Barbecue season is coming. Go locate that grill scraper or brush that seems to allude you when needed most and put it in a readily accessible place. The season of glorious smells and cold, refreshing drinks is readily approaching and nothing, other than warm weather and barbecued food itself, complements this season better than………wait for it………..beer. There is no doubt that the big breweries have successfully marketed the hell out of their beers in connection with barbecue’n, and there is nothing wrong with brand name beers. Sometimes it is good to have basic beers such as Bud light, to account for the unenlightened beer drinker in your group. After all, some sadly would say “all beers are similar;” ya, perhaps only in the fact they are all carbonated.
For those of you wishing to escape the confines of major brand name beers, those looking to drink more delicious beers with their delectable meals, those hosts looking to answer the inevitable question from guests “where did you get this beer from” over and over again, and those looking to support the local bay area craft breweries, there are many options:
- Cooking straight chicken on that grill? Pair it with a lighter and more bitter beer such as Lagunitas IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, or Anchor Steam.
- Going to season that chicken, perhaps batter it in BBQ sauce? Pair it with a more medium bodied beer like Gordon Biersch Marzen, or Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA.
- Pork it is! Pair it with an amber ale or perhaps think a little outside the box and go with a wheat beer such as Pyramid Haywire to complement; salty and sweet. If your thinking tenderloin, think stout dark. However, if marinating that tenderloin with teriyaki sauce trying a wheat beer could still be an option.
- Thinking of searing up some steak, a burger, perhaps ribs. Seasoned or not, sauced up or not, pair your meats with darker, less hoppy ales. Try Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, Lost Coast Alley Cat Amber Ale, *Big Sky Moose Drool,* or Lost Coast Downtown Brown. For beer drinkers who just can’t get enough of the real dark stuff, give Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, *Rogue Chocolate Stout,* or *Rogue Mocha Porter* a go.
- Surf and turf or just surf for that matter. Pair your shellfish with darker beers (like those mentioned for the beef) and your fish, shrimp, lobster, and crab with lighter beer such as a Gordon Biersch Czech Style Pilsner or wheat beers like Pyramid Haywire.
*denotes non bay area based brewery*