Let’s start with a good all-purpose beer. Pilsner is your perfect choice. Crisp and refreshing, it won’t weigh you down on a hot July afternoon and it’s familiar enough in color and flavor that even light beer drinkers will go for it.
Pilsner is super versatile with food. It’ll work well with everything from brats to ribs. You can’t go wrong with a pilsner. As a starting point, try Victory Prima Pils, Lagunitas Pils, or North Coast Scrimshaw.
What about basic foods like hot dogs? Dogs and brats are lighter foods in both flavor and weight, so pick a lighter beer to wash them down. German and American wheat beers are good picks. These snappy summer ales feature the bready sweetness of wheat. The American versions are clean and sharp, not too dissimilar to American-style lagers.
The German wheat beers, or hefeweizen, are a bit heavier duty with wonderful banana and clove flavors from special strains of yeast. Either one will balance the sausage while standing up to all the toppings. For a good American wheat look for Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat. Sierra Nevada Keller Weiss is a widely available German-style wheat beer.