Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes barbecue season. What could be better than spending some quality time in the backyard, grilling up some grub, and drinking some great beers! A challenge some folks face is finding a beer that is going to compliment their food nicely, but also be complex enough to enjoy on it’s own. Of course there are a lot different beer styles out there and literally thousands of different beers from different breweries Today, we’re going to focus on a range of somewhat malty beers, all the way to very dark beers. Don’t freak out hop heads, these beers taste so good with food, that you’ll be glad to put your IPA down for a little while. To limit our scope even further, we’re going to look at bottled beers that we have for sale here at the Dram Shop, just on the outside chance that you might want to swing by and pick one up before your next barbecue!
Piraat Belgian Pale: This Belgian beer is a rich and rounded brew. Deep golden with a subtle haze from lack of filtering, this beer will pair well with grilled salmon and vegetables. With lots of hops, malt, and a mild Belgian sweetness, Piraat will stand up to marinated and grilled chicken and pork as well. Look out for spices and tropical fruit s on the finish here.
Rodenbach Grand Cru: A blend of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 of beer aged 2 years in large oak vats, this beer is a very mellow Belgian sour. The proportion of oak matured beer contributes to complex and the intense, fruity taste. The finish is worthy of a great wine, making it a great pairing for just about anything you might choose to grill.
Ayinger Alt-Dunkel: Dark chocolate in color, you can see a wonderful reflection if you hold it up to the light. It is round and soft with the warm, sweet aroma of freshly roasted malted barley. This is great all around malty beer. With a satisfying, malty taste of toffee and a hint of plummy fruitiness in the finish, this beer compliment almost any marinade or smokey sauce.
Windmer/Deschutes Collaboration Alt Bitter aged in Bourbon Barrels: This beer is a blend of imperial barrel-aged versions of Deschutes Bachelor Bitter and Widmer Brothers’ Altbier. Imperial versions of both beers were blended together, then 50% was aged in rye whiskey barrels before blending back together again to create AltBitter. The subtle bourbon flavors blend with strong Malts and sit in the back when paired with Barbecue sauce and charred vegetables.
Full Sail – Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout: This year’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout is inky black with aroma of dried cherry, shaved chocolate, and whiskey. It has a full malty palate with flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry, dried figs and a subtle hint of molasses. It finishes warm on the palate and slow cooked or smoked meats will compliment this big Imperial Stout. Also, don’t overlook desert with a beer like this. A scoop of vanilla ice cream will mellow the big strong flavors present here.
Most of these beers are somewhat dry, full bodied, and flavorful enough to stand up to your favorite food off the grill without losing their very unique identities.
One last thing to note; one of the reasons that malty beers pair so well with the sweet, smoky flavors of barbeque is because they tend to have a somewhat dry mouth feel. So we say go ahead and see for yourself, throw some food on the grill, and crack one of these awesome beers!