Looking to branch out in the beer aisle this summer?
We've spoken to beer expert Melissa Cole to get her top tips for picking out the perfect beers for your barbecue and beyond.
Below, Melissa reveals how to choose barbecue-friendly beers that bring out the best in your favourite foods and shares some beer recommendations to try this summer.
Melissa suggests using these four principles to help you find food and beer pairings that bring out the best in each other:
We asked Melissa for insider tips on beers that work well with popular barbecue fare. Here are her recommendations:
Don't overthink it with basic barbecue foods, such as burgers, sausages, veggie skewers or lightly charred chicken - go with a lager. However, Melissa does suggest thinking beyond a pale pilsner and giving an amber style a go.
When you're looking to spice up your BBQ offering, you'll want a softer, slightly sweeter beer with low bitterness. Look for classic German wheat beers (weizen, hefeweizen or weisse) or, for the more adventurous, New England IPAs (NEIPA).
Kansas City or South Carolina styles of BBQ (or anything with a sweet glaze such as char siu) can really benefit from a biting bitterness to balance out that stickiness.
If you're doing a long, slow cook of a very fatty and collagen-rich cut like pork or lamb shoulder, a fruity, sour beer is perfect.
Try Radlers for a twist on shandies
One of the best trends to hit the UK's shores in the past few years, according to Melissa, are Radlers.
Literally 'riding beers', they're effectively posh shandies, ideal if you want to enjoy a few refreshing beers in the sun without feeling the effects of too much booze.
You can buy pre-mixed Schu00f6fferhofer, Stiegl and Fru00fch brands in some supermarkets or online, but it's also easy to make your own.
To make a 2.5% radler, take a 5% wheat beer or lager and add the same volume of mixer - either lemonade or ginger beer work well.
*Prices correct as of 24 June 2021.
We asked Melissa to recommend three beers per category, including a low-alcohol option for each, and at least one product that can be found in a major supermarket.