Memorial Day Beer and Food Pairing: Altbier and the Grill

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to get outside this weekend and soak in the sun for three days straight (provided we steer clear of the rain). Memorial Day weekend is prime time to fire up the grill, if you haven’t already, and I’ve got the perfect beer to pair with any of the dishes you might whip up.

Loaded Burgers

Altbier, or “old” beer in German, is one of those styles that aren’t always on the radar but, in my opinion, very much should be. Aroma-wise, altbier features agreeable notes of hops, a biscuity backbone and at times, a touch of fruit. Once you have a sip, you’re treated to a clean, balanced flavor that’s malty with a fresh, hard, bitter kick of hops. With its medium body and desiccant finish, altbier is surprisingly smooth, despite the hops bitterness.

A staple of Memorial Day for many people is sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers. Altbier can stand up to the test of any of these, even if they’re loaded with toppings – in fact, I wholly recommend it. If fish is more your style, pair altbier with grilled salmon or tuna. Even south-of-the-border-style Memorial Day parties will benefit from having altbier on hand, as it’s great with spicy dishes like tacos, burritos, fajitas and the like. I tend to take to grilling pizzas in my backyard during the summer and this beer style never steers me wrong.

Looking for a good altbier to try? Long Trail Double Bag is one of my favorites, but Deron’s got a list of his own too.


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