Every man’s got that inner love of BBQ, it’s a fact of our biology, but what happens when we mix that with the love of beer? Only good things!
BBQ is among the best savoury food out there, and when paired with one of the best drinks, it makes for a great sensory experience that can’t be passed up! So what’s the catch with BBQ and beer then? The only problem is, how are you going to set up your BBQ party? What are the best foods to try out, what are the best beers to go alongside, and how do you go about pairing the two together? Don’t worry, here we talk about the best BBQ food, the best drinks, and how you can make them work together to give both you and your guests a great BBQ and Beer party to remember!
Planning a Select BBQ and Beer Party
The first and best step to make at any party is having a good plan to put into action. A BBQ and Beer party is a pretty easy one to set up. Usually, you won’t have too many guests, which means even people with little space to use can host one of these fantastic get-togethers. Inviting only your close friends to try this is best so you can focus on getting the food right. It would be way too hard to do 10 portions, as this kind of party relies on getting your food bang on!
You should plan out your space well, there should be comfortable seating, preferably around an outside table, but none will do as well. You should use proper ceramic plates, metal utensils, and plenty of space for plating the food. What’s more important is ample access to the all-important drinks, as refills will be a must!
Finally, proper preparation for your food is important. You won’t be serving any stale-breaded, tomato ketchup-drowned, supermarket burgers. Only the best for your guests for this event. Though Supermarkets often have some more luxury BBQ meats, it is often best to go to stand-alone butchers or farms to get the best quality meats for your BBQ. It’s also a great idea to crack out the cookbooks or online recipes and search for some great dishes to try out with your friends!
The Best BBQ foods
When looking for the best ingredients to cook, in particular for this special event, it can be quite confusing. There are so many options out there, so many meals that you think could work perfectly, but there is also the danger of misguiding recipes that could ruin the tasting experience. For this kind of BBQ party, the right flavours mixed are key, so it is worth researching the topic yourself and even testing on yourself or your family, before the party itself.
Some of our favourite BBQ foods, split into the types of food, are
Our favourite two sausages for barbecuing are the Swaledale Lamb Merguez Sausages, and the Farmison Lamb Merguez Sausages.
The Swaledale Lamb Merguez Sausages are an interesting combination of lamb shoulder and breast with a mix of delicious seasoning containing garlic, caraway, cinnamon and ground fennel. Though they are more subtle in flavouring than their aroma would tell, they are well-balanced and warming sausages perfect for a BBQ!
The Farmison Lamb Merguez Sausages are spiced lamb sausages as well, but with meat from the shoulder and neck. Their flavouring includes cumin, coriander, paprika, and chilli. These are bold aromatics and flavours and have a lovely spice to them. They are a treat for anyone’s BBQ.
There is a key distinction between BBQ chicken breast, legs and wings, the three most important parts of the chicken. Our favourite ways to prepare them are:
The chicken breast is best ovened, but the wings and legs are better grilled. Other than that, you can marinade them all the same. You don’t need to get the chicken at any specific place, but a butcher is best for quality. Our favourite way to oven cook is with a classic southern BBQ marinade, but also with a seasoning mix added to the chicken first, the best being the Korean BBQ blend from Alton’s BBQ World, which adds a lovely kick to the chicken. However when grilling, it is better to add a light coating of sauce, and possible have the mix as an additional condiment after cooking.
No BBQ is complete without Burgers, but to have extra special Burgers, it is best to make them yourself with a mix that is specially seasoned to perfection. However, it’s not just the meat that will make the burger complete, but the extras are important as well.
You should make your patty out of beef mince mixed with ‘Stacey’s Hamburger Seasoning‘ for an amazing flavour. Cook to perfection in the size you want, and we recommend adding maple-cured bacon, melted cheddar, the necessary salad, caramelised onions, and Southern BBQ Sauce. Mouth-watering enough?
Steaks are an absolute classic when it comes to BBQ, and the best cut of steak to cook is easily the Rib-eye. Full of beefy flavour and tenderness, it is a joy to cook these. There’s not much else to say when it comes to steak. Many people look to have the steak flavour itself, in which case you don’t need anything else added other than regular salt and pepper seasoning.
If you want to go a little more adventurous, then we recommend you try out the Meat Church ‘Holy Gospel’ Seasoning. Full of smoky and peppery flavour this BBQ rub will add another level to the already delicious Rib-eye!
The Best Beers
Of course, we can’t forget about the drinks. Each different beer has a different taste, and this is particularly true with craft beers. Therefore, craft beers are the best option for this kind of BBQ party. There are loads of options of craft beer for tasting that are locally produced across the country, many available to buy in supermarkets, but also elsewhere.
Not just that, but why not try to make your beer at home? This is a growing trend on the internet, with loads of YouTubers and other personalities teaching how to make their classic homemade beers, to more adventurous drinks, like banana wine! Your friends will love a homemade craft beer tasting with a BBQ for sure! If you are feeling daring, try making your beer, but it’s more than fine if you don’t want to go to that level!
Another option similar to beers is craft ciders, which are also fairly interesting to make yourself. Cider tasting is already a popular past-time, and though beer is the better drink to pair with a BBQ party, ciders are also very often great alternatives. This is especially true for a premium cider tasting.
What types of beers are best for a BBQ:
- Stout – Strong malt flavour with undertones of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.
- Porter – A more moderate malt flavour with hints of chocolate
- Amber Ale – has a well-balanced flavour of malt with caramel richness, and a crisp, dry finish.
- IPA – Has a pronounced medium finish and hops flavour
- Pale Ale – A classic medium beer, with delicious mild hops flavour and finish
- Pale Lager – A high carbonation, a light malt taste and a dry finish make this beer delicious.
- Hefeweizen – A lovely fruity, high carbonation, and low bitterness beer
The Best BBQ and Beer Pairings to try
If we didn’t now talk about how to pair the beers and the BBQ, then this wouldn’t be complete. There is a whole range of great flavours to try pairing together, but many won’t be perfect. It is important to consider the finer details, so we decided to consider them ourselves.
These are our favourite pairings, and why:
The best stout to try with your bbq is Organic Chocolate Stout. This pairs excellently with something that can stand up to its strong yet smooth and creamy taste. Our recommendation would be BBQ ribs, or perhaps a bacon burger with strong cheddar! The combination of strong BBQ flavours and roast chocolaty malts is an experience to remember!
A great Porter to pair with is Taddy Porter. A British favourite, it has an amazing figgy dry flavour to it. This makes it a great flavour-enhancing drink to go with very rich meats on your BBQ, particularly beef. This would be a great pairing for a rich steak.
Kwak Amber Ale is a lovely smoked amber ale with hints of malt which is blended and fermented with toffee flavours. It is a medium amber ale, and that means it adds to a well-needed taste when paired with heavier, savoury BBQ food. Try it with a heavy gourmet burger, the bigger the better!
Electric Bear above the clouds IPA is a lovely light beer that has a whole bunch of colourful flavours to go alongside it. This will help lighten more intense BBQ flavours, and so the best foods to pair with this tongue-tingling drink would be beef brisket or a hearty steak.
There are many Pale Ales add tropical flavours, but for this, we don’t want anything too overboard. Black Sheep Special Ale is a great mix of classic malt flavour, as well as lovely fruit undertones. This is something that you should pair with a lighter BBQ meat with a similarly subtle taste, for example specially seasoned chicken would be a great pairing.
With medium flavours and medium body, these are often some of the more classic beers you’ll find. A great high-quality option to try is the german Keller Pale Lager. Pale Lagers support good hearty food, particularly with bread or buns. Therefore the best foods to pair this Pale Lager with are burgers, pulled pork baps dripping in BBQ sauce, and maybe even a roast turkey and stuffing sandwich! Remember, let the food do the talking!
These german wheat beers stand out with the fluffy mouthfeel they give, alongside their pale colour and dry finish. A great one to try out is Ayinger Bräuweisse, which also has a delicious wheat malt flavour. These beers go great with food that is dripping with scrumptious sauce, and so go great with BBQ wings, ribs or chicken legs.
Now that you have a strong list of recommendations, you have a great foundation to begin planning your BBQ tasting party. Don’t think that our suggestions are final, these are just what we feel are best. If you know a better beer to try out, then go for it.
A BBQ and Beer party is a great way to test for future events, with what foods to cook, what drinks pair best with them, and what drinks will be the best to offer. Don’t just stick to certain pairs of beers and BBQ foods as written, but feel free to experiment with different combinations and find out what is best.
And of course, remember that it’s not just the beer or the BBQ, but both that make this kind of party as enjoyable as it can be, make sure you pay equal attention to the quality of both BBQ and beer. Happy Barbecuing!