It’s peak BBQ season and there’s nothing quite like standing over a full grill with a cold beer in your hand.

Some people may be familiar with pairing food and wine together, but pairing delicious food with beer can be just as rewarding. Beer pairing can help enhance the flavour of your grilled dishes and bring your BBQ skills up to a whole new level of deliciousness.

And let’s face it, since it’s hot out you’re probably going to crack open a cold one anyways. Might as well make sure you choose the beer that works perfectly with your dish!

Here’s an easy guide on pairing popular BBQ dishes with the right beer

Hamburgers/Cheeseburger

Pairs well with Head Stock (IPA)

The assertive hops in Head Stock help cut through the fatty cheese and beef in burgers. The caramel malt complements the charred patty, while the pine finish evokes grilling in the great outdoors. Burgers include great flavour components already (rich, a little salty, and sweet/tangy from the condiments), so the bitterness from IPA’s really help complete it and let the flavours balance out perfectly.

Ribs

Pairs well with Cheeky Bastard (Stout)

The caramel malts and richer roasted notes in Cheeky Bastard perfectly complement the molasses and caramel of a good sticky rib sauce. You can even make a great BBQ sauce with beer to coat the ribs in!

Thinking of smoking your ribs? When used in a sauce, beer does a great job at keeping the moisture in!

Steak

Pairs well with Wicked Awesome (NEIPA)

Wicked Awesome is juicy and bright, without being overwhelming; which does a great job at balancing out the richness of steak. Crisp NEIPA’s like Wicked Awesome perfectly contrast the salt and smokiness from seasoning and grilling, and plays to the umami and fat in a rich cut. Plus, steak is the most wicked awesome of meats, so it makes sense to pair it with the most wicked awesome of beers!

Veggie/vegan burgers

Pairs well with Cause & Effect (Blonde Ale)

Don’t think we forgot about our veg-only friends out there! Since the flavour in meatless burgers tends to be pretty soft and mild, you want to make sure that you don’t overshadow the food with very hoppy or strong beers. That’s why it’s best to stick with a crisp, light and easy drinking beer like Cause & Effect.

Hot Dogs

Pairs well with Naughty Neighbour (APA)

Naughty Neighbour is a nice, crisp sessionable American Pale Ale that won’t overwhelm the flavours of hot dogs. And let’s be honest, hotdogs are all about the condiments (ketchup, mustard, pickles); the bitter hoppiness from APA’s cut through the sweetness of the condiments to balance the flavours out. Hot dogs are simple, so keep the pairing simple too, with a cold, crisp American Pale Ale that helps wash it down so nicely.

Pork Sausages

Pairs well with Immodest (Imperial IPA)

Beer and sausages are absolutely meant to be enjoyed together. The fat in pork pretty much begs for strong and hoppy beer, and an Imperial IPA really hits the mark. With Citra and Simcoe hops, and sitting at 9% ABV, Immodest will certainly do the trick. Immodest Imperial IPA has a huge hop bite that stands up to the savoury flavours of pork and rejuvenates your palate.

Shrimp kebabs

Pairs well with Duplicitous (Gose)

The flavours that Gose brings to the table is just like spritzing your shrimp with fresh lime and salt. Crisp, light and refreshing, Gose does a great job at pairing with a bunch of great summer foods, as mentioned in our previous blog post. Won’t overshadow the fresh flavours from seafood and compliments the sweetness and buttery flavours in shrimp.