What’s Your Go To BBQ Beer?

Labor Day is this weekend, and Don and I are both planning on grilling and chillin’ with our families. We’ve also decided to record a “grill session” podcast to commemorate this last great cooking-meat-over-an-open flame weekend of the summer.

The main subject will be the “best beers for barbecuing,” and we’d love to hear your favorite beer and food pairings for cookouts.

If you’d like to play along, please let us know your:

  • Go-to barbecue beers for beer nerds
  • What you serve for guests who aren’t beer aficionados (the gateway bbq beers!)

We’re recording the podcast tonight and would love to include some reader favorites in there, so please chime in below.  The podcast should be edited (trust me – it’s necessary!!) and ready by Friday morning if you’d like to give it a listen.

I’ll probably go the shish kabob route (both chicken and beef) for my barbecue this weekend, or maybe grill up a pork tenderloin with rosemary and garlic – I’m not sure yet.

For the beer pairing, I’m in the mood for a double IPA, which is rare, as I’m usually not a an IPA guy, no less a DIPA guy.  But I have an Avery Maharaja in the garage that’s been calling my name. But then again, a Saison Du Buff would be pretty magical with the pork.  Decisions, decisions.

I haven’t figured out what I’m serving to my guests, but it’ll probably be something nice, but “entry level” like Victory Lager or maybe even the stray cans of Yuengling I have knocking around in the beer fridge. We shall see.

So that’s what I’m doing – how about you?

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Categories: Beer


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33 Comments on “What’s Your Go To BBQ Beer?”

  1. Rob Crozier
    September 1, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    My favorites while grilling are a double IPA (Southern Tier 2XIPA) or a saison (Ommegang Hennepin). Something about the flavor while being outside and breathing in the fresh air mixed with the smells of what’s cooking on the grill are intoxicating.

    • September 1, 2010 at 11:27 am #

      That’s funny, because I listed a DIPA and a Saison, too. Maybe it’s not rocket science, huh? You’re right about the smells and flavors mixing well with the great outdoors. I also like Dale’s Pale Ale for that, too.

    • Don
      September 1, 2010 at 11:58 am #

      I like a good flavorful lager for grilling. Something like Kona Longboard is really nice and refreshing on a summer’s day by the grill.

  2. Marvin
    September 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    My BBQ beer is totally Full Sail Session. Love that beer. It was Mama’s Lil’ Yella Pils, but that’s a sore spot now, living in Idaho and all. For some reason I just like a good lager with BBQ. IPA’s are usually out as I like my food on the spicier side, and that’s just not good pairing.

    • September 1, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

      I’m also a big fan of a nice pils with BBQ. My go to is Victory Prima Pils, which is very fragrant and playful for the style. Mmmm…

      • Don
        September 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

        Actually here in Idaho, we don’t get too many snowy days, so I find I grill a lot in winter as well. That being the case I tend to go a little darker for my grilling brew. A nice porter like Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter goes great or a nice nut brown or Oatmeal Stout. Depends on how cold it is.

        • September 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

          Grill in winter can lead to a Nut Brown, especially if you’re standing too close for warmth!

        • Don
          September 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

          Fortunately the grill is right next to the house, so if it does get cold I can simply step inside! However this winter might be different as I now smoke cigars, and that is a strictly outdoor activity. I could see me grilling and smoking and drinking all together this winter. That could get chilly. Hopefully I won’t end up with brown nuts.

  3. Rob Crozier
    September 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I too have bottles of the Maharaja, DFH and Victory’s Saison du Buff just waiting for me to crack open. I just need the flimsiest of excuses to crack one open.

    • September 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

      Okay. It’s Wednesday Rob. Does that do it?

      • Rob Crozier
        September 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

        Yes, that’ll do it.

  4. September 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Dale’s. And I grill waay too much. Of course, summer last 13 months a year here. Not sure if you guys saw my birthday BBQ selection from last weekend, but it’s here: http://flametal.smugmug.com/Photography/Daily-Desaturation/13562335_zZQLV#988934468_rCnGf

    Missing from the shot are a Cigar City Jai Alai, a sixer of Bell’s Pale, a growler of Sculpin, and a Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. (that I consumed that night).

    • Don
      September 1, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

      Looks like a good line up. Also looks like you aren’t afraid of stouts in the summer. I am kinda, but Jim always drinks the dark stuff.

    • September 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

      Nice! That looks like the beers in my beer fridge, but the ones I have are still capped. Hey wait a minute…what happened to all of my beer!! Son of a…!!

  5. Daniele
    September 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi! Weighing in on the BBQ situation from NYC, land of few grills.

    My friend is having a BBQ at her house this Saturday. There’s a Southwestern theme goin on, so we’ll probably be grilling some spicy stuff, and there will be a ton of guacamole for sure. I could stare at the beer aisle in the supermarket for an hour and still not know what to pick (so many choices! Only 2 arms! So much delicious beer! Ahhh…). Usually some go-to beers for BBQs would be the local NY summer stuff like Blue Point Summer Ale. I’d say Brooklyn Summer, but it’s been kinda subpar lately so I wouldn’t recommend it =( If you want something from BB I’d go with the Pennant Ale if you’re getting bored with Brooklyn Lager.

    So now it’s random list time. My favorite beers that I’ve had this summer:

    -SixPoint Grand Cru (a little nutty and raisin-ey, probably good with spicier stuff, but a too strong to drink all day. Plus it only comes in the big bottle, so there’s that)
    -Great Lakes Dortmunder (sooo much flavor, o m g, unfortunately I’ve yet to see this one in NY stores) I just went to Cleveland to visit my grandma and I fell in love with Great Lakes because of that beer. Mmm…Dortmunder.
    -Smuttynose Star Island Single (the mermaid on the label adds to the flavor. Refreshing, cold and light)

    Also, I’ve never seen it in a store, just at Beer Island on Coney Island every summer…and I’m not sure if it’s a craft beer really, but Hofbrau Summer is pretty awesome, and would be a good beer for someone who drinks Shock Top (which I do enjoy sometimes, so…sh).

    If you can get a keg of Blue Point Blueberry…THAT would be a party. It’s so much better on draft than in the bottle. *drool* I could drink that all day long.

    • September 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

      I really haven’t tried anything from Blue Point yet. For some reason (and a dumb one) they remind me of South Hampton – a brewery I’m not too fond of. Like I said, a stupid reason.

      I’ll have to check them out – the blueberry sounds interesting.

      • Daniele
        September 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

        I’ve never had anything from South Hampton, but the Blueberry is freakin delicious. It’s not sweet, it just had this awesome blueberry aroma and a light crisp taste. It’s way better on tap than in the bottle, which I think is true of most craft beer anyway, so if you see it at a bar definitely order it. =)

        Also, another awesome BBQ beer which I totally forgot about is Sierra Nevada Summerfest! Oh, summer beers, how I love you. Except you, Brooklyn Summer, you go in the corner and think about what you’ve done!

  6. mikemoriendi
    September 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I actually had a BBQ this past weekend and supplied Aecht rauchbier, Stone Smoked Porter, Shiner Smokehaus and Dale’s Pale Ale. They were hits.

    • Don
      September 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

      I’d be interested to know which one was the most popular. I’m willing to guess that if it was hot, people gravitated towards the Dales.

      • mikemoriendi
        September 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

        A lot of the other people that came brought lots of other stuff too. It was a big beer and BBQ event with some friends. I’m not sure what everyone really liked. I have to say I’m a fan of Shiner Smokehaus. It’s enough smoke flavor to be there but not overboard. Plus it’s really light so I went through quite a few.

        • September 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

          I haven’t had it, but it sounds good. You want a little smoke so it goes well with BBQ, but the Chartooka I had was so smokey it was like drinking a pulled pork. Almost a recreation, not a pairing.

      • September 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

        I really like the Smokehaus. Rather than the traditional beechwood used for German rauchbier, they use mesquite wood. Every good Texan knows that there is no wood that is better than mesquite for BBQ.

        • Don
          September 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

          Texan’s and Mesquite. Personally I like a good piece of Hickory.

      • Big Tex
        September 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

        Hickory, Alder, and Apple… all respectable. But, Mesquite wins in my books. Maybe it’s because I can’t get it around here.

    • September 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

      Sounds like a smokin’ good time! I tried New Holland’s Chartooka Rye, which is made to go with BBQ pork and was disappointed, it was smokey (which is good) but also had an olive quality to it that was really kind of atrocious.

      So smoked beers= good, olivey smoked beers = yuck.

      And I would have run you out of Dale’s. 🙂

  7. September 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Beer alongside a BBQ? It has to be something light, refreshing & chilled which for me means an Augustiner Helles or three, especially if I’m cooking!

    However, the reason I’m posting is more to recommend my flavourite recipe on the BBQ rather than beer:

    BBQ’ed banana with cream

    Basically, right at the end of the BBQ when the coals are beginning to cool and all guests have finished their wonderful steaks what do you offer for dessert?
    (Yes, I still use a real BBQ and not one of these new-fangled gassy things, but I guess you may find a way to do this on those too)

    1 banana per person

    Slit banana along the length, but not right through. BTW the banana remains in the skin!
    Gently prise the banana open without allowing it to split right through.
    You now have something resembling a banana canoe or kayak.
    Fill the opening with demerara (brown) sugar.
    Gently pour as much rum into the banana and onto the sugar as it will hold.
    Wrap the (filled) banana in aluminium or as you say ‘aluminum’ foil and place into the now cooling coals of the BBQ.
    Leave for 10 minutes.

    Remove foil-wrapped parcels from coals, remove foil and place onto individual plates, serving with lashings of fresh cream.


    • Don
      September 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

      That sounds Awesome Keith! I have a bottle of Rum my son brought home from a work event too, so this will go great as a desert on Monday. I know it calls for fresh cream, but I think it would go great with a nice home made vanilla Ice Cream as well! I don’t use coals, but I can fake it on the Propane BBQ. Thanks! Have a great weekend.

      • September 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

        Yes Don, although I haven’t used ice cream I agree it would work equally well, maybe even better if the weather is hot.

        Personally I prefer to use a rum called Woods old 100, as in 100%, but any decent rum will do as it’s more about flavour than alcohol.
        BTW, the idea is to allow the banana / sugar / rum to get mushy but not burned.


        • Don
          September 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

          Thanks! I will.

  8. September 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    When I’m in Washington, I typically go for Mirror Pond pale ale from Deschutes or Bridgeport IPA. But when I was back in Texas earlier this summer, Shiner 101 (Czech style pilsner) and Shiner Smokehaus were my beers of choice for the grill. Oh, and Gubna.

    • September 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

      Y’all should try some fresh pineapple spears on the grill. Lightly grill it… just a slight char. Man, oh man… good stuff.

      • Don
        September 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm #


    • Don
      September 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

      Hard to beat Gubna!

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