Perfect Pairing: Labor Day Holiday and Beer

Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It's not too cool for a barbecue,  not too hot for a picnic. You can feel comforable wearing white pants OR break out your best fall boots. Around this time of year, microbreweries and homebrewers often change up their recipes to incorporate all the fall flavors in their blends and brews. In celebration of Labor Day, the end of summer, and the beeginning of fall, here are some great recipes for the grill (courtesy of The Barbecue Bible creator Steven Raichlen) and their perfect beer pairing. So take a break from your work, crack open a cold one, and toast to the hard working laborers in this great country of ours.

Pulled Pork from The Barbecue Bible

Smoked Salsa from The Barbecue Bible

Also, win a big green egg from Barbecue Bible! 

We'll start with Steven Raichlen's recommended Labor Day feast: South Carolina style pulled pork with smoked salsa and chips. (Click through for recipes!) According to, a good Caroline pulled pork deserves a great Carolina porter or smoked beer. Some suggestions to bring out all the sweet, smoky, vinegar flavors in the meat:

  • Beer and Grill PairingHoly City Brewery Pluff Mud Porter

    Pluff mud [plŭff-mŭd], noun, A mixture of dirt and water indigenous to the marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, with a distinct odor that’s endearing to locals, but off-putting to tourists and redcoats.

    Our second flagship beer was an effort to bring the American Porter style to the Charleston market proper, while also making a beer that stays appealing as the mercury rises. We think we’ve succeeded in Pluff Mud Porter. It presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh.

    Pluff Mud makes its way into bourbon barrels roughly once a year. Keep your eyes (and nostrils) peeled.

  • Beer and Grill Pairings - Pulled PorkCaroline Brewery Oatmeal Porter 

    This hearty dark ale with pleasing hints of molasses and chocolate is robust and full bodied. Fresh rolled oats complement the brew by creating a nice silky texture and a creamy, rocky head. Porter became a style of its own during the early 1700’s when it was the favorite drink of the porters in the produce markets of London, England.


Another incredible grill pairing from Steven Raichlen and Barbecue Bible is the most essential, most All-American of all meats cooked on the grill: the hamburger.

 With a big, juicy burger, a Pale Ale or IPA is the best pairing according to Adam Sivits of the Whole Foods Beer Room. He says, "To me, there's nothing much better than a good burger, fries, and a pale ale or an IPA. If there's going to be bacon and a lot of mustard, then maybe something with a little bit more of a malt backbone, like an American brown or a Scottish or Scotch ale..." For more on Adam Sivits and other delicious-sounding hamburger-and-beer pairings, browse through this article on Serious Eats.  

Two fantastic Pale Ales featured in A Year of Good Beer 2015 Page-A-Day® Calendar are:

  • Hoopla Pale Ale from Boulder Beer Company

    Citrus, pear, and apricot hop aromas mingle wiht a faint, toasty malt, then get blanketed by a firm, mouth-filling bitterness.
  • Schlafly Pale Ale from The Saint Louis Brewery

    The bready, lightly caramel malt complements the hint of fruitiness contributed by the London Ale yeast, making it satisfying and authentic; the perfect flagship beer for Schlafly.

Leave a comment and let us know what you're grilling up today, and what beers you like to say that bittersweet goodbye to summer.

A Year of Good Beer from Page-A-Day┬« Calendar About A Year of Good Beer! 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar: Cheers to a year of fantastic recommendations and guaranteed good drinking. Pour Sapporo’s Reserve Pilsner, boasting a harmonious marriage of bold malted barley and quality hops. A coffee porter done right: Kona’s Pipeline, with a distinct but subtle flavor of Kona’s famous coffee beans. Plus delicious pairings, trivia, quotes, lore, and more—including a summer refresher to crack open after a tough day of yard work: Fancy Lawnmower, of course!

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