Suds and spice, brats and brews

HotdogCoffee and doughnuts, wine and cheese, milk and cookies – all tried-and-true flavor combinations. In light of July 23 being deemed National Hot Dog Day, we decided to explore another match made in heaven: brats and brews!

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume more than seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day! In fact, hot dogs are so popular, the entire month of July is devoted to the food staple of picnics and ballparks.

So, crank up the grill and ice down some refreshing beer to celebrate our culinary embrace of the hot dog. Our suppliers have brews that will complement any brat you choose.

Originally hailing from Ireland, nothing says hearty flavor like a Guinness Original Extra Stout. First brewed in Dublin in 1759, Extra Stout pairs well with Andouille sausages. The thick, malty texture provides a well-balanced counterpart for zesty flavor-packed hot dogs and brats.

Beck’s Sapphire, with its specially engineered black bottle, derives its name from rare German Sapphire hops. Founded in 1873, Beck’s is brewed in the city of Bremen in northwest Germany. Beer and brats are a German tradition, and Beck’s Premier Light, with just 64 calories, will leave plenty of room on your plate for extra grilled delights.

Pair a witbier, or “white beer,” with weisswurst, a “white sausage.” Leinenkugal’s Sunset Wheat is a well-balanced Belgian witbier of malted wheat, pale barley malt and cluster hops. Weisswurst is a traditional Bavarian dish made from finely minced garlic, pork and veal.

Pop the top on a Sunset Wheat and throw a weisswurst sausage on the grill for a delicious combination. Serve with soft pretzels and mustard to capture all the flavor this meal has to offer.

You also can keep it basic and celebrate National Hot Dog Day with a classic American dog. Whether you slather your hot dog in sauerkraut, mustard or chili, Lagunitas PILS will make a refreshing match. Crisp and full-bodied, PILS boasts flavor that pops with any hot dog combination.

Nothing says summertime like an ice cold brew and a spicy brat. So raise a glass and a bun to warm weather and smoking grills! And, as always, drink responsibly.

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