Labor Day marks the end of the summer, the beginning of the school year, and our transition into fall and cooler weather. It’s also a great excuse to have a barbeque cookout with all your friends and family. Sure, putting the right menu together with the best burgers or brats is essential, but what beverages are best to serve? Figuring out the best beer to complement your grilled meats is essential to hosting the perfect lunch or dinner. At The Growler Guys, we can help you select a variety of beers perfect for your Labor Day barbeque.
Manage the alcohol content. Your guests will likely spend hours chatting together, playing yard games, and watching a football game or two. You’ll want to serve beverages that are delicious and relaxing–but don’t put anyone under the table quickly. That’s where a really good Session IPA comes in handy. Session IPAs have an ABV of 5% or less, so it’s easier to drink several throughout the afternoon without becoming overly intoxicated. There’s a wide selection of options available to appeal to every taste.
Pick a type of beer that pairs well with your meat. You want to find beers that balance the flavors found on your menu. For example:
- Lighter foods like chicken and seafood pair really well with neutral-flavored beers. Try a lager, pilsner, or something with a bit more flavor, like a witbier, hefeweizen, or Saison. In fact, Hefeweizens are very popular because they are light and refreshing enough to pair with lighter foods, plus they have interesting blends of fruit flavors.
- Medium foods that contain more fat, like hot dogs, brats, or anything grilled with a sugar glaze, pair well with a hoppier beer. Look for something with a slightly higher IBU, but be careful not to choose a beer with a high alcohol content like an imperial porter or double India pale lager. There are many “heavier” styles of beer with a lower ABV that are perfect for these meats. For example, a German lager features caramel or toasty flavors and dark malts that will cut through the fats of the meat. A porter with a good smokiness and roasted malt flavor will balance out the flavors of barbequed pork.
- Bold foods like lamb, brisket, and roast beef pair well with beers featuring more hops and malt. This is your opportunity to share your favorite IPA or stout with your friends. Beer with a side note of chocolate tends to go well with bolder meats. The only styles to stray away from are sours and imperial stouts, which have too strong of a flavor for most foods.
Get a variety. Rather than picking one beer and purchasing a keg for your barbeque, give your guests a variety to choose from. With growlers, you can buy an assortment of beers for your friends and family to try so they can pick the ones they like best to go with their snacks and meals. Purchasing beer in growlers is also more cost-effective because your guests can try a sample before committing to a full pour.
Let The Growler Guys help you plan the perfect beers for your Labor Day barbeque.
Explore the growing variety of beers in one taproom, The Growler Guys. Each of our locations carries the best local varieties, from the palest ales to the darkest stouts, along with ciders and kombucha. Our friendly staff is happy to walk you through the characteristics of every style to help you discover your personal favorites. Take home the beers you love best in a growler to share with family and friends. View our online tap list to learn about the selections currently available at a location near you!