these are the perfect beers to pair with barbecue staples. istock

The best beers for a St. Louis backyard barbecue

Beer and barbecue goes together like … well, beer and barbecue.  You’re outside with friends, watching a large hunk of meat slowly cook for 8 to 12 hours. You can definitely find time for a beer. These options that go wonderfully with all the meat and sides you love.

1. Pilsner Urquell is forever near the top of the lager-Pilsner heap for good reason. The beer has a substantial, juicy, almost savory malt profile that goes great with some fatty, juicy pulled pork or brisket. It finishes with enough dryness and enough bitterness to keep your palate somewhat clean throughout a smoked meat feast.

2. Piney River Brewing Co.'s Black Walnut Wheat is a beer I wish people would talk about more. It’s one of the better session beers made in Missouri. It’s a great take on a Dunkelweizen with enough body and malty, semisweet notes that pair perfectly for a rack of ribs. The sweetness of the beer pairs with the ribs the way a sweet St. Louis barbecue sauce balances a salty dry rub.

3. 4 Hands Brewing Co. collaborated with New York’s Finback Brewery earlier this year to create the dangerously drinkable Liquid Cycle. They call it a “slightly hazy” IPA that hits all those wonderful juicy, citrusy notes that are all the rage right now. When I barbecue, I always start the meal with a salad featuring goat cheese, strawberries and a lemon vinaigrette, and this beer is a great compliment.

4. New into the St. Louis market, Chicago’s Pipeworks Brewing Co. is known for knocking out one top-notch hop-forward beer after another, like its Lizard King pale ale. With just enough of a grain bill to support the hop profile, this beer is fun and fruity up front and finishes with an interesting, unexpected lemon note and possibly the best level of bitterness I’ve ever had. Pick this bad boy when getting down on a heavier, starchy side like a creamy potato salad or mac n cheese. It’s lighter body and that bitter, citrus finish will help cut through the heaviness of those dishes.

Jon Whitaker is a certified cicerone and beer program director at iTap. 

Tags : Beer