Grilling Planks, meet Beer. Beer, these are the guys I told you about.

It is the classic griller-men dilemma, eat the food now or pick out the proper drink to complement your grilled choice? The correct answer for you now is pick the proper drink. I’ll hold your hand through it.

It is known that certain beers pair well with food already, but to get the perfect beer with your food you need to take into consideration the type of wood that you are choosing as well. This may sound like a bunch of confusing mumbo jumbo, but it is really quite easy.

The most important factor in this guide is that you come out with a beer in your hand and a grill whose contents will match that beer in such a way you’ll think to yourself “have I really been in the wrong for so long?” Just kidding, we just want you to know that you can increase your food’s potential by taking a second or two longer in the beer aisle at the store.

Shakespeare once said “For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.” So imagine what possibilities there are when you combine beer and food. We want you to eat like royalty.

How to Pair Beer with Food

Now we can get down to the meat and potatoes of the article. Since you’re eating a meal fit for a king, keep in mind these easy rules.

  • Go with what you know (if you’re a fan of certain types of beer use that)
  • Know beer’s bitterness and flavor impacts
  • Color of beer is a good indicator for types of food

Beers, Planks, Battlestar Grillactica

Beer and wood go way back, even breweries today make smoke flavored beer. Someone’s onto something.

Here is our guide to make you the plankmaster and beer connoisseur you always wanted to be.

  • Cedar: Blondes, bitters, Hefeweizen
  • Alder: Red ales, Ambers
  • Maple: Dark Lager, Oktoberfest
  • Cherry: Oktoberfest, Pilseners, Doppelbock
  • Hickory: IPAs, Brown Ales, Imperials
  • Red Oak: Pale Ales, Dubbels, Porter

Beer, Food and Wood Flavor Pairings Guide

On the Fly

You have the basics now a few extra tips. When you have to grab your 6 pack on the fly. The higher the bitterness (IPAs, Imperials, Barley) go well with spicier foods. The less bitter a beer (Pilsner, Blonde ales, Hefeweizen, Doppelbocks), the better it pairs with lighter foods. The best way to tell if you don’t know all the differences is, of course, color – lighter usually means (you guessed it) less bitter and the darker you get so on and so forth.

Possibly Useless Facts about Beer

  • Drinking beer is like borrowing happiness from tomorrow
  • Type of glass does affect flavor of beer
  • Almost anything is a bottle opener if you believe in yourself
  • Adding beer to your sauces and food while grilling is smiled upon (Like this Honey Mustard Beer Glaze)
  • IPA beer. Acronyms are a sign of sophistication

Evan here! Born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho. Join me on my journey, planks on the grill, spatula in hand, beer in the other as I discover the tastier side of the grill. I once was told to “Feel bad for a man who doesn’t drink, for when he wakes up that’s the best he’ll feel all day” and feel great I shall, full of food and cheer.