라벨을 살피니 자그마치 9도란다. 대다수의 도수가 있는 편인 맥주들이 대개 진한 단맛을 가지고 도수가 높아질수록 그 단맛이 강해진다는 느낌이 들었다. 탄산감이 강하지 않아 부드러운 느낌인데, 도수 탓인지 약간의 묵직함도 느껴진다. 지배적인 단맛과 강한 이스트의 향이 인상적이다. 몰트와 홉의 향은 잘 모르지만 이스트와 함께 꽤나 자기주장을 하고 있지 않을까 추측해본다. 여러가지 몰트나 홉을 경험해보지 못해서인지 머릿속에 특정되지 않은 새로운 향들을 만나면 표현이 어렵다. 역시 아는 만큼 보인다고 이런 맥주들을 만날수록 여러가지 원재료들이 가진 향과 맛에 대해 경험해보고싶어진다! . . . #비정기맥주시음기 #술스타그램 #크래프트비어 #드돌레오르비어 #dedolleoerbier #위트위트
Joe Connolly, director at Springdale Beer
My ideal BBQ situation involves ribs and brisket, so I want to be drinking a De Dolle Oerbier. There’s a caramelized sweetness that really sings with the food, and a zippy, palate scrubbing effervescence that ushers along the fatty meat.