Perfect Pair: Best Craft Beers To Serve At Your Summer BBQ

It’s barbecue season, which means firing up the grill and getting your favorite meats ready for the heat. The art of the perfect barbecue is finely crafted, as it calls for just the right selection of rubs and sauces to complement your meat choices. The side dishes are specifically prepared to be the perfect accompaniment to your full-flavored main dishes, and the warm air and summer breezes make the flavors even better. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you pick just the right beers to go with each meat you are serving—you wouldn’t want to have a poor beer choice ruin the flavor of your crafted barbecue treats. As you are planning your barbecue this summer, consider looking at any of these great craft beers to help bring out the best flavors in each dish you choose.

Pair Full Sail Session Black with Steak

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Grilling up some steak? Then try this full-bodied brew with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. The crispness of this lager makes it the perfect accompaniment to the fatty flavors of a finely prepared steak. Full Sail Session Black is made in Oregon, but it is available in 31 states and offers shipping to even more. The Full Sail Brewing Company makes a fantastic line of craft beers, all of which are definitely worthy of your next backyard barbecue.

Pair Boulder Beer’s Hazed and Infused with Hamburgers

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If hamburgers are on the menu, you’ll want something to cut through the richness of the beef and a light pale ale like Boulder Beer’s Hazed and Confused from Boulder, Colo. is a fantastic choice. This craft beer is an unfiltered amber ale with a full aromatic flavor made of four different blended hops. It’s perfect for that hamburger or cheeseburger.

Pair Alaskan Smoked Porter with Ribs

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When it comes to pairing beer with ribs, a lot depends on the sauce you use. For a traditional Memphis-style barbecue sauce, try pairing with Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Company. This beer is known as a “rauchbier,” which is a smoke-flavored beer that was only brought to the United States in select states from Germany in 1988. It is a dark, robust and smoky beer, perfect for bring out the smoky flavors in your favorite sauces.

Pair Eagle Rock Revolution XPA with Potato Salad

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Don’t forget to think about the side dishes. Most barbecues aren’t complete without a healthy serving of potato salad, and that sweet, starchy flavor needs just the right beer. A hoppy pale ale with a lot of bright and refreshing hop presence is just what you need to accompany your spuds. Revolution XPA is an extra pale ale from Eagle Rock Brewery, making it very easy to drink and a favorite for your next barbecue.

Pair Brooklyn Pennant Ale with Hot Dogs

Photo Credit Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Photo Credit Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Brooklyn Pennant Ale from Brooklyn Brewery is a honey-colored pale ale with a lot of malt and hop character. With a clean smell and a thick finish, this pale ale is perfect for the salty simplicity of a hot dog or two. Of course, it is also a beer that supports the Brooklyn Dodgers, as it was named in their honor, in memory of the 1955 World Championships. This beer is sold in 25 states, so chances are pretty good that you’ll find some Brooklyn Pennant Ale near you.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at


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