Do you think food pairings were limited only to wine? Then, you need to think again! When paired with the appropriate food item, the taste of beer is enhanced. Barbecue and grilled food served with beer is one such pairing that works well with most people.
A General Rule for Food and Beer Pairing
Beer that was used in the preparation of a dish should be the one that is served along with the dish.
The taste of beer varies from light to dark and strong beer. This variation in the beer taste provides scope for pairing it with varieties of food. Generally, it is considered that heavy drinks are to be clubbed with heavy meals and the lighter drinks with light meals. Also, there is an unsaid rule that bitter food should be paired with bitter-tasting beers and sweet food should be clubbed with sweet-tasting food. But who follows rules, right? Sit back and enjoy your drink with the kind of food that soothes your taste buds. Keep the barbecue ready, and serve it with the beers that we have mentioned here.
Beer for Barbecued and Grilled Food
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of “rules” that guide us through the food and beer pairings. So, before we look at the best beers for barbecue, here is a broad pairing guide for any kind of food. This is the thumb rule for food and beer pairings.
Light beer should go with light food and heavy beer with heavy food.
If you are serving beer with spicy food, make sure the beer has high maltiness.
Serving beer with food items that are cooked with wine is not such a great idea.
However, when you throw a party for your friends at your backyard, all you want is a barbecue, or grilling session along with your favorite bottle of beer. Grab these bottles of beer and enjoy yourself.
*Note: The food and beer pairings are mentioned in no particular order. The pairings are solely the writer’s choice.
Veggies and Amber Ale
When you have a lot of vegetable recipes, you can try to pair it with your favorite beer. Try coupling any light amber ale with grilled vegetables. The beer itself has a low to high malty character, citrus aroma, flavors, and is not hoppy bitter.
Spicy Marinades and Pilsner
Marinades work well with beef, chicken, pork, or lamb. Spicy marinade when served with chilled pilsner adds to the beer’s taste. The beer is light to golden in color. Czech-style pilsner has a lighter flavor while the European-style one has a sweet taste. The German-style pilsner has a bitter taste. Choose anyone of them to go with your spicy marinade.
Fish and IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
Indian Pale Ale can be paired with any meaty fish. The oiliness of the fish is reduced by the hoppy taste of the ale. There are American-style IPA, English-style IPA, and Double or Imperial IPA available in the market. Pick anyone of them to go along with your fish preparation.
Lamb and German-style Schwarzbier (Black Beer)/Oktoberfest
This is one of the dark lagers that is available but is a light-bodied lager. The beer has a hoppy bitterness and often comes with a dry taste. This beer when combined with lamb offers a good balance of taste.
Chicken and Porter
Porter is heavily malted, and due to the chocolate malt, it gets its dark color. The beer is a medium-bodied one, but has some bit of sweetness due to the malt. The varieties are English Porter, Anchor Porter, American Porter, etc., that are available in the market. Select anyone of them as it goes best with a chicken dish.
Pork and Stout/Hefeweizen
Stout is a dark beer with sweet and dry flavors. There are also burnt flavors available in stout. Hefeweizen is a wheat beer variety that has a sweet and fruity flavor. Grilled pork when served with these beer varieties blends with the herbal flavors of the beer.
ABV: 9% (Imperial Russian Stout)/ 4.0-7.0% (Hefeweizen)
Burgers and Doppelbocks/Scotch ales/Brown ales
All these three kinds of beer are strong and dark beers. The strong malt presence in these beers blends well with grilled meat, burgers, and steaks. Also, you can try out grilled sausages with these beers.
ABV: 7%-12% (Doppelbocks)/ 6.0-10.00% (Scotch ales)/ 4-8% (American brown ale)
Grilled Ribs and Imperial Porter
Left Hand SmokeJumper beer, an imperial porter, has a smoky flavor that arises from hand-smoked malts. This beer when clubbed with grilled ribs will add to its taste. Grill the ribs slowly so as to savor the ribs.
Grilled Corn and German-style Lager
The German-style lager, Surly Hell, is a light beer that will not elevate. This beer can be served with grilled corn on the cob. To enhance the corn’s taste, you can add lime juice and chili powder.
* ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume
Popular Beers for BBQ and Grills
Apart from the above, here are a few more beer and food pairings.
|Beer Type||Complimentary Food|
|Old Ale||Roasted beef, lamb, or game|
|Oatmeal Stout||Barbecued beef|
|Amber Lager||Barbecue, hamburgers|
|Pale Block||Thai or Korean barbecue|
You can try experimenting with different recipes, and pair it with your favorite beer. Choose the foods that suit your taste. Remember, what may work for others may not work for you. So, try new recipes, but till then, you can test the ones that we have listed. Go ahead and enjoy your drink with some tasty food.