BBQ Food & Beer Matching


BBQ Food & Beer Matching

Pairing Food with Beer

You don’t have to be a highly skilled sommelier to appreciate the enormous effect matching the right beverage to the right dish can have – taking what might be two fairly pleasant individual components to a WOW in the mouth when combined. Don’t believe us? Then you have to try it! 

This blog is all about having some fun by experimenting in the art of beer (and barbecue) food pairing. We guarantee that once you try it and find a match, you will be converted. 

The huge variety in flavour profiles of craft beer mean it's as good as wine (if not better, some would argue) when it comes to pairing with food. There are now qualified beer sommeliers as well as wine sommeliers due to the sheer volume of great beers on the market and the huge variety of flavours involved in beer.

So how do you pair beer & food? 

It's all about finding the dominant flavour of the food and then working out which beer has characteristics that either complement, cut through it or contrast with it, resulting in a pairing that brings out the best in each element.

Time for a BBQ! 

As Summer draws close, it's time to dust off the big tongs, scrub the BBQ, get out the apron and clean out the cool box! In the name of research we decided to do just that so we could share with you some classic BBQ food and beer combinations to tantalise your tastebuds and inspire your own Summer BBQing. 

Lamb Burgers

We served lamb burgers with mint and tzatziki in brioche buns. The dominant flavours here were the fat of the lamb and the zingy mint. We paired this with Saugatuck Oval Beach Blonde Ale; the sweetness of the beer complemented the sweet butteriness of the brioche while the hops in this ale tasted wonderful alongside the mint while also really cutting through the fattiness of the lamb. 


Chicken & Chorizo Kebabs

No BBQ is complete without a kebab and we made 2 different ones. The first was a succulent chicken and chorizo kebab, the dominant flavour of which was the smoky paprika of the chorizo. We paired this with Saugatuck ESB - the spicy malt in this amber ale complemented the spice in the chorizo. The ESB is full of body and stood up well to a fiery chorizo! 

Chicken Kebabs (with Ginger, Lime & Coriander)

The second of our kebabs was chicken with ginger, lime and coriander. These Thai flavours were screaming out for an IPA and we opted for a Tailgate Sorta IPA - the spicy coriander and lime in the kebabs brought out the same flavours in the IPA. Just beautiful!

Another great beer that worked just as well with these Thai flavours is Saugatuck Backyard IPA. Our party was split on which was the best beer to go with the chicken - try both and tell us what you think!

Thai Green Curry Marinated Chicken

This Thai marinated chicken needed an IPA hoppy enough to cut through the sweet coconut flavour from the curry marinade. Fordham Route 1 IPA is citrusy and dealt really well with the creamy coconut, whilst the spicy notes in the beer complement those Thai spices. 

Pork & Sweet Chilli Sausages

It would be too easy to just pack a chiller bag full of Fordham Copperhead Ale for your standard BBQ as this classic ale pairs so well with all sorts of sausages, beef burgers, smoky wings and ribs. However, these sweet spicy sausages were just made for Copperhead. The subtle liquorice malt flavours in the ale are sharp like the sweet chilli and cut through the fattiness like a dream. A very special beer and sausages dream.

Greek Salad

A great big bowl of Greek salad was our choice of a lighter dish to go with our array of meat. The dominant flavours of sharp red onion and salty feta suggested to us that we needed either a smooth blonde ale to cut through the cheese or a crisp lager to balance the sharpness of the onion. We found that both Fordham Gypsy Lager and Saugatuck Oval Beach Blonde Ale were ideal salad accompaniments. Anything stronger or hoppier than these beers would be too much for this classic salad and overpower its flavours.

Honey & Rosemary Pork Chipolatas wrapped in Bacon

This was a very easy pairing for us. Fordham Gypsy Lager has a gorgeous honey backbone and so this complemented the honey in the sausages beautifully, while the bitterness of the hops cut through the fat of the sausage. The lager contrasted against the rosemary and this flavour combination added a whole new dimension to the overall taste. Just divine, like a roast dinner all in one.

Corn on the Cob (with a garlic and sweet smoked Paprika butter rub)

A BBQ isn't a BBQ without some buttery corn on the cob! The smoky garlicky butter we drizzled on the corn needed a crisp, clean beer to complement it. We found Dominion Beach House Pilsner provided the perfect level of bitterness to cut through the creamy buttery garlic and sweet corn. Pilsners are so perfectly refreshing that you could heap as much butter as you want on these cobs and still enjoy them. And we did!

Root Beer Marinated Chicken

Root beer makes a mean chicken marinade that everyone agrees is delicious, whether you like root beer or not! And, like any beer marinated meat, when you eat it alongside a fresh cold bottle of whatever you used in the marinade, the flavours really sing. We've always got some cold Dominion Root Beers ready for BBQ season!

BBQ'd Nectarines sprinkled with cinnamon 

Puddings aren't always included in the common British BBQ but we really wanted to try something sweet with Fordham Wisteria Wheat. And we were glad we did! These sweet juicy nectarines were complemented perfectly by the sweet bready, spicy flavours of Wisteria Wheat beer. We thoroughly recommend BBQing some fruit before you fall into a meat sleep!

Strawberries & Ice Cream 

If there's any room left for more after everything else, some ripe British strawberries served with vanilla or chocolate ice cream make a classy finale. And you just know what we're going to suggest you drink with this... Saugatuck Neapolitan Milk Stout with its flavours of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate needs no explanation as to why it needs to go with this course.

Any great BBQ is a combination of great company, weather, food and beer. We hope our suggestions above help you get two of those things spot on. 

Tell us your favourite BBQ food and beer pairings! Cheers! 



Product Recall Notice


Product Recall Notice

Allergy Alert - Saugatuck Brewing Co.  Neapolitan Milk Stout 355ml and Blueberry & Maple Stout 355ml.  Heathwick Limited re recalling these products due to milk and oaks not being declared as an allergen. This means the products are a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or oats.


DC Brau Brewing coming to the UK


DC Brau Brewing coming to the UK

Launching in March’22, Heathwick is delighted to bring Washington DC based DC Brau Brewing’s bold and innovative beers to the UK imported craft beer market, showcasing these exciting, modern American craft beers to UK drinkers.


Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout


Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout

The ever-present Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout 5.2% abv continues to receive rave reviews across the UK. Available in 355ml cans, online and retail sales have increased by 200% compared to the same period last year. For your nearest stockist Google Tailgate PBMS.



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