BBQ & Beer Pairings: What’s the Best Beer for What You’re Barbecuing?

Gone are the days when you’d go to the bottle-o and just grab whichever was the cheapest goon bag on the shelves. Now it’s all about ensuring your wine is correctly paired with your meal – red with steak, white with fish, etc.

Well, the same trend is catching on with beer. No longer is a slab of VB the beer for any and all occasions. Now it depends on the other flavours you’ll be indulging in that day as well. So which types of beer go best with which barbecued dishes?


Well, there are no strict rules and priority should always be given to drinking whatever you like best, but here are a few general rules of thumbs anyway:

Light Foods, Light Beers

Depending on how much you like beer, the main event of any meal is generally the food. As such, it’s better to pair light foods, such as chicken and seafood, with light beers so that the beer doesn’t overpower the taste of the food. Try a pilsner, pale ale or light ale.

Heavy Foods, Heavy Beers

The heavy barbecued foods that we love so much – juicy steaks, succulent lamb chops, greasy snags – are usually bursting with rich, fatty flavours. Any sauces used also add an element of sweetness. The roasted bitterness and maltiness from heavy, dark beers are great for offsetting these flavours. Try a porter or stout, or if you don’t like your beers quite so heavy, an IPA or nutty brown ale.

Heavy Foods, Light Beers

Finally of course, there’s no reason you can’t have a light, summery beer to offset a heavy meal. This is a particularly refreshing option on a hot day. Try a blonde ale or golden ale.

So there are a few tips for matching your beers with your barbie. But remember the most important tip of all: drink whatever you like best…even if that is a slab of VB.

If you’re a beer and BBQ lover, you’ll find the best BBQs and accessories on our website,

What do you think? What are some of your favourite beer-BBQ pairings? Leave your comments below.

Marian O'Neill

Marian O'Neill

Managing Director at
My name is Marian O’Neill and I am the owner of All BBQs. My working life commenced as a primary school teacher, however the majority of my career has been in business with my husband. I love BBQ cooking and decided to follow my interest and open an online BBQ superstore after much research revealed how difficult it was to find good quality, australian made BBQs. At we specialise in Australian made BBQs, wood fired pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens. We strive wherever possible to provide high quality Australian made products.

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