There are many theories as to why beer goes so well with barbeque. They range from the scientific (I’ve actually read that beer can absorb carcinogens on meat cooked over charcoal), to the sociological (the connection between working class food and drink), to the culinary (“if something tastes good, don’t question it”)
I like to think that beer should be drunk with barbeque because the two share an amazing regional quality. Ribs, like beer, are unique to wherever it’s made. Each regional variation of barbeque has its own sauce, and the belief that all others are inferior. In North Carolina, vinegar-based sauce is king, whereas South Carolinian barbeque has a mustard-base; that familiar tomato-y stuff most of us think of as “Bar-B-Q sauce” hails from Memphis.
As a Yankee with no sauce to pledge allegiance to, when I chow down on ‘que I try as many as possible with hopes of chancing upon just the right combination of flavours. The same approach should be taken to pairing beer with barbeque, and with all food. We need to go beyond the image of a suburban dad manning the grill, “kiss the cook” apron on, ice-cold light beer in hand. Continue reading