Beers and Burgers:
For me, the best kind of beer to pair with a juicy burger would be something with malty sweetness. Why, you ask? Because it’s my life and I can do what I want. So I would recommend something
like a barleywine, porter, dunkel, or marzen. The sweetness of these beers will help cut through the richness of what I can only assume are fresh, homemade burgers from a cow that was slaughtered only hours before. If you aren’t drinking premium craft beer with a burger from a cow you killed with your bare hands from local artisan famers, then really, what’s the point?
Beers and Dogs:
It gets tricky from here on out. With hot dogs, you can’t just think of the dog itself, as the toppings play just as an important role. One rule of thumb, however: NO KETCHUP. OR CATSUP. OR HOWEVER YOU SPELL IT. It’s so bad it has to try to hide behind different spellings. It tries to trick you into putting its nasty self all over what could have been a delicious treat. But I digress. I will give 3 beer pairings for three different dogs.
Hot Dog with Chili, Spicy Mustard, and Cole Slaw (Atlanta Dog):
For this hot dog, I would recommend an IPA. The hoppiness will accentuate the spiciness from the mustard and chili, while the caramel sweetness from the malt will dance with the creaminess of the slaw to help cool things down. Side note: Hot dog chili should not have beans. It just shouldn’t. If you’re the kind of person to put beans in your hot dog chili, I’m guessing you’re the same kind of person to put raisins in your potato salad. If you want beans for the 4th of July, make baked beans. If I see any beans in a pot of hot dog chili at your party, I won’t say anything, but I’ll silently judge you while I sulk in the corner.
Hot Dog with Chopped White Onions, Tomato, Dill Pickle, Sweet Pickle Relish, and Yellow Mustard (Chicago Dog):
I would pick a crisp, light, refreshing beer for this one. Let the toppings do the talking. A citrusy wheat ale would do very well to compliment the freshness of the vegetables.
Hot Dog with Sauerkraut and Spicy Mustard (New York Dog):
Dark Lagers are the name of the game for this dog. The carbonation and malty sweetness will help cut the acidity of the sauerkraut and mustard.
Beers and Beers:
Really, the only thing to go better with beer than beer, is beer. And honestly, all joking aside, that’s all there is to it. Beer goes great with everything. That’s why it’s been a beverage of choice for thousands of years. You don’t need me to tell you which beer to drink with what food. It all comes down to what you like. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Lime-a-Rita, a Miller Light, a Get Bent Mountain IPA, or a Ginger Bread Stout. You are free to be who you are, drink what you like, eat what you like. And that’s what this holiday is about. Being free. Not at the expense of others, mind you, but together. There may be big divides in our current political climate, but I know there are things that we can all agree on. We all love spending time with friends and family. We all love eating good food and drinking good beer. And we should be lucky that we are free to do that. So get together with you friends, fire up the grills, and crack open whatever beer you want. There are no wrong decisions. Except for ketchup. F%@k that guy.