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Pairing Sacramento's local brews with your Memorial Day BBQ | News

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Pairing Sacramento's local brews with your Memorial Day BBQ

SACRAMENTO - While it might be sacrilegious to say in wine country, no beverage that speaks to the integrity, strength and perseverance synonymous with Memorial Day better than good ol' American beer.

Memorial Day barbecues evokes imagery of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and red, white and blue  cans of Budweiser or Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Nowadays, a large number of Americans have refined their palates to more diverse craft beers, and a handful of Sacramento brewers have emerged to satisfy their cravings. 

But which of the Sacramento craft beers is best suited for your Memorial Day barbecue selection?

Following are a list of common grilling selections and an accompanying local brew to match. You may have to visit the brewery itself to grab a six pack or a growler of these selections, but the craftsmanship evident in each delicious drop will prove worthy of the trip.


Swetzer Pale Ale from Loomis Basin Brewing - A well-balanced pale ale well-suited to one of America's favorite sandwiches.

Monkey Knife Fight Pale Ale from Rubicon Brewing - The crystal malts and Mt.Hood hops offer enough of a bitter finish to balance the sweetness in various condiments preferred on many burgers.

Ruhstaller 1881 Red Ale - A mild caramel sweetness that gives way to a fresh pine & grapefruit citrus note and balanced bitterness for a dry and refreshing but flavorful ale.


Total Eclipse Black Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co. - A Porter-like brew with a roasted coffee and chocolaty flavor that works well with steaks from porterhouse to filets.

Purple Mai Bock from Rubicon Brewing - Light in color with a hoppy finish and a touch of sweetness, this beer drinks easy and smooth. Perfect to go along with a big steak.  A word of warning though: this seasonal selection isn't nicknamed "The Velvet Hammer" for nothing.  This beer is strong.

Fish -

Alkali Wit from Track 7 Brewing - Alkali Wit is a refreshing Belgian-style witbier, or white wheat beer, with citrus and coriander flavors that work beautifully with fresh grilled fish. 

Pyramid Hefeweizen - An unfiltered wheat ale that delivers a distinctively smooth finish that would work well with a grilled white fish.


Old Town Brown from Auburn Alehouse - A smooth yet complex maltiness derived from a special blend of roasted chocolate and crystal malts adds flavor without overwhelming the chicken. 

Pulled Pork

Knee Deep Brewing IPA - A full bodied IPA with the perfect amount of bitterness to even out the sweetness in a barbecue sauce generally dripping from your pulled pork. 


Sutter St. Common from Lockdown Brewing - A crisp, dry, drinkable beer that pairs well with a variety of sausages.

Sudwerk Marzen - Especially great when paired with its domestic counterpart the Bratwurst

Dessert -

Tanilla from Knee Deep Brewing - Forget the pairing. This decadent porter brings a sweet vanilla aroma and smooth, silky finish that glides over the tongue and makes for a dessert in itself. If you do feel the need to pair it, drizzle it on some ice cream for the perfect finish to any Memorial Day meal.


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