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Optimal Beer Pairings for Your 4th of July BBQ

Optimal Beer Pairings for Your 4th of July BBQ

When it comes to the backyard BBQ season, Fourth of July weekend is probably the Mecca of grilling out.  As we stare into the beauty of a hot charcoal grill and smell the aroma of the skillfully grilled food which awaits our palates, many of us think about wanting an ice cold beer to tie everything together.

Still, while a certain kinds of beer may be ideal for burgers, it’s probably not what’s going to do the most for Cajun chicken or grilled oysters. 

Therefore, when it comes to pairing the right beer with your grilled creations on this Independence Day, there are a few rules to follow:

1.) BURGERS—When you have a cheeseburger that’s filled with four of the five basic tastes—salt (meat, cheese), sour (pickles, mustard), sweet (ketchup, tomato), and savory (meat), a great beer pairing will be one that takes care of the last taste: bitter.  To handle this, the perfect beer tends to be some form of an IPA or smoked porter, since both types tend to offer char-friendly malt flavors that are well-balanced and deliciously aromatic. 

2.) SAUSAGES—Without being too broad, sausages are one of the only foods which tend to fit with any type of beer.  Fatty and rich, they have no problem being complimented by the dense maltiness of an amber or brown lager, the bitter flavorings of an IPA, or the vibrant flavor of a German lager.

3.) STEAK—As the granddaddy of all grilling fare, the steak is already a spectacle in its own right; however, with steak’s robust beefy flavors, it’s important to select a beer that can help emphasize those wonderful qualities.

Your steak is already loaded with fat and savory flavorings, so contrasting it with the roasty bitterness of the darkened malt found in stouts or porters will really lend itself to a delicious pairing.  For leaner cuts, however, it’s important to consider choosing a slightly less aggressive beer, such as a light brown ale.

4.) CHICKEN—Since chicken itself has a mild flavor, many of us choose to add various marinades or sauces, which means you’ll actually want add a beer which complements the extras ingredients,  rather than the chicken itself.

For simple BBQ chicken, an amber-brown lager will make a delicious pairing because the two have some similarities in their light sweetness; however, for a chicken that is loaded with herbs, your best bet is a blonde beer that will play into spices such as rosemary, lemon, parsley, and coriander.

5.) SEAFOOD—Since most seafood tends to have a lighter, more delicate flavor, you’ll want a beer that doesn’t trample those tastes.  To match things like shrimp or lobster, a great partner is something with a bit of sweetness—such as a Witbier—or for a drier choice, opt for a Pilsner. 

In the end, while there is certainly nothing like a well chosen beer to go with some well chosen fare, the best part of the Fourth of July tends to be the way it brings friends and family together.  On this Independence Day, we at Gratitude Goodies wish you nothing but good food, good company, and fun times.

As always, thank you for making us Atlanta’s #1 signature gift basket company and a Forsyth County Business of the Year!

Diane Campbell | Gratitude Goodies | www.gratitudegoodies.com | 770-886-9598

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