13 Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Beer for Grilling Out

By George Steckel
Aug 15, 2021
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If you catch any of us grilling here at Made In, you’d better bet there’s an ice cold beer in the hand that’s not flipping burgers. While we can all agree that a beer is the grilling drink of choice (fight us on this), we can’t come to a conclusion about what beer is best for the occasion. So, in order to celebrate the launch of our Beer Glasses, we decided to ask 13 of our favorite chefs across the country what kind of beer they prefer to have in hand while firing up the grill, and why.

Chef: Fermin Nuñez
Restaurant: Suerte
Where: Austin, TX
Beer: Le Petit Prince by Jester King
“One of my favorite beers to drink when grilling has to be Le Petit Prince from Jester King. It is a farmhouse ale—saison. It’s totally crushable and pairs well with the Texas Sun, and is extremely refreshing when firing up the charcoal grill on dominguitos.”

Chef: Jill Vedaa
Restaurant: Salt+
Where: Cleveland, OH
Beer: Modelo
“My favorite beer to drink when I’m grilling in the hot sun is a Modelo. I like to freeze mine a bit to make it slushy and add a couple lime wedges!”

Chef: Eric Huang
Restaurant: Pecking House
Where: Queens, NY
Beer: Sour Monkey by Victory Brewing
“The opportunities to grill in an NYC apartment are rare, but if I get the chance I'm doing jerk chicken and picanha steaks marinated in soy, garlic, fish sauce and maple syrup. Grilling is for the summertime and I think nothing works better in nice weather than a sour beer. I'm a big fan of Sour Monkey by Victory Brewing. The acid is so refreshing and light, it helps alleviate the heat and sweat you're enduring on the coals.”

Chef: Jamilka Borges
Restaurant: Wild Child
Where: Pittsburgh, PA
Beer: Kiddo by Old Thunder
“My favorite beer right now is a collaboration beer I made with Old Thunder, a new brewery here in PIttsburgh. It's a blonde ale called "Kiddo" and is so light and flavorful. The hops are really special and being able to be part of the brewing process perhaps play a big role of why I like it so much. I love what they do.”

Chef: Carlo Lamanga 
Restaurant: Magna Kusina
Where: Portland, OR
Beer: San Miguel or Pineapple Kolsch by Pono Brewing
“I definitely enjoy lighter beers for grilling/outdoor time. A nice crisp Lager or Kolsch really hits the spot. “I usually go for a San Miguel, which is a pilsner from the Philippines or Pono Brewing's Pineapple Kolsch, which is from here in Portland. Both have such a refreshing quality to them, especially the Pono which is not overtly sweet as most "fruit" beers are perceived to be.”

Chef: Karen Akunowicz
Restaurant: Fox & The Knife
Where: Boston, MA
Beer: Lost Nation Gose
“I love Lost Nation Gose when I’m grilling, the tartness makes it a perfect food beer. That little bit of citrus and sea salt is so refreshing-it makes me feel like I am at the beach even if I’m just standing in my backyard.”

Chef: Edgar Rico
Restaurant: Nixta Taqueria
Where: Austin, TX
Beer: Coors
"When I started drinking beer, I used to love crazy IPAs and amazing saisons, but as I've gotten older, I've found myself appreciating the simpler things in life. I feel as though Coors Original is a perfect classic for a grill out with the Taco Mafia or for a post-shift sipper."

Chef: Jess Pryles
Owner: Hard Core Carnivore
Where: Austin, TX
Beer: Lone Star
“Lone Star! In fact, Lone Star Light for longer smoking sessions to make sure the beer matches the cook time. Lone Star beer is the National beer of Texas, and of course that makes it perfect for the unofficial national pastime of Texas -cooking meat!”

Chef: JT Vuong
Restaurant: Rule of Thirds
Where: Brooklyn, NY
Beer: Lagers like Orion, Tecate, etc.
“My ideal beer is Orion (Okinawan lager), though more often than not, I go for Tecate or Bud diesel. A lot of it is sentimental value, but I feel that lagers in general are more crisp/refreshing than hop-forward drinks. They also play with food better. They’re not too intrusive and they don’t battle it out to be the dominating flavor.”

Chef: Junior Borges
Restaurant: Meridian
Where: Dallas, TX
Beer: Necessary Evil by Manhattan Project
“Growing up in Brazil we used to drink pilsners while grilling, it's usually very very cold beers. Lately I've been enjoying some Necessary evil by Manhattan Project, while grilling some vegetables, chicken, sausages and some picanha.”

Chef: Tracy Malechek
Restaurant: Birdie's
Where: Austin, TX
Beer: llk by Yokefellow
“Right now, I'm really excited about Yokefellow, 'Ilk.' Garrett Crowell is making some of the best beers in Texas, if not the country. I love the texture—it has body and is a little creamy, plus it's citrusy and still refreshing for this heat.”

Chef: Elise Wiggins
Restaurant: Cativella
Where: Denver, CO
Beer: Modus Mandarina IPA
“I love Modus Mandarina IPA. I’m a huge IPA fan anyway but I can crush these guys during the summer time! I love the hop and the hint of mandarin orange. I like to actually marinate Wild King salmon in it before I grill, then baste with it. The citrus and high alcohol, means more sugar, and helps to caramelize the outside of the fish as well as giving it a hint of orange. Delicious!”

Chef: Drew Ahumada
Restaurant: Le Cowboy
Where: Austin, TX
Beer: Anything Cold
“So long as they're cold, they're fine by me.”

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