Best Northwest BBQ & Beer Pairings

Most lists emphasize beer picks for summer barbecuing as if you can only barbecue in the summer. We say get outta here with that jackwagon-ery, this is Oregon! Every season is barbecue season! So as the weather’s starting to be a little colder, here are our favorite Northwest beer pairings for barbecuing this season (and every season!).

Beer Pairings for Burgers

Just about everything goes with burgers. They’re the perfect barbecue food and with the right toppings and sauces can have a taste that compliments any kind of beer, but we prefer ours with some things a little darker. Our personal favorite pairing for a beer is the Deschutes Black Butte Porter because it adds a savory bitterness to the meal. If you like something a little lighter and/or you’re from California, the Alesmith Nut Brown Ale is a solid choice to bump up that caramelized barbecue flavor.

Beer Pairing for Sausages

Keep it in the family with a hearty lager to go with your sausage. We like a Heater Allen Coastal Lager, also called Northwest Amber Lager, for its malt, caramel, and toffee flavors that go oh-so-perfectly with the caramelized outside of a barbecued sausage. It also goes astoundingly well with your regular sausage toppings like relish, onions, and maybe a little sauerkraut.

Beer Pairings for Steaks

Just like with burgers, we like a little something darker and toasty to complement a steak’s umami. For this, we reach for Burnside Brewing’s Burnside Stout, a velvety malt with hints of chocolate that can’t be beaten in the coming cooler evenings. But we know that stouts and porters aren’t for everyone, so we also recommend Deschutes’ The Dissident, a brown ale with notes of cherry from being aged 18 months in pinot and cabernet barrels.

Beer Pairing for Chicken

Chicken’s a lighter meat, obviously. And with a lighter meat, we like a lighter brew. Cascade Brewing’s Vlad the Imp Aler (shoutout to all you history buffs who get the play on words), is an exquisite blend of blondes, blonde triples, and blonde quads that pairs perfectly with any chicken preparation, but especially so with recipes that call for citrus, herbs, and spices.

Beer Pairing for Fish

We say “fish” but we basically mean seafood in general. Let’s be real, though, Oregon has some wicked fish game and something drier like a Heater Allen Pilsner, with its floral notes and refreshing balance that make it a perfect pair with some salty and juicy nautical fare.