How to match your beer to your burger

It's National Burger Day, but what should you be drinking?

It’s National Burger Day – one of the meatier holidays – so why not sink your teeth into your favourite combination of bun and patty? But wait – no meal is complete without a perfectly matched drink, and the best beverage to pair a burger with is undoubtedly an ice cold beer. So, in the pursuit of the ultimate National Burger Day experience, we asked five top breweries which of their quality ales and lagers they would pair with the most popular meats.

Beef burger - Adnam's Ease Up I.P.A

Fergus Fitzgerald, the Head Brewer of Suffolk-based brewery Adnams Southwold, believes that the best of their beers to pair with beef would be the Jack Brand Ease Up I.P.A. Gold in colour, with big aromas of mango, flavours of pine, melon and hints of grapefruit, Fitzgerald suggests this pairing because their ale can stand up to any acidity in the burger sauce and also cut through the fat of the meat. A clean, dry finish, accompanied by subtle sweetness from the barley provides the perfect end to a beefed up meal.

Lamb burger - Meantime Yakima Red

To give your lamb burger a lift, Meantime’s Rod Jones – creator of the brewery’s ‘knowledge’ sessions and Beer Sommelier of the Year – suggests the innovative Yakima Red. Brewed with British and German malts to give a deep ruby colour and full body, the addition of five varieties of US hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State give this ale a spectacular fruity citrus flavour that will complement the lamb before cleansing the palate with its restrained bitterness.

Chicken or Turkey burger - BrewDog KingPin

The good men at Scottish craft brewery BrewDog have strong opinions on strong flavours. They suggest the epic KingPin lager is perfectly matched with a chicken or turkey burger. Cold-conditioned and brewed with a juggernaut of hops, the robust waves of citrus notes promise to cut through the succulent meat – without over complicating the experience. Turkey and chicken are relative blank canvases for the palate, say the brewers, and their subtle flavours can be enhanced with a beer with a slightly spicy but assertive bitter finish, leaving drinkers itching for their next bite.

Venison burger - Goose Island Honkers Ale

A rich meat, such as venison, calls for a rich ale – and none are as full-bodied and up for the task as Goose Island’s Honkers Ale. Inspired by visits to English country pubs, Honker’s Ale combines a fruity hop aroma with a rich malt middle to create the perfect companion for venison. With notes of caramel, wheat and roasted barley, Goose Island suggest this pairing their ‘golden sunset’ coloured beer with burgers because of its ‘immense drinkability’.

Veggie burger - Kernel's London Sour

Of course, today is about meat – but that shouldn’t stop the vegetarians getting a slice of the action and putting it in a sesame seed bun. Brewer in a Berliner Weisse style, this medium strength beer is not only vegetarian, but vegan. With oaty and lemon notes, this citrussy ale is sour but smokey and will add a sharp lift to the tofu, grains or soy of a veggie burger.

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