Here Are 5 Delicious Ways to Turn Beer into Barbecue-Ready Sides, From #BurgerBattleSTL Chefs (+ Their Perfect-Burger Grilling Tips)

By Jessica Leitch
In Culture

This year’s Budweiser Burger Battle chefs offer up recipes for beer-inspired sides that pair perfectly with barbecue. Be sure to swing by on Aug. 2 for the event of the summer, hosted by ALIVE at Soldiers Memorial.


Blue plate: Bacon Burger, by Mike Johnson at Sugarfire Smoke House
A juicy burger from last year’s Burger Battle Judge’s Choice Winner.

White platter: Budweiser Fried Asparagus, by Zach Rice, Three Monkeys
Top it off with Rice’s Lemon-Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

Ingredients – Budweiser Fried Asparagus
1 lb small asparagus, trimmed to about 5 inches
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup self-rising flour
8 oz Budweiser, room temperature

Directions: Whisk salt, black pepper, and self-rising flour together. Slowly whisk in room temperature Budweiser. Coat the asparagus in the batter and fry in vegetable oil at 350 degrees. Fry until batter is a golden brown color – about 2 minutes. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel before serving.

Ingredients – Lemon Yogurt Dipping Sauce
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest

Directions: Mix together all ingredients in a bowl, and set aside to serve as a dipping sauce for the Budweiser fried asparagus.


Top bowl: Mango Slaw, by Jack W. MacMurray III, Joe Buck’s Downtown
The best of summer in one dish.

Ingredients – Budweiser Mango Slaw
2 cups mango, sliced thin
2 cups jicama, julienne cut
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 cup sweet red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup green onion, sliced thin
12oz Budweiser
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup local honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon poppy seed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Mix the mango, jicama, red pepper, red onion, and green onion in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend together the Budweiser, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, celery seed, celery salt, and poppy seed. Combine the dressing with the mango mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Gingham platter: Bud-battered Mushrooms, by Mike Johnson, Sugarfire Smoke House
Slather on the Buddonaise.

Ingredients – Buddonaise
1 cup real mayonnaise
⅓ can Budweiser
1 tablespoon Curry powder
2 scallions, sliced

Directions: Mix ingredients in bowl, chill until ready to use.

Ingredients – Beer Battered Mushrooms
2 cups Budweiser
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups cooking oil

Directions: Heat oil to 375 degrees in a large pot. Mix Budweiser, flour, garlic powder, and salt until blended without any lumps. Dip mushrooms in batter, coat well, and fry until crispy. Remove mushrooms to paper towel to drain. Serve with Buddonaise.

Bottom bowl: Cheddar Ale Spread, by Matt Galati, The Dam
With hand-cut Belgian fries? Yes, please.

Ingredients – Cheddar Ale Spread
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch cayenne (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Budweiser beer
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions: Combine the cream cheese, Dijon mustard, cayenne (if using), cheddar cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper in food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, then add the Budweiser beer and Worcestershire sauce. Continue processing until very smooth. Add parsley and pulse until just dispersed. Can be stored in the refrigerator up to four days; remove 1 hour before serving.


“Buy meat from a butcher you know and trust. Have them grind the meat to your specifications to be as fresh as possible.” – Brian Durbin, Bishop’s Post

“Be careful with your marinades and seafood. If you’re using a marinade that contains fresh citrus, the citrus can actually start to cook your food if you marinade it too long.” – Anthony Ellerson, The Kitchen Sink

“Don’t use lean meat! You aren’t eating a burger to be healthy, so make sure you have good quality meat with at least 20 percent fat. Season it with plenty of kosher salt and  cracked black pepper on both sides before putting your patty on a very hot surface.” Laura Borghardt, Stacked

“I like to start with my meat closer to room temperature rather than taking it directly from refrigeration.” Mathew Unger, Mathew’s Kitchen 

“Just one flip of the patty is needed. Cooked medium-rare is my favorite temperature and  ensures that the burger is juicy and full of flavor.” – David Kirkland, Cafe Osage

“Ice down the burger for 10 minutes before grilling. This keeps the fat in the center from   rendering quite as fast, resulting in a good sear on the outside with a nice and juicy middle.” – Carl Hazel, Scottish Arms


Art direction by AMANDA DAMPF


This post has been brought to you in part by Anheuser-Busch. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE growing.

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