Cookouts and cold beer are two sides to the same coin. It’s difficult to imagine one without the other, and it’s even harder to enjoy the food you spent preparing without a tasty adult beverage to wash it down with. Every year, as spring weather fills the air, there’s one holiday that’s observed by many of us across the country. April 7 marks National Beer Day in the U.S., which is a time to kick back, relax, and take in the tastes of your favorite drinks
Drinking on an empty stomach, however, is a cardinal sin! You deserve to have equally delicious food to go along with a glass or can of a cold brew, and there’s no place better to assemble a meal than on your grill! On this National Beer Day, take advantage of the many excellent combinations of food and beer, and try pairing these unique flavors with each other. We promise you’ll be in for a treat!
India Pale Ales, or IPAs as they’re commonly referred to, encompass numerous styles of beer and get their characteristics largely from hops and herbal, citrus or fruity flavors. They can be bitter and contain high alcohol levels, though the final product depends on the variety of hops used. What makes them great to pair with a burger, however, is that the two complement each other with their very distinct and intense flavors. Burgers, especially this all-beef and mushroom based burger, come with strong flavor profiles, even without any condiments added before your first bite. The juicier and more fat the beef contains, the burger will match the decadent hop flavors of the beer, which add all the bitterness you need to balance out all of the burger’s umami. Grilling burgers is one of the first items every backyard chef learns to cook, but there’s always a way to improve what you’re making! Follow these steps to get the best burger to pair with your IPA.
- Combine ground beef, mushrooms, egg white, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly
- Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Grill patties, covered, 7 to 9 minutes until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.
Cook's Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
- Place burgers on bun bottoms.
- Top evenly with cheese. Close sandwich.
Lagers are a tighter group of beers than many of their counterparts. While there are countless styles of ale, for example, there are only a few styles within the lager family. Generally, the characteristics of a lager include a light, crisp taste that is mellow and smooth. They also tend to have more carbonation than ales and are less bitter. With that in mind, it makes sense to pair your lager with another German-inspired delicacy – the bratwurst. In the case of this recipe, our Honey Mustard Beer Brats don’t just pair well with beer, but rather, beer becomes a central part of making this dish what it is. The cooking process begins by placing a few bratwurst sausages in the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker. Next, arrange half of your green pepper, red pepper, and onion over the sausages, and repeat those two steps until you have two layers of bratwurst, onions and peppers, topping it off with garlic and bay leaves. Now this is where the magic happens! In a separate bowl, mix together half of your honey mustard sauce, liquid smoke and beer. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker, and add more beer if necessary to cover everything in the pot. With the slow cooking process, this should take about four to five hours over low heat on your stove or gas smoker before you head to the grill to put the finishing touches on this tasty treat. Follow these instructions to grill your brats to perfection!
- Preheat your outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grill’s grates.
- Remove the bratwurst from the slow cooker, but leave the onions and peppers inside. Place the bratwurst on the grill and baste with some of the remaining honey mustard sauce, making sure to turn occasionally until slightly charred.
- Finally, place your bratwurst on rolls and use tongs to pull out a few of the onions and peppers from the slow cooker and drape them over the sausage. The onions and peppers are very tasty, so don't forget this part!
Stouts are dark, full-flavored ales made with dark-roasted malted barley, which gives it a distinctively coffee-like, chocolatey flavor that is balanced by bitterness from its hops. Unlike lighter lager beer made with yeast that sinks to the bottom of the tank, stout is top fermented, which means it’s made with ale yeast that floats to the surface during fermentation. Despite its reputation as a heavy drink, stout can actually taste light or medium-bodied, making it a great companion for this hearty steak recipe. Grilling steak requires a bit of knowledge on the different cuts of meat and developing a taste preference. For this recipe, we recommend going with boneless Strip Steak. Often operating under the names Kansas City Strip, New York Strip or even Club Steak in international kitchens, this cut of beef comes from the short loin, making it particularly tender. The key to this meal lies in the combination of veggies, steak, and beer. Follow these directions to get the best out of your Stout, Steak, and Grilled Vegetables recipe.
- On your grill's side burner, bring vinegar to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce the heat and then simmer for about three minutes, or until reduced by half. When done, set aside and move onto steak preparation.
- Press one teaspoon of garlic-pepper seasoning evenly onto your beef Strip Steaks.
- Soak two 10-inch bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes, and drain.
- Thread your onion wedges onto skewers, and brush the onions and the cut sides of squash with oil; sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of garlic-pepper seasoning.
- Preheat your grill to medium.
- Place steaks on cooking grid; arrange vegetables around steaks.
- Grill your steaks with the lid closed for 11 to 15 minutes to achieve medium rare (145°F) to medium doneness (160°F), turning occasionally.
- Grill your squash between seven and 11 minutes, and your onions for 13 to 16 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.
- Remove the onions from skewers; toss with reduced vinegar, oregano and salt, as desired.
- Carve steaks into slices after letting rest for a few minutes
- Serve with onion mixture and squash; season steak and squash with salt, as desired.
- Pour yourself a nice stout of your choice and enjoy!
Sour beer has become a phenomenon because it gives beer fans something new to try, while also enticing people who don't typically think of themselves as beer drinkers. One way sour beer is often described is being comparable to wine in its method of preparation. Both are blended and can be aged in oak barrels, and both balance sweetness with acidity. Much like wine, the drink also pairs well with the cheeses, meats and fruits you might find on a charcuterie board. And speaking of meats and fruits, this Grilled Tuna and Fruit Salsa recipe makes for a seamless pairing with a sour beer. As a high quality protein with almost no fat, tuna is a crowd favorite for those looking for a lighter seafood-inspired dish. What takes this particular recipe over the top is the flavorful fruit salsa that accompanies the tuna. Combining freshly chopped plums, peaches, and pineapples, you get a bit of that acidic flavor profile that matches your sour beer. To get started on cooking your tuna, follow these steps.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat.
- Combine pineapple juice, vegetable oil, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl.
- Arrange your tuna steaks in shallow glass dish.
- Pour the pineapple juice mixture over the tuna.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir gently.
- Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Coat a grill rack with vegetable cooking spray.
- Remove your tuna from its marinade and place on the grill
- Grill just until fish begins to flake easily when tested with a fork, allowing about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once during cooking.
- Finally, serve at once with your fruit salsa and enjoy with your sour beer.
Blue Rhino Pairs Well with Any Cookout
If all this food and beer talk has you ready to get grilling, there’s only one thing left to turn your dreams into a reality – and that’s Blue Rhino! Locating a Blue Rhino tank to fuel your next cookout is as easy as heading over to our Propane Finder, or even signing up for our Home Delivery program where available. Soon, you’ll be celebrating National Beer Day in style with a cold beverage in your hand and a full stomach! How can you top that?