Craft Brews & BBQ, a perfect pairing

(06/18/2013) Nick Tribulato

Greetings Big Dog's fans!

The simmering, triple-digit Las Vegas Summer heat is upon us once again, so we'd like to share some great Brew & BBQ tips to keep the heat at bay and your pool party's appetite satiated!

Most won't be reaching for that hearty Imperial Stout or Barleywine amid the sweltering sun, so more refreshing alternatives such as Hefeweizen, Witbier, and Pilsner instead shine better for those cooling off. In addition, these styles serve as phenomenal gateway brews for those dropping by that simply haven't discovered the complexity that craft beer offers in comparison with the commercially available "light beer" alternatives.

As you're finishing up at the grill, opt to take your tastebuds for a ride by stifling the salt-driven, brown sugar, and chili pepper dry-rubbed BBQ seasoning with an earthy, old world Bavarian hefeweizen. The banana, clove, and slightly estery fruit flavors from hefeweizen (like Big Dog's Tailwagger Wheat) work well as a contrasting, but engaging sensory trip and a cooling, light bodied, low-alcohol alternative. Although a more malty beer pairing (such as a scotch ale) suits well to instead complement the charred, zingy BBQ flavors; it is a bit hefty in alcohol content and body for the toasty temps outdoors.

Dig a more pronounced, fruity beer as your go-to, thirst-quenching summer beverage? Remain on the lookout for Big Dog's Cherry Witbier towards the end of Summer. Slated for a late-July release, a to-go growler of this and other unoverly-sweet, fruited beers serve to create a fantastic duo when served with raspberry-vinaigrette dressed salads, flash-grilled tuna cuts, cedar-planked salmon filets and other summertime favorites. Opting for mildly-fruited takes on the classic, easy drinking styles will allow the less adventurous palates in the party an intriguing, but not overwhelming alternative to those brews we typically see poolside- you know, those that require a lime stuffed in the bottle.

Stay cool this summer, and don't forget to mark your calendars for Big Dog's Summerfest, Saturday July 20th from 6pm to Midnight. We'll be chilling and grilling under the stars to reggae tunes and 50+ stellar craft draft beers!