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Ten Beer Styles to Pair with your BBQ

Pairing beer with BBQ is a great way to enhance your dining experience. The right beer can complement the smoky, savory flavors of grilled meats, while also refreshing the palate and cutting through the richness of heavier dishes.


  1. American Pale Ale: This style of beer has a hoppy bitterness that can help balance out the sweetness of BBQ sauce, while also complementing the smoky flavors of grilled meats. The fruity and citrusy notes of American Pale Ales can also add a refreshing touch to your BBQ meal.

  2. Brown Ale: The caramel and toffee notes in brown ales can match the caramelization on grilled meats, making it a great choice for pairing with BBQ. The nutty flavors in some brown ales can also work well with the smokiness of BBQ.

  3. Porter: A porter's roasty and chocolaty flavors can complement the smoky flavors of BBQ, while its smooth texture can help balance out spicier dishes. If you're having a heavier BBQ meal, a porter can be a good choice to hold up to those bold flavors.

  4. Belgian Saison: A Belgian saison's light, effervescent character and subtle spiciness can make it a refreshing complement to BBQ flavors. It's a great choice for lighter BBQ dishes like grilled chicken or fish.

  5. Smoked Beer: As the name suggests, smoked beer is brewed with smoked malt, which can create a smoky flavor that pairs well with BBQ. This beer style is a great choice if you're looking to amplify the smokiness of your BBQ dish.

  6. IPA: An IPA's bitterness and hop flavors can contrast the sweetness of BBQ sauce, while its carbonation can refresh the palate. This beer style is a great choice for spicier BBQ dishes, as the bitterness can help cut through the heat.

  7. Stout: A stout's rich, full-bodied flavors can hold up to the bold flavors of BBQ, especially if the dish is heavy on char or smoke. The roasted malt flavors in stouts can also complement the smokiness of BBQ.

  8. Amber Lager: The toasty malt flavors of an amber lager can complement the caramelization on grilled meats, while the light body can keep the pairing from feeling too heavy. It's a great choice for a refreshing beer that still has enough flavor to complement your BBQ dish.

  9. Hefeweizen: A German-style wheat beer like a hefeweizen can be a good choice for lighter BBQ dishes, as its banana and clove flavors can work well with grilled chicken or fish. The light, effervescent character of a hefeweizen can also refresh the palate between bites.

  10. Pilsner: The crisp, clean flavors of a pilsner can be a refreshing complement to BBQ, especially for spicier dishes. The light body and subtle bitterness can help balance out the richness of grilled meats.

Ultimately, the best beer to pair with BBQ depends on personal taste, the specific BBQ dish you're having, and the flavors you want to highlight. Experimenting with different beer styles can be a fun way to find your favorite pairing.

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