Grilling This July 4th? Perfect Beer Pairings.

I don’t know about all of you, but I know I’ll be grilling up some delicious meat this 4th of July. What’s on my menu? We’ll be going with some hearty German sausages, grilled to perfection with fresh peppers and onions. Just thinking about it has my mouth watering.

Of course, the food you choose to grill should dictate which type of beer you’ll drink with it. I say should because it’s not necessary to pair specific beers with foods, but it certainly makes for a much more enjoyable experience for the mouth. Not sure what brew to pair with what you’re cooking? This list might just help you out.

German Sausage
We’ll start with what I’ll pair with my main course. A hearty German sausage requires a beer to match, but not overtake, its flavor. I suggest a doppelbock. My favorite? Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock. You can’t go wrong. If Ayinger’s doesn’t suit you, check out Deron’s Top 5 Doppelbocks for more inspiration.

Hamburger can really be paired with almost any brew, but my best choice would be a hoppy IPA, like Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, or an American Strong Ale, like Great Lakes Nosferatu. Both offer floral, bitter hops, which really pair well with a burger, but if you’re not as into hoppy beers as you are maltly ones, I would suggest Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. It still has a hoppy kick, but is moreso tipped to the malt end of the scale than other Dogfish Head brews.

Barbecued Chicken or Pork
Most BBQ sauces are on the sweet and zesty side. In my humble opinion, a perfect beer to pair with almost anything barbecued is a hefeweizen. They’re light and fresh, usually with a hint of citrus, clove and banana. Unlike other wheat beers, which are filtered, hefeweizens offer a heavier mouthfeel, so you won’t feel like you’re sipping down something too light and soda-like. A great hefeweizen to try is Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss.

Marinated Chicken
An American wheat ale is perfect for almost any chicken marinade. Their light citrusy flavor, usually tipped with a hint of honey, both refreshes and matches grilled marinated chicken like none other. Although I’m not usually a huge wheat fan, Magic Hat Hocus Pocus fits the bill perfectly here, just as an American wheat should.

Having something this weekend I haven’t covered? Comment on the post and I’ll do my best to help you find the perfect beer pairing for your meal.




  • Ed July 2, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Ich glaube das nicht! Wurst ohne Bitburger! [tisk tisk tisk]

  • Hannah July 3, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Alright, alright, Ed. Bitburger would be perfect with the German sausage too 🙂

  • MARIAN July 4, 2009 @ 9:57am

    HELP, S.O.S , HELP ME PLEASE .I’m making JELLO SHOTS for a party how do you make them slid out of the cups easy it’s my first try I was forced into this.

  • Hannah July 5, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Marian – if you’re using regular shot glasses or plastic cups, you pretty much have to slide them out with your tongue – setting the bottoms of the glasses or cups in hot water for a short while can help. Otherwise, my best suggestion is to use the paper shot cups, since they can be flipped inside-out ( or the twist ‘n shot cups (, if you’re looking for something that can be used again and again.

    Hope that helps and have a happy holiday weekend!

  • Joe July 10, 2009 @ 10:34am

    If you want an easy slide out for your Jello-o shots try using PAM cooking spray and use it generously. I used mine in plastic mouth wash cups and they came out with ease.

  • Hannah July 10, 2009 @ 10:45am

    Joe – thanks for the suggestion 🙂 I wonder though, does the PAM spray add any bizarre flavor?

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