With summertime officially in full swing, the bright, sunshine-fueled mornings and warm, breezy nights are enough to entice you to spend as much time outdoors, cooking included. Synonymous with summer, BBQ season takes the heat quite literally out of the kitchen, allowing you to cool down—not just with lighter, healthier meals that require very little prep but also with a well-stocked beach cooler of your craft-beer favorites.
From mellow pale ales and fruity IPAs to citrus-laced lagers and island-inspired hops, we've compiled a shortlist of 10 top pairings from Maui Brewing Company—the Aloha state’s largest craft brewery—and award-winning brewmaster Kim Brisson-Lutz. Each beer is specially crafted with summer in mind and pairs perfectly with your BBQ line-up of marinated cuts of steak, fall-off-the-bone ribs and more.
Smoky Beef Brisket + Tart Berliner Weisse
No matter whether you're smoking some beef brisket or grilling some homemade burgers, when it comes to beef, a beer pairing that's sour or tart is typically the way to go. The tartness of the Shave Weisse Berliner Weisse, infused with a selection of tropical fruits, including mango, lilikoi and guava, enhances the rich smokiness of a slow-cooked brisket, while the high hop bitterness of the Pueo Pale Ale or Mosaic Lite compliments a grilled and juicy medium-rare burger.
Salty Seafood + Sweet Hefeweizen
For grilled fish like Mahi Mahi and Ono, opt for unmalted beers like the La Perouse White, Maui Brewing Co.'s award-winning Belgian-style Witbier, spiced with coriander and locally-grown citrus. Crisp brews with a soft, caramel malt character like the Bikini Blonde or the Pineapple Mana, a fruity and sweet wheat haze Hefeweizen, pair perfectly with light summer dishes like shrimp tacos and fresh, salty oysters.
Light Grilled Veggies + Spicy Porter
Potatoes, corn on the cob and skewers of peppers and onions are just some of the many vegetables that enhance your summer BBQ sessions. Grilling results in charred vegetables that offer a smoky and uniquely sweet flavor that cannot be achieved otherwise. The lightness of grilled vegetables pairs exceptionally well with darker, robust brews like the Coconut Hiwa, a sweet and spicy deep brown Porter with hints of mocha and hand-toasted coconut.
Sweet n' Salty Pork + Hoppy IPAs
Both European-style Pilsners like the Pau Hana, a mildly bitter and clean beer, as well as light, citrusy-lagers like the Da Hawaii Life, pair well with plates of Korean-style short ribs—the lightness helps to cut the marinade's sweet and salty seasonings. Smoking pork ribs with a sweet-and-spicy BBQ sauce? Try a glass of the Big Swell IPA, a deep-golden brew with a bright, hoppy flavor profile that's traditional of most India Pale Ales.
Ready for a summer BBQ island adventure? Click here to book your very own Beaches and Brews summer tasting package.