Do you know what a cicerone is? Yeah, neither did we – until we met Jace Milstead of LetsGraba.Beer. As it turns out, Jade is a certified cicerone, or beer expert, right here in Los Angeles. It’s the height of tailgating season, so we asked Jace to give us some advice about pairing the right beer with popular tailgate treats.
Now that it’s officially football season, it’s time to take your grill on the road for memorable tailgating events. And if you really want to be the MVP, bring the right beer. Here is a guide to tailgate grilling, and finding the right beer to pair with that smoky bounty.
Burger + Schwarzbier (Dark Lager): The burger is named for a town in Germany yet quintessentially American. At their most basic, burgers are mounds of meat, but it’s up to the cook to take it up a notch – like with a great beer pairing. Pair with the toasty notes of a dark German lager like a Schwarzbier that has lightly roasted and smoky notes to accentuate the chargrilled flavors of the burger.
Hot Dog + American Lager: Pairing simple beers with simple foods can make them both extraordinary together. A classic American lager goes perfectly with a hot dog. The toasty, bready notes of the malts in the lager match nicely with the bun and the grilled goodness of the dog.
Corn on the Cob + Helles Lager: Wrap the corn in bacon, throw on the grill and pair it with a Helles Lager, which has a lightly malted body and hints of spicy hops that balance great with the savory bacon and the buttery, grainy flavors of the corn.
Grilled Chicken + Pale Ale: The aromatics and light bitterness of a dry-hopped Pale Ale go great with grilled chicken. The flavors of the beer work with the herbaceous and spice notes of BBQ sauce. The light caramelization of the malts complement the succulence of the chicken.
Chili with Rauch Beer + English-Style IPA: Warm up during those colder pre-game festivities with the delicious chili recipe below. The secret ingredient: a lesser known style of beer called a Rauch beer. “Rauch” is German for smoke, and the beers of this style provide their namesake in spades, adding that smoky, woody flavor. Pair with an English-Style IPA that enhances the heat of the chili, while caramel flavors play off the notes of the chili’s smokiness.
CHILI WITH RAUCH BEER
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped teeny tiny
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 1/2small can tomato paste
- 1 cans cannelloni beans, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 bottle German Rauch beer
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- Hot sauce of choice to taste
- Salt to taste
- Brown turkey and onions in a skillet.
- Combine turkey mixture and remaining ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.