Whether or not it’s your first time hearing about beer brats, we can all agree they look delicious. You’re here wondering what the best beer for brats is, whether for drinking or cooking.
The short answer is that you can make use of any beer you have, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s dive into this article to explore what beers we could use and tips for your brats.
Brats are a short form of the German link sausage called bratwurst. Most of the time, pork, veal, or beef is used to make them.
Even though you can cook a brat in a cast iron skillet on the stove, in a slow cooker or crockpot, or on your patio grill, there is only one way to cook a beer brat, and that is with beer.
The rules are easy to understand. First, whatever beer you have available in your fridge is the best beer for beer brats.
After what’s in your fridge, the next best beer for brats is what beer caters to your taste buds.
A beer brat recipe usually calls for a good or cheap mass-produced pilsner. We’re talking about beers like Miller High Life, PBR, and Bud, which craft beer breweries don’t make.
You don’t have to use a macro lager or big beer pilsner. You can use your favorite local dry IPA, which could still work.
A suggestion would be to go with something with more caramel flavor, like a strong Imperial Porter like Barrel House Z’s Campfire King.
Guinness is a good choice if you want to change things up but don’t want to try a craft beer, as Guinness Beer Brats are very tasty.
But for those who do love Lager, here are the reasons why lager works, too!
Why people drink and use Lager:
The beer has a crisp flavor that doesn’t overpower the brat.
For a 6-pack of brats, you will need at least two cans, depending on how many you cook.
Most lagers won’t boil over when being cooked, but some may make a mess.
Lagers are also easy to find, especially cheap ones, and it’s fine to use cheap ones to cook.
If you want to be traditional, choose a pilsner from Wisconsin. A Green State Lager from Zero Gravity in Vermont would also be a good choice.
The best beer might also change with the seasons. Maybe it’s summer brat season, and you have a case of Das Weizen, a hefeweizen from Springdale Beer Company, in your fridge.
Extra points if it’s German-style. You could also use a West Coast Dry Hard Cider if you want to try something new. Cider brats sound just as fun.
Advice for making Beer Brats
- Use a good brand like Johnsonville or meat from your local butcher.
- Less expensive brats are, well, cheaper. And if you can help it, don’t buy them all at once.
- Use a lager/pilsner beer and soak overnight.
- Lager is one of the best choices.
- Do not poke a brat with a needle.
- Some people have suggested making holes in the case, but that is not a good idea. If you poke holes in the brat, the fat will leak out, and you’ll end up with one of the toughest and chewiest brats ever. The small amount of fat added is for flavor and cooking science, so just don’t poke it!
- Don’t boil sausages.
- First, grill or sear, and then slow-cook. When you boil meat, you take away its flavor.
- Don’t cook on a hot grill.
Sometimes we do love a hot dog that’s a little charred and crispy, and that’s perfectly fine. But a brat is a special sausage wrapped in a rigid casing that sadly is not fire-proof.
It will burst open, and you will lose all that tasty juice. The juice is flammable, so if it gets on the flame, it will cause more flare-ups.
Then you’ll have a charred brat that doesn’t taste good—instead, grill on low heat. Use a beer that will also be served as a drink to cook with.
It’s okay if you don’t, but to make the food and drinks go together, keep them in the same area.
Can You Soak Brats In Beer Overnight?
Soaking brats overnight in beer is a great way to give the meat that beer flavor. You can cook them right out of the package, but they taste better if you soak them first.
Take them out of the package and reshape them to be round instead of flat. Put in a pot or any other large container that will fit in the fridge.
If you like onions, peel and cut one in half. You don’t need to chop it because we don’t want all those pieces everywhere.
Either use the beer you soaked the brats in or crack open some fresh cans to cook them. Soaking overnight wouldn’t do much to improve the taste, but you must soak for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking.
Related Reading: Mainstream and Craft Beer With Low Calories – Check Them out Here
Ultimately, you should still pick a beer that caters to your taste buds’ preferences. Everyone has their own taste; just make sure to cook your brats properly!