Summer Guide to Beer & Grilling

Special advertising section sponsored by Johnsonville and Weber

Beer and Grilling Guide

Summer's best combo

Nothing says summer like enjoying a cold beer with friends by the grill―and there’s no better match for your favorite ales and lagers than easy recipes like succulent bratwurst, grill-simmered in beer, or smoky grilled meat loaf. Make the most of your next cookout with these great recipes and our pairing tips.

Johnsonville Brat Hot Tub

Johnsonville® Brat Hot Tub with Stout 

One sure-fire way to make certain all your guests get a piping hot, juicy Johnsonville® Brat is to create a simple bratwurst hot tub.

Recipe Directions

Prep and cook time
About 30 minutes
 One 11 x 9 x 2 3/8 inch aluminum foil baking pan
2 to 3 beers
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced

Put the pan right on the grill, careful not to singe your knuckle hair, pour in the beers and add the butter and onions. Then grill your Johnsonville Brats to a juicy, golden-brown perfection. Serve immediately to your hungry guests and place any remaining brats into the steaming hot tub. When folks are ready for seconds or thirds―or when stragglers show up late― grab a Johnsonville Brat out of the hot tub and enjoy!

Stout Beer


Many grillers automatically reach for a lighter brew, such as lager or pale ale, with bratwurst. That familiar pairing is a favorite with many, but our tasters were blown away by the hearty flavors of Johnsonville bratwurst with a rich, toasty stout―a very dark, chocolaty beer brewed from roasted barley. With its malty, caramel notes and full-bodied character, stout stands up perfectly to a savory Johnsonville sausage, bringing out the sweet notes of the meat. Want to load up your brat with fixings like mustard and onions? No problem; a big stout can handle plenty of flavor. When you’re buying beer, though, don’t entirely skip lighter-bodied brews like pilsner: they’re just right for simmering your brats in the flavor-rich hot tub on the grill.

Barbecued Meat Loaf

Barbecued Meat Loaf with Pale Ale

We know. It sounds crazy. Meat loaf on the grill? But give it a try. When meat loaf cooks over an open fire, the juices drip down onto the flames and create smoke, giving it a delicious flavor. It’s so good you’ll never bake a meat loaf in the oven again.

The secret to this recipe is using panko―light Japanese bread crumbs. You can find panko in any good grocery store, usually in the spice aisle or wherever bread crumbs are stocked.

Recipe directions

Prep and grill time
About 1 ¼ hours
 Serves 8 to 10
 1¼ pounds ground beef (80% lean)
1¼ pounds ground pork
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 ½ cup bottled barbecue sauce
¼ cup ketchup

1. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently combine the meat loaf ingredients. Divide the meat loaf mixture in half and form into 2 loaves, each about 4 inches wide and 6 to 7 inches long. Place the loaves on a sheet pan. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 300˚F).

2. In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside half of the sauce to serve with the meat loaf. Top each meat loaf with 3 tablespoons of the remaining sauce and coat thoroughly.

3. Brush the cooking grates clean. Using a metal spatula, gently pick up each loaf from the sheet pan and place directly on the cooking grate. Grill the meat loaves over indirect medium-low heat, with the lid closed, until a thermometer inserted horizontally through the top of each loaf registers 155°F, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the loaves from the grill and let rest 10 to 15 minutes (during this time, the loaves will continue to cook, allowing them to reach the recommended 160°F for ground beef and pork). Cut the loaves into 1/2-inch slices and serve with the reserved sauce or on sourdough bread with melted provolone cheese.

©2008 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Recipe from Weber’s Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. All rights reserved.


Pale Ale

Pale Ale

Weber’s juicy, smoky meat loaf packs a big punch of flavor, making it a crowd-pleasing match for different styles of beers. Those who enjoy a lighter style will love it with a summery wheat beer like hefeweizen, a crisp, refreshing beer brewed partly with wheat. With fruity, sometimes citrusy notes, this easy-to-drink style brings out the heartiness of the meatloaf and matches well with the wheat flavor imparted by the panko in the dish. If you love a darker beer, try the meatloaf with a darker, sweeter amber ale. These copper-toned brews have a malty aroma that matches the sweetness of the meat’s barbecue glaze; their rich, toasty notes also pair well with the slight charring that gives the meatloaf its unique grill-smoked character.

Pale Ale

Download and Print the Guide

Download and Print Sunset's Summer Guide to Beer and Grilling sponsored by Johnsonville and Weber.

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