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Summer Grilling and the Creation of “Beerinades” by Ginger Johnson


Ginger Johnson Photograph: Judy Pavlik

Ginger Johnson
Photograph: Judy Pavlik

Hang on…let me wipe my mouth. After I read the post on grilled salads from Karie earlier this week, nothing else has been on my flavor brain! I’ll be the first in line to create or order a well made steak salad…or scallop salad…and other delicious, creative, healthy and delightful salads.

Here’s the best part: I’m going to share a few ideas on how to increase the flavor quotient of these already sublime salads. Ready for it?? It’s time to bring on the Beerinades ~

Beerinade is a word I coined to indicate the use of beer as primary (or accenting) ingredient in a marinade. Since a marinade is designed to enhance deliciousness as well as tenderize the foods you soak, beer’s a perfect partner. See, it has a slight acidity that lends its talents to making the foods you want even better. How noble!

A few tips in creating Beerinades:

  1. Use beers with complementary flavors.* For instance if you’re prepping for carne asada, use delicate and medium bodied beers. Kolsch, Pilsners, and California Common styles fit the bill.
  2. If you’re grilling or frying some toothsome vegetables, Reds, Browns, and Ambers would be good matches. Their malty backbone will keep pace with the earthiness of the veggies.
  3. One of my go-to styles is chili beers, like Calapooia’s Chili Beer, for red meat, pork, chicken and tofu. It’ll give you extra zing without being bitter.
  4. Robust beers like Porters and Stouts are excellent for slow roasting, grill or slow cooker, as the flavors will caramelize as they cook. Rendering your work to an uber yummy experience.

CAUTION: Be careful of using IPA’s as they bitterness can unpleasantly linger after the cooking process is done. (I’ll share IPA cooking tips in the future.)

Beer and the Grill Photo:  Ginger Johnson

Beer and the Grill
Photo: Ginger Johnson

So grill up whatever you’re tummy desires, create a simple Beerinade, and toss it with those fresh salad ingredients. They’re just begging for the opportunity to shine the salady spotlight on the goods!

Till the next glass ~

Basic Beerinade

  • I part beer of choice, based on flavors desired*
  • .5 part olive oil
  • Add herbs that work well – dried or fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Play around with this recipe idea – it’s infinitely flexible and fun!

Pairing Suggestion:  Chili Beer in the Beerinade for Carne Asada + warmed (on the grill) tortillas, fresh chopped lettuces, cilantro, and mango with mashed avacado, red onion, and lime juice.

A Terrible BeautyUpcoming Events:

Watch for summer beer dinner, tastings and events – like this one Karie & I are giving at Terrible Beauty June 17th. Register here, now – we want to see you there!

…a marinade is designed to enhance deliciousness as well as tenderize the foods you soak, beer’s a perfect partner.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at or

Author:  Ginger Johnson

Edited by:  Karie Engels


About Basil & Salt Magazine (827 Articles)
Basil & Salt Magazine is filled with recipes, cocktails, wine, beer and travel recommendations, focusing on the enjoyment of the gourmet lifestyle. Our first issue will print and be distributed in September of this year. ~Please join us and poke the 'subscribe' button on the menu to receive exclusive content found only on our printed pages.

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  1. Beer, Berries and Ice Cream by Ginger Johnson | Your Home with Karie Engels
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