Brewers Tell Us Their Favorite Beers To Pair With A Summer Barbecue

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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.

Georgetown Lucille

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

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.

Allagash White

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.

Ommegang Hennepin

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

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.



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