Today, we start with the experts.
In my meanderings about the fine city of Madison, I've come across a few retailers who really seem to know their beer. Not only Vanessa at Maduro, Matt and Josef at Brasserie V, and Adam at Star Liquor, but also Jan at the West-side Steve's Liquors and David at Barriques in Fitchburg (at PD and Seminole). I could talk beer all day with any of them. They know their stuff, are passionate, and quick with excellent recommendations. While Woodman's gets credit for quantity, each of these get mucho credit for quality - and, perhaps more surprisingly, for the most part their own preferences and tastes are reflected in their selections. You will find a number of beers at each of these locations that you won't find at the others. Of course, that means you have to make regular trips to each to see what's new ... but ... whoa be to anyone for whom this is truly a problem.
So, when posed the question, "What's your perfect chilling with the fam grilling and beer combination?" This is what a couple of them had to say.
Jan, from the West-side Steve's, says:
Garlic, olive oil and rosemary marinated pork tenderloin with Maredsous Triple. (Belgian) The slight sweetness of the Triple marries beautifully with the garlic and richness of the pork.I love that recommendation for Bell's Sparkling, an underrated, interesting take on an American-ized and highly carbonated Belgian triple.
Sesame seared tuna steaks and Ommegang's Hennepin [ed note: Hennepin is a saison style]. Fast and fabulous!
Spicy, thai-style shrimp skewers and Bells' Sparkling or Furthermore's Fatty Boombalatty.
David, at Fitchburg Barriques, says:
#1 - Burgers on the grill - Capital Amber
#2 - Brats need a wheat beer - My current fav is Flying Dog In Heat Wheat
#3 - For a full weekend bbq with the guys...PBR! (it goes with everything)
And yes, PBR goes with everything.
By the way, thank you to the most excellent Elvis Santana for the fine photo.