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Bratwursts in beer-What beer?

  • j
  • jdf Sep 8, 2007 11:41 AM
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Doing it for the first time tommorow on the grill. I know its not high cuisine, but is there much of a difference in the type of beer I use. I was thinking something like a Sam Adams lager. Or, should I be using something else?

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  1. I think the Sam Adams would be fine. You wouldn't want to go any heavier than a lager, IMO. Make sure you add some sliced onions to the brew.

    1. Grill the uncooked brats on indirect heat nice and slow. You don't want them to burst, but you want some nice grill marks. They should probably take around 20-25 minutes. They don't have to be all the way done, but it doesn't really matter. After you're done grilling throw them in a pot with a couple beers, maybe some water, lots of onion, fresh chopped garlic, some black pepper corns, and some mustard seeds. I don't think the kind of beer really matters, but yeah, Sam's would be perfect, or any other lager that you like, although I've even used Sierra Nevada in the past. Let the brats simmer for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours. A lot of people do it the opposite, throwing the brats in the beer first, but I like it this way. The sausages will be really nice and tender, and they'll be ready to eat for quite a while. Perfect for a lazy football Sunday afternoon.

      1. My recipe says to use a dark beer but I never have any around, so use a good quality lager. Last time I made brats, I used St Pauli Girl and they were delicious. I'd think that Sam Adams would work equally well. (And, my recipe is the opposites of Tdmccarthy21's. I simmer the brats first, in beer and sliced onions, for about 5-8 minutes. Then finish on the grill for about 5 minutes.)

        1. It all depends on what you like. If you have a crowd, a lager is a good choice since it is flavorful without being too heavy. I like using Guinness myself, but I tone down a little when having guests.

          I'm a boil then grill guy. Makes like much easier.

          1. I think the Sam Adams is just fine. And make sure when you're finishing them on the grill, use tongs, don't poke 'em with a fork. I add in a large quantity of thick sliced onions and when they brats are ready for the grill, I caramelize the onions in a frying pan w/ butter, a spoon of brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar.

            1. The German Bratwurt needs a German beer. I have always liked St Pauli Girl. I simmer the brats in Beer w/ a little coriander. Even start a beer braised cabbage with vinegar, coriander and beer. When half way done put your brats in and simmer for a good 5-10min. Take the out and quickly grill them on high heat just to get grill marks.

              Nothing like veal sausage.

              1. I also think Sam Adams is a good choice and that you don't want to go heavier. My understanding is that heavier beers can lead to a bitter taste. Low and slow is not only true for bbq -- it's true for brats. Don't boil the brats and don't get the grill too hot. Otherwise, the brats will burst and you'll lose all of the juice.

                1. Any beer - Bud is fine (don't waste Sam Adams on this) - the flavor you wind up with is going to be more of a general impression that beer-cooking was involved, rather than a "wow, those were cooked in very good beer."

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: wayne keyser

                    I agree with Wayne - we always used Miller Lite in college in Milwaukee and they turned out fine.

                    I am a simmer in beer & onions then grill girl. Why would you want to lose all those lovely grill marks by doing the beer bath after grilling?

                    1. re: wayne keyser

                      You may be right on the brats; but in general I find that lager imparts a richer flavor in cooking than typical American pilsners.

                    2. Thanks guys! I'm gonna go with the Sam Adams. Grill 'em first and then into the beer with some onions and peppers. Now, probably a question for a different thread, but all I could find was Johnsonville Brats. Opinions?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jdf

                        Depends on where you're located. Johnsonville brats are ok but if you are close to any german butcher shops go there. There are some that sell online such as Karl Ehmer. Some of the best brats I ever had were from a pig farm in Ohio that was featured in Saveur a few years ago.

                      2. My parents (with German Wisconsin roots) always put the brats in the simmering beer with onions. Two questions: 1) Does anyone know where this originated? Is it a German thing, or something that developed in German areas of the US? Or where? And 2) Can you really taste the beer, or not? The last time I had these, I was a kid and I don't remember. We used to buy Johnsonville brats but found a place in Minneapolis that makes its own that we like, and we get those now.