Best Brews for Barbecues

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Tips to help navigate the beer aisle this season including suggested micro, specialty and import beers to pair with the most popular barbecued foods, from Jennifer Faulk, who leads the Glunz Beer Culinary Council for Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., a Lincolnwood, Ill.-based premier beer distributor.

Summer is synonymous with backyard barbecues, but choosing a beer to serve with your favorite grilled foods can be daunting given the hundreds of micro, specialty and import brands now available. To help navigate the beer aisle this season, Jennifer Faulk, who leads the Glunz Beer Culinary Council - a cadre of local chefs and other beer aficionados - for Lincolnwood, Ill.-based Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., suggests a few best brews for barbecues.

"Beer is the new wine and the huge range of flavors, aromas, and textures makes it a perfect match for nearly any kind of food," explains Faulk. "In general, the lighter the meat being served the lighter the beer style, whereas darker meats stand-up better to a darker, heavier beer style." Before you next fire up the grill, consider these beer and barbecue pairings. The brands listed are available wherever better beers are sold in Chicagoland and prices are suggested retail.

Grilled Chicken/Brats/Hot Dogs

New Holland Full Circle Kolsch - A light-bodied ale with a slight hoppiness and just enough flavor to complement the light flavors of these foods. Six-pack of 12 ounce bottles $8.99.

Stiegl Lemon Radler - A light lager blended with lemon soda, another lighter flavor, to complement the food and quench a big summer thirst. Six-pack of 16.9 ounce bottles $12.99. Single 16.9 ounce bottle $2.49.

Grilled Salmon

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager - A light lager with less bitterness than a traditional pilsner and a dry finish to cleanse the palate and make the next bite of food as fresh as the first. Six-pack of 12 ounce bottles $8.99.

Pinkus Pilsner - A USDA Certified organic pilsner with a well-balanced clean hop and malt character, also with a dry finish to complement the fish. Single 17 ounce bottle $3.49.

Hamburgers

Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager - Medium-bodied lager with richer malts that enhance the richness of red meat. Six-pack of 12 ounce bottles $9.49.

Capital Brown Ale - Dark, mildly sweet-roasted malts balance the charred meat. Six-pack of 12 ounce bottles $8.99.

BBQ Ribs

Schlenkerla Helles Lager - Lighter-bodied beer with a mild smokiness to balance a sweet or tangy barbecue sauce. Single 16.9 ounce bottle $3.75.

Chimay Red Ale - Abbey Dubbel-style ale with richer malts to complement any barbecued foods, and slightly higher alcohol content and a hint of bitterness to balance the richness of the sauce.. Single 11.2 ounce bottle $4.49.

About Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.
Founded in 1888 by Louis Glunz I in Chicago, Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. is among the oldest beer distributors in the United States and the recipient of the 2007 "Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award" from the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association for promoting craft beer and making consumer choice a top priority. The 120-year-old company is family-owned and operated by president, Jack Glunz, the grandson of Louis Glunz I, with day-to-day operations led by five of his and his late wife Patricia's seven children as members of the fourth generation. The first member of the fifth generation has also joined the staff, with other members working during school breaks. Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. features an extensive portfolio of 665 micro, specialty and import beers from 67 suppliers representing 152 breweries worldwide, and is the premier distributor to restaurants, bars, liquor and grocery stores in Chicagoland. The company is dedicated to quality service and to educating its customers and the public about beer tastes and trends. For more information, visit http://www.glunzbeers.com.

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