Nothing says summer better than a nice hot plate of BBQ and a beer so cold that it sweats in your hand. Although any beer is a good beer, when it comes to BBQ beers you need one that is light and sessionable but still has enough flavor to stand up to those fire-cooked meats and tasty sauces. Thankfully, we are happy to seek those brews out and test them. So without further ado, here are 14 that have won us over during recent tasting bouts. Cheers!
Upslope Apricot Pale Ale (1)
Newly released as part of Upslope’s Taproom Series, this pale ale is brewed with apricot puree and combined with Eureka hops and premium malts. The crisp, light result pairs well with spicier foods such as Caribbean jerk wings. Also try: Upslope Craft Lager (2)
Good People Brewing Bearded Lady (3)
This light, refreshing American Wheat ale offers a slightly citrus taste, combining trace amounts of hops with a touch of tartness. It’s the perfect pairing with some Memphis Sausage and Cheese or even a good old breakfast omelette (we won’t judge). Also try: Good People Brewing Buffalo Rider Shandy (4)
Holy City Brewing Paradise IPA (5)
This IPA was brewed to support the victorious Don’t Drill SC movement and it turned out to be a great BBQ beer. A highly sessionable libation, it’s brewed with Citra and mosaic hops that make it fruity and refreshing and a perfect pairing for spicy barbecued chicken dishes.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale (6)
Mirror Pond is a traditional northwest pale ale brewed with a healthy amount of cascade hops and a variety of malts. This combination gives it a lingering but not overwhelming hoppy taste, with citrus notes perfect for spicy foods such as habanero glazed BBQ shrimp.
Zero Gravity Green State Lager (7)
Brewed with Noble hops and German pilsner malts, this crisp, easy pilsner is the perfect compliment to day drinking and BBQ. Pair it with brats, of course—it’s a German pilsner.
Tallgrass Brewing Half Pipe (8)
Half Pipe starts with a base pale ale that is then kettle-soured with lactobacillus and generously dry-hopped with Cascade hops. This creates a mildly tart and citrusy flavor profile that can cut through fatty meats like smoked pork belly or grilled brats. Also try: Tallgrass Songbird Saison (9)
Ska Brewing Mexican Logger (10)
The award-winning Mexican lager is Ska’s summer seasonal. A highly sessionable combination of Saaz hops and fresh grains, it’s the perfect warm weather beer to pair with burgers or even a grilled chicken salad. Also try: Ska Brewing Modus Mandarina (11)
Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale (12)
This west coast style pale ale is dry hopped with cascade hops, offering a ton of flavor and a crisp clean finish. Pair with any of your favorite BBQ staples like burgers, dogs or chicken.
New Belgium Slow Ride (13)
New Belgium’s session beer boasts a combination of eight different hop varieties offering notes of lemon, peach, lime and grapefruit. The high hoppiness allows it to stand up to dishes bursting with BBQ flavor like pulled pork. Also try: New Belgium 1554 Black Lager (14)