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If you’re a stickler for calendars and rules and the tilt of the earth’s axis toward the sun, you accept that summer here in the Northern Hemisphere begins on June 21 and goes through September 22. However, many of us measure summer by a different standard. BBQ season.

That means summer starts on the first big BBQ day of the year – Memorial Day – and unofficially comes to a close on Labor Day. After Labor Day, the vacations are over, the kids are back on their school schedules, and we’re all trying desperately to focus on work and life before the madness of the holidays takes over in a few short months.

For this reason, Labor Day BBQs act as a last hurrah, so it feels critical to get the most out of the day. The best way we know to do that is to focus the effort on one of our favorite things. Yes, we’re talking about beer.

We all know beer and BBQs go hand in hand, but not everyone has stopped to consider how fully beer can be incorporated into their menu. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Draft Magazine compiled some of their favorite grilling recipes that include beer. So if the thought of lambic lacquered chicken or grilled tomatoes with hefeweizen aioli makes your mouth water, give their recommended recipes a read.
  • Give your meat a kick with this beer-based BBQ sauce from our friends at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.
  • If you want to find the perfect beer to complement your favorite gourmet burger, check out Serious Eats list of cicerone-approved pairings.
  • Hummus is good. Beer hummus is better. The Home Brew Chef uses beer to up-level dips, sauces and condiments.
  • Trick out your summer salads with IPA Caesar or pale ale citrus dressings.
  • Shandy ice pop, anyone? Brooklyn Brew Shop offers up ideas for chilled desserts to bring the beer menu home.

And, though it goes without saying, be sure to have plenty of beer on hand for good ol’ fashioned drinking. Fill up your uKegs and have fun giving the summer of 2018 the fond farewell she deserves.



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