Vegetarian Beer Pairing: A Night Out at the Grill

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The Mushroom BurgerI’m not a vegetarian, but a good friend of mine is. Recently I had a beer tasting party and cookout, and she came and indulged. I had the beer, she had the (mushroom) burger. Together, we had a tasty vegetarian beer pairing. Read on to duplicate the experience:

The Beer: Sam Adams Summer Ale. This Massachusetts-based brewery has an extremely drinkable beer in Beer of the Gods. I’m usually turned off by hoppy beers, but this one slid down easy with or without food. The alcohol content of this German-style blonde ale is a little low at 4.5 percent, but it’s perfect if you’re just stopping by at a friend’s cookout.

This beer smelled a little like wheat and had a nice dark amber color. It has a lot of citrus notes that are balanced by bitter notes. You will notice the malt in this beer. I know some people drink their beers warm, but this is a beer best served icy cold. I found that I picked up more of the beer’s subtleties when I drank it from a class than from the glass bottle.

Recommended reading: Best Grilling Cookbooks

The (Mushroom) Burger: Forget meat. Once you take a sip of Sam Adams and a bite of this mushroom burger, you won’t be craving a hamburger anymore. Mushrooms are a great meat substitute because they soak up marinades well and have a meaty texture. Enjoy my recipe:

  • 1 portobello mushroom cap
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, fresh is preferableĀ (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 slice of fresh Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice each of lettuce, tomato and onionĀ (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
  • Pickles
  • 1 sesame roll, split

Recommended reading: Best Burger Press

Mix the butter, vinegar and spices in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the mushroom cap, being sure to cover all surfaces. Allow the mushroom to soak in the juices for 30 minutes, turning the cap once at the halfway point.

Note: you can also use a vacuum marinator! They work like a vacuum sealer, but are meant to better marinade your food!

Plop the mushroom on the grill and grill until tender. This will depend on the size and thickness of your mushroom cap. Just before the mushroom is ready, put the cheese on top and allow the bun to toast. Assemble (I like mine with pickles on the side) and enjoy with your beer.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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