Thursday, May 22, 2014


by Pat Vaughn

Summer is finally within our reach! After such a tough winter and a rainy spring, most of us in New England are beyond happy to celebrate the unofficial start of the summer this weekend. Although Memorial Day does not actually mark the beginning of summer, the team at GAP considers it to be the start of something tastier: grilling season. To ensure that your grilling season is fired up right, we have some fantastic food and drink ideas that are perfect for your summer barbecue.

Summer seasonal craft beers are always a huge hit at outdoor events, and a prominent trend this year is session IPAs. These are beers with large flavor profiles and ABVs commonly lower than 5%, which pairs well with many warm-weather summer activities. Give Founders All Day IPA or Notch Left of the Dial IPA a try.

Grilling season is also the perfect time to crack open a refreshing shandy, which is traditionally beer mixed with lemonade. Over the last few years, many breweries have developed their own versions of shandy as the style has increased immensely in popularity. Be sure to grab the quintessential Summer Shandy by Leinenkugel’s, or give the new Narragansett Del’s Shandy a taste.

Beers aren’t just for drinking. Draft Magazine has a recipe for beer barbecue sauce (seen below), which is a delicious addition to your cookout, whether you’re grilling chicken, beef, or pork. Use an amber ale (Fat Tire) for chicken, a porter (Stone Smoked Porter) for beef, and a fruity wheat beer (Wachusett Blueberry Ale) for pork. Save the remainder of the beer for enjoying with your delicious concoctions. And don't forget to use the proper tools for the job! Check out GAP's handy Barbecue Tool Set:

While Memorial Day does mark the triumphant return to beautiful weather and spending time outside with friends and family, it’s mainly a day to remember and honor the men and women who have died protecting our country. Enjoy the holiday and be sure to appreciate the soldiers who have made this all possible.

Beer Barbecue Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 cup beer of choice


In a sauce pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, onion, and garlic; cook until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, honey Dijon, molasses, brown sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce; bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from heat and add the beer. For a smoother sauce, strain out the onions or pulse in a blender.

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