Food & Drink

Star Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Beers for Grilling Season

While many chefs opt to grill with a cocktail in hand, others stick with a tried and true beer. And as you might expect, every chef has their own particular taste in grill-side brewskis. Here, grilling pros share their favorite brews to drink while slaving over the hot coals.

Chef: Stephanie Izard  
Restaurant: Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Little Goat Diner
Beer: 18th Street Brewing
“We have a refrigerated drawer of beer that is right next to the grill and currently filled with 18th Street Brewing. As for what I’m grilling, it depends on how I’m feeling—last week I grilled a whole pig, and this week it’s whole chickens and kalbi ribs.”

Chef: Cosmo Goss
Restaurant: Pacific Standard Time
Beer: Miller High Life
“There is only one thing to drink while grilling, and that is Miller High Life.  My wife and I usually grill veggie-heavy all summer. Plus, this summer, chef Erling Wu-Bower and I will probably be testing all kinds of vegetable recipes as we get set to open our first restaurant together, Pacific Standard Time, in the fall. There’s nothing better than a High Life to complement the smoky, delicious flavors of grilled anything.”

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Chef: Dale Talde
Restaurant: Talde, Massoni, Atlantic Social
Beer: Sh*tty Beer
"I like drinking the sh*ttiest beer you can get when I grill steaks. Straight up Budweiser or Busch."

Chef: Joe Frietze
Restaurant: Publican Quality Meats
Beer: Pilsner
“While it’s not typically my go-to, I always have to have a lager while grilling. Served ice cold, any good pilsner should be in your hand. As far as what to cook, I tend to eat a lot more fish at home (I eat a lot of meat at work—butcher shop problems) so a nice trout and spring veggies off the grill with a crisp, cold beer is my speed.”

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Chef: Isaac Toups
Restaurant: Toups South, Toups Meatery
Beer: NOLA Blonde Ale
“It's hot outside when it's grilling season down south. I like a refreshing kölsch, blonde or hefeweizen. My current go-to beer is NOLA Blonde; it's a very tasty, easy-drinking beer with flavor—but it’s not flavored. Goes well with my grilled hot chicken.”

Chef: Anthony Sasso
Restaurant: La Sirena
Beer: PBR
“Summer is my favorite season of the year. And of course I'm drinking a PBR while grilling razor clams, duh! I like to make them Calabrian lifeguard-style with Anis del Mono, neonata, cucumber and basil.”

Chef: Tim Cushman
Restaurant: o ya, Hojoko, Covina
Beer: DIY Beer Blend
"I love to create my own beer combo by mixing Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville, MA's Hop Hop & Away and Maine Beer Co.'s MO—a half and half combo. It creates the flavor I like in an IPA, which is a hoppy, bitter grapefruit citrus flavor with a floral-ness to it. To match, I'll grill achiote-marinated chicken thighs or a hardwood charcoal 'grill-roasted' whole fish. I typically add in hickory chips at the end of grilling anything to smoke it for a few minutes while it's cooking."

Chef: Jason Beliveau
Restaurant: Izakaya at Momotaro
Beer: Budweiser
“I always drink a Bud Heavy when I’m grilling. It’s refreshing and the perfect beer for a classic summer activity. You’ll find me grilling beef—my favorite is an Indian style ground beef with cumin and garlic. Pair it with a homemade mint cucumber yogurt sauce, and you’ve got a delicious summer dish.”

Chef: Brad Farmerie
Restaurant: PUBLIC, Saxon + Parole
Beer: Full Sail Session
"My father was the one who instilled in me and my brothers that you cannot properly cook on the grill without a beverage in hand. His 'excuse' was that you needed a liquid to tame the flames if they got out of control, and somehow the best liquid to do the taming was usually beer. I do carry on this philosophy, and usually my go-to fire retardant/thirst quencher is a session beer, and what better one than Session by Full Sail Brewery in Oregon? They are little grenade bottles filled with refreshment and happen to pair well with sunshine, friends and anything cooked on the grill. Lately, my grilling is on a Big Green Egg, so the cooking happens over a few hours instead of a few minutes, which means anything heavier in flavor or alcohol content would likely lead to overcooked meat and a partially pickled chef."

Chef: Jonathan Wu
Restaurant: Fung Tu
Beer: Any Easy Drinking Beer
"Grillin' time for me means that it is summer and it is going to be hot and muggy here in NYC. I reach for an easy-to-drink beer (definitely not something hoppy or heavy)—something like Pacifico, Negro Modelo, Presidente, Taiwan Beer, Mahou. If I'm feeling fancy, then I'll go for a pét-nat—and I wouldn't feel the least bit ashamed to drop a few ice cubes up in there.”

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Chef: Ben Goodnick
Restaurant: Summer House Santa Monica
Beer: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
“My all-time favorite drink while grilling is Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA; it goes well with everything because of how refreshing it is. Otherwise, it really depends on what I'm grilling. If I dabble with Texas BBQ, I’ll usually go for Shiner Bock. If I'm making burgers or doing an Argentinian asado, I drink a VERY cold lager. If I am not drinking beer while grilling, then my go-to is Gin & Tonic with Tanqueray and Fever Tree.”