The Best Beers for a BBQ

Photo by: Epicurious
Pair with Beef: Full Sail Session Black, Oregon
($10 for a six-pack)
5.4 percent ABV

Call it a delicious contradiction: Though this full-bodied schwarzbier is as dark as the ... more 
Photo by: Epicurious
Pair with Beef: Full Sail Session Black, Oregon
($10 for a six-pack)
5.4 percent ABV

Call it a delicious contradiction: Though this full-bodied schwarzbier is as dark as the depths of night, it drinks deceptively light, boasting flavors of chocolate and roasted malts that match up nicely to a well-charred burger or steak. The lager's crispness also ably slices through beef's luscious fatty flavors, leaving you longing for another sip, then another bite. Repeat as necessary.

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1 / 5
Mon, Jul 1, 2013 1:44 PM EDT
Joshua M. Bernstein




Five great brews to drink with meats and veggies cooked on the grill, fired in the smoker, or slathered with sauce



Barbecue season is upon us, and for many, it's a merry time of spatulas, tongs, and belly-stuffing celebrations with family and friends, along with exalting mankind's most primal union: fire and meat. But while apron-clad cooks obsessively select their cuts of meat and measure marinades with scientific precision that would impress a Top Chef, the beer pairing is barely given a thought. After all, beer is beer, right?



Not quite. Each protein (whether surf or turf) or vegetable has a singular flavor profile and deserves to be carefully coupled with a beer, and one that's not just a can of the cheapest ubiquitous lager. Think about it: A fragrant, refreshing hefeweizen like Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier may be a grand grilled-vegetable or -shellfish pairing, but it's overwhelmed by the earthy, rich flavors of a hamburger or a steak. Instead, red meats work well with a dark, easy-to-drink schwarzbier or black lager, such as Full Sail Session Black. The strong, gamy flavor of lamb can be tamed by a figgy, malt-forward Belgian-style dubbel (a rich ale made with twice the standard amount of malt) such as Ommegang Abbey, which would dominate grilled chicken. Fowl finds its best match in a rustic, farmhouse-house style ale, like Saison Dupont.



So before you dump charcoal into the grill or click the ignition button, make a run to your local beer store to stock up on these suds. Every great backyard barbecue deserves a great beer-or five.



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