Step Up Your BBQ Game with These Perfect Beer & BBQ Pairings

Summer is coming! It’s time to dust off the BBQ and grill up some hamburgers. 

To bring your next BBQ party to the next level, we thought we’d gather the best craft beers for complementing whatever you might be throwing on the grill or impressing the host of that upcoming BBQ party. Get ready to crack open a cold one and fire up the grill!

BURGERS

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The highlight of every burger is obviously a juicy patty. When combined with the perfect toppings, you’ll get a mixture of flavors that incorporates salt, sour, and sweet – but probably lacking in bitterness. The hoppiness of an IPA provides just the right hint of bitterness to round out all those flavors, and the complexity of a good one will tie it all together. Something rich and heavy like porter is also a great complement that will work magic and enhance the smoky flavor of the grill.

BottlesXO Picks:

Kaiba Coffee Porter 
(¥85 for 4)

Racer 5 IPA
(¥130 for 4)

18 Brew Pub Tiao Dong Who IPA
(¥140 for 4)

TURKEY & VEGGIE BURGERS

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A leaner, healthier alternative to beef burgers are turkey and veggie burgers. Since these burgers lack the intense, hearty and fatty flavors of the regular burger, a beer that’s too intense will overpower the flavors. To account for this, we’d recommend a light dark beer, which carries a complex, malty flavor that can not only complement but add extra flavoring to a dish with less intense flavors, all while being seriously smooth.

BottlesXO Picks:

Frank & Serafico Enki Brown Ale 
(¥110 for 2 XL bottles)

Latitude 33° Honey Hips 
(¥120 for 4)

BEEF SKEWERS & STEAKS

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Is there anything better than beef steak fresh from a charcoal grill, seasoned and seared to perfection? For this, you’ll need a beer that can really stand up to rich meaty flavors – a stout or porter will work wonders if you’re looking for something rich. If your steak has a high fat content, the light bitterness and hints of resin of an American Pale Ale will cut through it in a very nice way, too.

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BottlesXO Picks:

Kaiba Coffee Porter
(¥80 for 4)

京A Worker’s Pale Ale
(¥120 for 4)

Arrow Factory Guanxi Pale Ale 
(¥120 for 4)

Boxing Cat Contender Extra Pale Ale
(¥120 for 4)

CHICKEN

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With its milder intensity, chicken needs a less assertive beer than other meats. You’ll also need to take into account how you are marinating your chicken to make sure you pick the right beer. For a classic barbeque sauce, a crisp, simple lager works well – this will handle the complexity of a good sauce. For more herbal marinades, we’d recommend going with a light blond beer, which can provide a subtle complement to an already flavorful dish.

BottlesXO Picks:

Kaiba Passionfruit Lager
(¥75 for 4)

Boxing Cat Right Hook Helles
(¥110 for 4)

Frank & Serafico Enki Blonde Ale
(¥110 for 2 XL bottles)

SEAFOOD

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Seafood is best paired with a lighter, more delicate beer. A Helles lager or pilsner complement the sweetness of shellfish without overpowering it and are also good for adding a hint of bitterness to the mix by cutting through and balancing the richness and fattiness of some seafood. Blonde Ales can work well too if you want something a bit beefier to complement those light seafood flavors.

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BottlesXO Picks:

Kaiba Passionfruit Lager
(¥80 for 4)

Master GAO Jasmine Tea Lager
(¥95 for 4)

Arrow Factory Blonde on Blonde
(¥140 for 4)

VEGETABLES

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As with fish you really want to look for a lighter beer to not overpower the subtle, earthy flavors of barbecued vegetables. Grilling veggies caramelizes them and teases out woody flavors that you need to account for. The light flavors of a low-intensity pale ale or helles larger is perfect to balance this out, carrying just enough smooth malts and hoppy bitterness to provide a perfect complement.

BottlesXO Picks:

Kaiba Passionfruit Lager
(¥80 for 4)

Boxing Cat Right Hook Helles
(¥110 for 4)

Time to get those coals burning! All of the beers above are available now for instant delivery in Shanghai and Suzhou. Click here to get them delivered, chilled and ready to drink, to wherever you are.