It is officially summer in St. Louis, and now that it has stopped raining, I can actually kick off summer with some backyard grilling.
My backyard is not huge or luxurious, but rather small and kind of comfy. I have an older model Weber Genesis Silver hand-me-down grill, which is rusted through in some spots, but not where it counts. It still grills like a champ. And, I love grilling. I especially like it when I remember to unlock the basement door so I can have quick access to my beer fridge. Because frankly just as much as beer and food go together, so does beer and the actual act of grilling.
And the beer you choose can depend on the meat you’re cooking and the day you’re cooking it. Sometimes you want something to guzzle, sometimes you want a sipper. Do you want sweet, bitter, strong, light? The answers are the fun part. So, no matter what I have on the grill on a particular night, I believe there is a perfect St. Louis beer to enjoy while you’re cooking it.
Here are some of my favorite beers to enjoy while out grilling.
Modern Brewing | Modern Man Lager (4.2 ABV)
This is a beer that I first had at Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton and wrote on Untappd, “Nice lager. Could be a beer of summer for sure,” and it is. Refreshing, swiggable, crisp and clean. Everything you want with a lager, and pretty much goes with any meat you can think of.
This is summer, I’m all in on New England Style IPAs, and this summer St. Louis breweries are making me smile. Because my beer fridge is stacked with NEIPAs, I’ve given quite a few of them a go.
Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA | New Belgium Brewing | 7.5% | 42 IBU
New Belgium does many things right, and this is one of them. I’m all about the balance, and this one of that regularly defines it. With this beer, you get a burst of citrus, that just times out perfectly with the hops. You’ll get the lemon, orange, guava and pineapple notes, which is then smoothed out nicely at the end with sort of creamy caramelly thing going on.
Citrus Wheat | Old Bakery Brewing Company | 4.7% ABV | 20 IBU
Old Bakery Beer’s Citrus Wheat is an unfiltered American Wheat beer, brewed with lemon peel, orange peel, coriander, and chamomile. By no means a heavy beer at 4.7 ABV, this is a sessionable choice that is interesting and unique. You could enjoy a few of these, extra cold while standing over the grill.
This is a great spring and summer beer. My recommendation is to pick up a few cans and make them a staple in your beer fridge this year. This will be a good one have around for the backyard, watching the Cardinals or after mowing the lawn.
Contact High Juiced | 4 Hands Brewing Co. | 5.5% ABV
If I ever create a summer beer hall of fame, this beer will among the first beers inducted. The second variant of the popular Pale Wheat Ale, this one has become an instant St. Louis summer classic. The new variant is JUICED up with tangerine juice and zest, giving it a big citrusy aroma and crisp hop.
Easy Jack | Firestone Walker Brewing Company | 4% ABV | 47 IBU
This really is a nice and easy beer to drink at the grill. A tad bit on the hoppy side, but not by much. Firestone Walker is another brewery, that for me, has defined balance in a beer. A session IPA at 4% ABV, you can enjoy a few of these while you clock through till the next meat turn on the grill. You’ll get all the juicy citrus, but this time backed up by plenty of malt.
Old Fashioned Lemonade IPA | Evil Twin Brewing | 7 % ABV | 70 IBU
I remember when I first had this beer at the Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton, that this would be a good grilling beer, and I was right. A bit hoppier than the others on my list, but even at 70 IBUs, this beer really does not drink like an IPA. Evil Twin is a special brewery. They know balance in beer as well. This one is deceivingly well balanced with sweet and sour notes.