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Jul 21, 2008 06:53 PM

Beer recs for backyard bbq

So we're throwing a big birthday bbq this weekend and can't seem to decide on what beer (bottles/cans) to get. We're having the usual...burgers, dogs, chicken, sausage. We're no beer experrts so any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. i usually like to ask my guests, if they are beer drinkers, to bring their own favorite 6'r of their favorite....gets the guys talking, and swaping their favorite beers, 10 couples, 10 diffrent beers, works everytime....otherwise i like to get like a 12 pack of Sol, with some limes, kind of light, but seems to keeps the thirst quenched...usually if you want to throw a good bbq, have everyone bring their favorite, then you can taste & try each others favs...i've done many bbqs and always seem to get the best results doing it that guessing.


    1. I like Pale Ale - I would buy some stuff that is brewed locally

      1. For a backyard bbq, I'd go with Pabst Blue Ribbon. Classic. Understated. Of course, Pabst isn't for everyone (and not "white trash", in my opinion) so if it isn't your cup of tea (or pint of lager) I'd recommend Anchor Brewing Company's Summer Beer. Here's a link:

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chris Walker Versus

          What's your reasoning? It looks like the common theme is light/refreshing.

        2. There are no hard and fast rules, and a lot of it is really driven by the menu. That said, with the list of things you're serving, I'd be looking for wheat beers. They're light, refreshing, and palate cleansing. You could do Bavarian, Belgian, or American and be quite happy.

          1. Jim: you nailed it, light and refreshing. I mean, you figure you're in the sun all day, socializing, swimming, whatever. You want something that's not going to sit in you like a rock, you want something crisp and citrusy, a good lager. At least I do. I don't know, I guess I pick my adult beverages based on my surroundings. A sunny bbq or ball-game: I want a relatively lighter, golden colored beer. A quaint, dim-lit pub: give me a Guinness. And so on.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Chris Walker Versus

              I agree with Jackson, it's nice to bring some new stuff and explore new brands however you can't lose with some Corona or Sol with lime. They are quite refreshing for a hot night and a bbq and everyone seems to drink it. I hate to say it, but I tried Bud Light with lime last week and didn't hate it. I'm usually an IPA drinker but the lighter stuff goes down easy with bbq.

              1. re: billmayo

                " can't lose with some Corona or Sol with lime. ...everyone seems to drink it."

                And that's the attitude that causes me to always bring my own to such affairs. <g> And, even tho' I might only drink 2 or 3, there are never any of my six-pack's beer when I leave.

                (Of course, there was this one Thanksgiving when NO ONE *but* me brought beer. I went for my second HopDevil and they were all gone. Then I looked around the kitchen, the den, the deck, the living room and eventually found 5 abandoned bottles of HopDevil missing 1/3-1/2 of their contents...)

                1. re: JessKidden

                  That's makes it worse having to settle for the Corona!! Nothing is worse than seeing a fine beer wasted like that. At least if they were empty, you'd have known they were enjoyed. I think that is the jist of this thread.
                  What should you bring??...most people drink beer for the masses (bud, corona, skunky heineken) and those of us on this column have more adventerous tastes, looking for flavor and trying something new.
                  Sometimes it works in your favor as well. I was at a party last year with 2 kegs,one brooklyn lager and one coors light, the coors went first fortunately for me!!

              2. re: Chris Walker Versus

                Personally, I pick my beverages based on what they taste like, and what they're being served with tastes like. Beer is such a complex beverage, with so many flavor variations, that you're really missing out big time if you make decisions based on the color. Guinness is one of the lightest beers on the market, despite its color.

                1. re: Josh

                  Porters and Stouts are pretty much the perfect 'anytime' beers for me, and they're always included in my mix of brews. I don't see why the OP has to stick with one style anyway. I have at least one BBQ per year over the summer with many friends and family invited, and typically I get a case each of: porter, pale ale, helles lager and hefeweizen. Usually the porter is the first to go (it goes great with the grilled meats, if you ask me), and if I'm left with anything it will be the hefe. It's strange how it usually works out that way- the first time I assumed that the exact opposite thing would happen. It's hard to predict what the dynamics will be like, so variety can even things out if you can pull it off.

                  1. re: Josh

                    Josh: who said anything about making decisions based on the color?

                    1. re: Chris Walker Versus

                      You wrote: "A sunny bbq or ball-game: I want a relatively lighter, golden colored beer."

                      1. re: Josh

                        Yeah, I also wrote: "You want something that's not going to sit in you like a rock, you want something crisp and citrusy, a good lager." I think that's a better explanation as to why I would pick a Lager over something like a Porter at a BBQ, not because it's yellow. The color statement was an afterthought, just description. But hey, whatever.

                        1. re: Chris Walker Versus

                          Yeah, but the thing is, color signifies very, very little when it comes to beer. All it tells you is how much the malt was roasted.

                          I think I am highlighting this comment because it's such a common misconception about beer.

                          The perception out there, and I've seen this and heard it countless times, is that dark beer is heavier/stronger/etc., and it's simply untrue.

                          Guinness, for example, is one of the lightest beers out there. It's light in body and very low in alcohol and calories. It may be black and opaque, but that's strictly because the malts used to make the beer were roasted until they were black in color.

                          Sometimes dark beers are heavy. Imperial stouts for example. But you could easily have a pale golden beer that's just as likely to sit in you like a rock. High alcohol Belgian golden strongs or tripels, for example, or even some IPAs.

                          Porter is not a style I'd categorize as heavy, for example. It's no higher in alcohol than lager, and is traditionally a pretty light-bodied beer. In fact, I think porter is much better for BBQ than lager because it has caramelized and roasted flavors in it which will complement the same flavors present in the food.

                            1. re: Josh

                              Yeah, you're 100% right. I agree completely.