This grilling weekend, one question plagues the man-mind: what cheap beers go best with all the different animals you'll so ably char? We asked a reluctant Greg Engert, Rustico's Brickskeller-trained beer director, to tumble down the ladder of sophistication and pair up some laid-back brews with your favorite backyard foodstuffs.
Spicy Sausage with PBR: Spicy food brings out booze's alcohol flavors, which are apparently quite bad, so go with a low-ABV PBR, whose grainy flavor cuts through spice better than blander cheap lights. Go with cans, which retain cold, fizz, and irony far better than bottles.
Char broiled steak with Olde English High-Gravity 40s: Ye Olde will match the size and weight of grilled steak, and battle with its juicier, bolder flavors better than light beers, which tend to fold against such hefty competition like Tom Arnold did against...hefty competition.
Shrimp/Seafood with Mike's Hard Lemonade: Lemon brightens up fish without smothering it, and the acidity will counter the inherent sweetness of some shellfish. Plus, hilarious commercial campaigns make beverages taste even better. Wuzzup!!!!!
Burgers with Yuengling: Cheap as amber lagers come, Yuengling's still got enough caramel sweetness to match the caramelization of a grilled burger's sugars; its comparably rich, malty flavor'll also help tame the boldness of condiments, who really should learn their roll.
Grilled chicken with Corona and lime: The effervescence of the lime'd cerveza will saturate and "open up" the chicken to help remedy any overcooking; citrus & acidity will also brighten and spice the least "sexy" of the grilling meats, though sadly, these same qualities will do nothing to brighten and spice the least sexy of your grilling guests.
BBQ ribs with Sparks: Though its availability's in limbo, Sparks' tangy orange sweetness perfectly compliments super sweet, Texas-style BBQ sauce, while its various energy supplements will keep you perky during hours of bone-cleaning, which sounds gross, and might be, depending on how long you keep at it.
Hot dogs with Busch Light: Not a fan of dogs, Greg believes some things should be washed down with water as quickly and painlessly as possible -- though going with Busch will strain your Hamm's-string.