What kind of beer for brats?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by 3000, May 22, 2012.

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  1. 3000

    3000 Initiate (0) May 22, 2012

    I have a bunch of Miller Genuine Draft that I can use. A friend suggested using Becks. I'm looking for a lot of beer flavor maybe a IPA would work best?
  2. frazbri

    frazbri Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2003 Ohio

    To cook the brats or to drink with the brats?

    (Don't use IPA in the cooking)
    DaverCS and Genuine like this.
  3. NJOssie

    NJOssie Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012 New Jersey

    something strong... I usually give my brats a barleywine when I want them to take a nap...
  4. emilystrikesagai

    emilystrikesagai Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2011 Illinois

    I prefer something mild - Miller Lite would be fine. I used Capital Brewery's Supper Club and Island Wheat (Wisconsin) and it works great.

    IPA's are not ideal for a lot of recipes since the bitterness really comes out in the food.

    The barleywine suggestion above would be good if you want something sweeter but I still think it may be too hoppy.
    Redrover and rabbitguy like this.
  5. 3000

    3000 Initiate (0) May 22, 2012

    Sorry should have clarified to cook them in. I'm gonna start out by putting onions and butter in a pot then pour in 3 x 12 oz beer followed by dumping in the brats on low heat for half hour or so followed by the grill!
  6. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Boiling them in beer will remove a lot of the natural flavor and juiciness from the brats, as the spices essentially work themselves into the water/beer that you discard.

    If you want to make baller brats, just grill them on pretty low heat nice and slow, turning them every few minutes or so until theyre golden brown on the outside and just at 155 degrees internally. Caramelize/saute some onion in a whole mess of butter with apinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then when theyre to the point of caramelization that you want, add some of your favorite non-super hoppy beer and turn the heat up a bit... reduce until the beer is syrupy and clings to the onions. Put these on your perfectl grilled brats with a bit of spicy brown mustard, then drink with a good beer. Enjoy!
  7. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012 Colorado

    YogiBeer nailed it. Don't cook your brats in the liquid. If you need to hold a bunch for a party, I like to use a half chicken stock and half Fort Collins Z (a rauchbier). I like the smoky beer because it enhances all the flavors you get from the grilled brats.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  8. Henamonster

    Henamonster Initiate (51) Feb 2, 2007 California

    Yogi, that sounds fantastic. Has anyone ever tried using a cider? With the carmelized onions as Yogi suggests, I think it might add an extra sweet kick. I've never tried cooking with it, but I'm curious.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  9. imbrue001

    imbrue001 Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Use a doppelbock
  10. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    In this case, depending on the onions you use ( reg yellow, but preferably vidalia... nom nom nom), you shouldnt need to use cider for sweetness, or could add some shredded/grated apples to your onions while they are cooking... but fuck it, why not? The only thing I have to say about it, is that non-alcoholic cider is still really yummy (whereas NA beer is the worst), so it makes more financial sense to cook with NA cider.
  11. mooseisloose

    mooseisloose Meyvn (1,318) Nov 16, 2005 Florida

    I would suggest Old Style or Old Milwaukee or PBR, these all go great with brats. What I do is first cook the brats in beer (use same kind of beer above)and onions on the stove. Cook until almost done but not bursting at all. Then cook them on the grill until they are nice and browned and oozing juices. Then let them rest for a bit until they start shrinking up. Then return them to the beer and onions until they plump back up again. Butter and toast the brat buns on the grill, then serve up with hot kraut, chopped onions and spicy mustard and if you are daring, a sliver of sharp cheddar cheese. Oooh now I'm hungry.
  12. WesM63

    WesM63 Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2011 Ohio

    Everyone has their own opinions on beer brats.

    Personally, Simmer, DO NOT BOIL, in a beer of your choice (not a IPA/DIPA) for 45min with some chopped up onions (vidalia) and garlic. After that, toss them on the grill/skillet for few min each side. Enough to brown them up, but not burst them.

    As for beer selections, I've used SN Summerfest and Bells Kalamazoo Stout. I liked the Stout better as it gave the brats a slightly sweet flavor, which was balanced out well with the spicy brown mustard.
    TheBeerSnob likes this.
  13. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    I use 24oz Tecate cans.

    I simmer 2 minutes in the beer, then put on indirect heat in the grill closed top for 5 minutes per side, remove and put back in beer 1 minute, repeat x3 and they are fantastic. The beer is more to keep the brats juicy and soft, not to impart flavor.
  14. Devi0us

    Devi0us Initiate (0) May 3, 2011 California

    I usually simmer my Brats in an Imperial Stout with Onions and Spicy Mustard for about 25-30 minutes then I hit them up on the grill to finished them off...

    Stone Imperial Russian Stout was used for these...

    sholle, jivex5k and lvoutlawjlh like this.
  15. bpgpitt10

    bpgpitt10 Initiate (0) May 12, 2008 District of Columbia

    Don't bother using a simmer/boil for the brats. Just marinate them. The idea of the boil is to impart flavor. Well brats have a permeable membrane that although it lets liquids go through ok, time in a boil won't be enough to fully have the beer flavor get through the entire brat. Marinate them for 4-12 hours in something like a nice porter to bring out the roasty flavors. Then just grill them.

    Then do the Yogi method above. That sounds freaking awesome.
    edward_boumil likes this.
  16. Parrotshake

    Parrotshake Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2008 Australia

    I'm with the marinating then grilling club on this. Marinate the onions too. Schlenkerla Marzen is a good choice, if you have it lying around.
    rabbitguy likes this.
  17. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,840) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    I usually do a good sear and then poach in liquid (mostly wine) when I do sausage.

    Save a little liquid like yogi says and carmalize dem onions!

    you know ironically one of my Aunts would throw Becks in her cooking for sausage... just a little... :wink:
  18. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I put brats in an aluminum pan with onions and a bottle of Zombie Dust. I put the pan over direct heat on my Weber and boiled until the beer had largely evaporated. I then took the brats off and put them directly over the coals until they charred a bit. By then the onions had caramelized in the pan. Everything turned out wonderfully.
  19. rhosk

    rhosk Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2010 Colorado

    Marinate them overnight in Ghost Face Killah, then grill. Delicious.
    joelwlcx likes this.
  20. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,840) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    This is giving me a good excuse for a food vid!!!
  21. fsvan

    fsvan Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2009 Tennessee

    I make brats and onions very similar to that, but have never added the beer to the onions. I'm going to have to give that a shot.

    To the OP's question....when I do simmer the brats in beer, I use Yuengling. Inexpensive, decent flavored and not hoppy, but honestly I don't think they're much better (or different, for that matter), than brats that aren't boiled.
  22. Jerone

    Jerone Initiate (0) Apr 21, 2011 Florida

    ^This, omg, this
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  23. Pilssaufer

    Pilssaufer Initiate (76) Oct 7, 2008 Maryland

    Having lived in Germany for well over a decade, I never once saw brats cooked in beer before grilling. I think the secret is getting good brats and simply grilling them. Unfortunately, good brats aren't that easy to find on this side of the pond. I'm fortunate to be able to pick up some great brats at a suburban Baltimore German butcher shop (Muellers Deli iin Parkville, MD). I'd never even consider giving these babies a beer bath before grilling.
    stephen1162 likes this.
  24. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,840) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    I poached some Brats in a little Weihenstephaner Pils, then used it for carmalizing the onions, came out very nice (although I didn't use a brat that I thought was very good but that's ok).
  25. stephen1162

    stephen1162 Initiate (0) May 26, 2005 Massachusetts

    I also lived in Germany, but only for 3 years. I loved a good bratwurst every so often, and most any German beer paired well with them. But as you said, it's very difficult to get good bratwurst here in USA (Johnsonville brats = garbage disposal fodder!).

    Find some good brats, grill them, serve with good German beer!

  26. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,840) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

  27. commis

    commis Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2009 Massachusetts

    Just mentioned this in the other "brat thread" but real quick:
    Poaching in liquid does indeed serve a purpose and it has nothing to do with them absorbing any flavor. Poaching sets the emusification (sausage is emusified meat and fat) so that the fat doesn't leak out and leave you with crumbly suasage texturally similar to a deep fried NY Sirloin. Liquid is the most consistant and manipulatable medium and all you really need is about 10 minutes at a temp well below a simmer to set the sausages emulsion. That's not long enough to lose any of the sausages flavor into the cooking liquid. After that, it's sturdy enough to endure higher levels of heat.
    See my post in the other bratwurst thread.
  28. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Alaska

    hey, never thought of a cider, i think my wife might like that, might have to try that, the only sweet beer that I can think of is applehead by shipyard, hmmm . . . . might have to go with some angry orchard or woodchuck, something of that nature that I never drink.
  29. Henamonster

    Henamonster Initiate (51) Feb 2, 2007 California

    I haven't tried any cider yet, but it's still on my radar.

    I recently tried some carmelized onions and thought I would be experimental with some Deviant Dales. Good God that was horrible. It smelled fantastic, but tasted like pine tar. I've always been one to say, "Cooking with a hoppy beer? Hey, what could go wrong." I did not heed the warnings of those that came before...

    Lesson learned.
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  30. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois


  31. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    People can make scientific claims all they want....
    Won't stop me from makin brats in different beers, it's just too much damn fun.
    I swear that Storm King brat I made tasted amazing, way better than a brat in water.
    sholle likes this.
  32. mltobin

    mltobin Poo-Bah (1,882) Apr 1, 2007 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I throw the brats in a skillet with some sauerkraut, maybe some salt and pepper tossed on. And I drank it with a Founders Porter or other similar porter. :slight_smile:
  33. fsvan

    fsvan Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2009 Tennessee

    I just picked up some fresh brats from the butcher. I've had them before, but didn't use beer to cook them. They have huge amounts of flavor alone. I'm gonna try to cook them in Sam Octoberfest this time. Seems seasonal and fairly safe. Will report back with details.
  34. Handle

    Handle Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2009 North Carolina

    Yesterday, I threw some brats in a crockpot, to which I added two big onions and a bottle of Sam Adams Hazel Brown. I chose that beer not necessarily because I thought it would work exceptionally well, but because I found the beer to be too sweet to drink and thought it would work okay. I slow-cooked them on low for six hours, then pulled them out and grilled them on the stove in a grill pan. Then I reduced some of the beer sauce from the crockpot and piled it and the onions on the brats, along with some Weber's mustard.

    The result was a very flavorful brat, though it was almost too tender. It wasn't mushy or anything, just far more tender than I'm used to a brat being. I will definitely do this again, though maybe I won't keep them in the slow cooker as long next time.
  35. cavechavez

    cavechavez Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012

    Steam your brats with beer! Steam them! The steam cooks the brats thoroughly imternally and infuses beer taste without diluting the brats own juices and spices in a pool of boiling brew. Ad onions to the top of the brats while steaming then simply brown the outside of the brats on the grill! Perfection!
  36. cavechavez

    cavechavez Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012

    Oh yeah... stay away from anything hoppy... your brats will end up tasting like a forrest. Stick to ambers, bocks, stouts or porters.
  37. CBEdirector

    CBEdirector Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2011 Minnesota

    I was told that Bocks work the best because they have less or no hop oils in them so the brat doesn't take on a biter or skunky flavor. Now I have never marinated my brats in beer so maybe that would work better. At any rate there are a lot of good ideas on this forum I will have to experiment with some of these.
  38. jbck109

    jbck109 Aspirant (221) May 30, 2010 Michigan

    I like usingr an octoberfest, Greatlakes and Ayinger have been my favorites. I have also used some stouts with good results, I think founders imperial was the last one I used.
  39. brewmandan

    brewmandan Initiate (0) May 10, 2010 Iowa

    For cooking them in, I like using a regular ale/lager along with some sliced up onion. For something to drink while eating them, I go with a bock.
  40. MagillaGriller

    MagillaGriller Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2012

    No such thing as a "cooking wine" -(sauterne is salty shit) - or beer.... Yogi was going off!! Killer, but after browning well, simmer in something (ale) you enjoy the taste of (it is a German influence generally already full of flavor) what you like will work. For me the rule would be "do no harm" ( no IPA). Cheers.

    PS invite Yogi to all parties.
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