American Craft Beer Week falls in May, and we look forward to it every year—nearly as much as we look forward to dusting off our grills and throwing a thick Porterhouse down over the flames!
Being butchers who have practiced and honed our craft for five generations, we can appreciate the expertise, skill, and care that go into making a fine craft brew. We are passionate about cutting meat, sourcing the very best meat, and providing our customers with a peak dining experience. We feel that craft brewers are just as passionate about providing a delicious, high-quality, refreshing brew with every frothy glass.
Being cookbook authors and devoted home-cooks, we also love a great entrée and beverage pairing. We know how a fantastic meal can be elevated to new heights by a perfect pairing with a delicious microbrew—and vice versa.
So in honor of America’s craft brewers, grilling season, and great cuts of meat, we’ve put together some tantalizing pairings that you’ve really got to try!
Referred to as dark lagers, dunkels, Munich dunkels, or schwarzbiers, pair these deep-hued, malty lagers with roasted notes with foods that can stand up to them. Great summertime choices include low-and-slow barbequed Berkshire Baby Back or St. Louis Pork Ribs or the in-your-face spice of a sausage like Linguica or Chorizo.
Saranac Black Forest (NY)
Magic Hat Howl (VT)
Full Sail Ales Sessions Black (OR)
Samuel Adam’s Longshot: A Dark Night in Munich (MA)
American Amber, Vienna, Märzen, and Oktoberfest all fall under the amber lager umbrella. Pair an Amber lager with a juicy cheeseburger with white cheddar or jack cheese or a barbecued USDA Prime or Wagyu Brisket sandwich.
Sprecher Special Amber (WI)
Capital Brewery Capital Fest (WI)
Pilsner is a light and refreshing beer that’s perfect for summertime. Try it with an equally light entrée, such as our Seasoned Split Chickens, which are great on the grill and as convenient as can be!
Sprecher Summer Pils (WI)
Samuel Adams Noble Pils (MA)
These earthy, fruity white ales pair well with seafood. Treat yourself to a decadent Maine Lobster Tail on the grill. Then dress both the beer and your lobster with fresh wedges of lemon.
New Belgium Mothership Wit (CO)
Nebraska Brewing Company Infinite Wit (NE)
American Wheat Ale & Hefeweizen
American Wheat Ales and Hefeweizens are lighter in color. Hefeweizen have fruity notes, such as banana, and are often served with a wedge of orange or lemon. Likewise, fruit versions of wheat ales are often popular. Pair these beers with something equally light, such as a mixed greens salad topped with grilled chicken breast. Layer it with fresh citrus fruit and/or berries—grapefruit, mandarin orange, raspberries, and blackberries are great choices—and fresh goat cheese.
Kona Brewing Co. Hula Hefeweizen (HI)
Lake Placid Pub & Brewery High Peaks Hefeweizen (NY)
Montana Brewing Company Whitetail Wheat (MT)
Porters are dark, hearty, and sometimes a little bit sweet or smoky. Sounds like a perfect match for barbecue to us! Try a porter with a smoky BBQ beef brisket sandwich, dripping with sauce.
Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter (OR)
Rohrbach Brewing Company Vanilla Porter (NY)
Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter (HI)
These golden-hued, classic ales are crisp and bitter. Serve with always-welcome, juicy, grilled sliders topped with a sharp, aged English cheddar to stand up to the hops.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (OR)
Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale (DE)
Kona Brewing Co. Fire Rock Pale Ale (HI)
Oskar Blues Brewery Dale’s Pale Ale (CO)
Kölsch & Blonde/Golden Ale
These light-bodied, easy-drinking ales are perfect for summertime and for pairing with summertime foods. They pair well with a grilled chicken salad or smoked salmon canapés. They also pair nicely with a mild grilled sausage, such as a juicy Knackwurst or Chicken Supremo.
Grand Teton Brewing Company Old Faithful Ale (ID)
Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch (MA)
These deeply hued, nutty ales pair well with pork. Try them with your favorite pork sausage, such as Kielbasa, or try your hand at grill-roasting an impressive Rack of Pork or a succulent Boneless Center-Cut Pork Roast. Now that is a summertime feast to behold!
Abita Brewing Co. Turbodog (LA)
Ithaca Beer Company Nut Brown (NY)
Grand Teton Brewing Bitch Creek Ale (ID)
Stouts are known for their deep color, heavy body, and roasted flavor notes. It’s imperative to pair a stout with an equally rich food, even a spicy food. It’s a bit heavy for a summertime beer, but to make it work for grilling season, pair it with an equally substantial grilled entrée. Some of our favorites to pair with a stout are spicy barbecued beef short ribs, Jamaican jerk-rubbed grilled pork chops, or grilled chile rellenos.
Left Hand Brewing Co. Left Hand Milk Stout (CO)
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Cappuccino Stout (CA)
We know people are passionate about their craft beers, so we really want recommendations from you on what brews we should try next! What are your favorite craft beers or breweries? What’s your favorite craft beer and food pairing? Do you usually pair food with your beer or do you like to enjoy a craft brew on its own?