Cool Off While the Grill Heats Up
The sun is beating down. People are milling around, playing horseshoes and socializing. Then the grilling begins and all the guys usually huddle around the grill. This is the perfect time to serve something light, tasty and refreshing.
They’re thirst quenching. They’re tasty and their not too filling. Have some hard ciders handy because they’re always a hit. As an added bonus, they’re gluten free, so your friends with specific dietary needs can partake as well.
Sometimes called “white beer,” these light-bodied brews often boast hints of spices and coriander. Some people like to add a slice of lemon to give their beer a refreshing, citrusy twang.
If you’re in the mood for a bit more flavor, try a saison. Saisons are an old style of farmhouse ales that were traditionally brewed in the winter for consumption by farmhands during the hot summer months. The flavors can cover a wide range, but be prepared for a complex blend of fruit, spices and a bit of tartness.
Once the food comes off the grill, it might be time to switch beverages to reflect what you’re eating.
A nice amber ale will help wash down that grilled chicken, corn on the cob and roasted veggies. Ambers tend to go with just about anything and their still light enough that you can save room for seconds.
If you’re having ribs, brisket, pulled pork or other smoky/hearty foods, you’re going to want a beer that has the body to handle it. Try serving a brown ale or a schwarzbier. If you really want a something bold to make your food’s flavors pop, reach for a smoked porter.
Closing Out the Night
Once your food settles and the sun goes down, it’s time for dessert. Lambic beers are made from wild yeast and have fruit added during the brewing process. Framboise is tart with a strong raspberry flavor. Kriek is made with cherries. If you find it too tart, try mixing half of a Framboise with half of a creamy stout, like Guinness. It’s delicious.