These grilled beer brats are stewed in beer with onions and peppers, then topped with caramelized onions, homemade beer cheese and pretzel crumbles. Here is the recipe. Bust out those grills!
Dude! These grilled beer brats ROCK! Now that it is officially grilling season, we're kicking it off the right way with these freakishly AMAZING beer brats that are slowly simmered in beer (yes, beer!), then topped with onions that have been caramelized to perfection and a gooey homemade beer cheese (yes, beer again!) that you can make right on your grill's side burner.
And please don't forget the pretzel crumbles! We want just a BIT of crunch factor here, and pretzels are just what we need, right?
And BEER! Don't forget the beer! It isn't a party at my house without the beer.
The Key to Great Beer Brats
The secret to making awesome beer brats is (dun dun dun!) good quality beer. AND good quality brats. You can make your own brats - See How to Grind Your Own Meats to Make Sausages - or get your favorite brand. There are some really GREAT ones out there.
What Beer Should I Choose?
I like to use a lighter colored beer, but not TOO light, such a good cream ale or an IPA. It is summer time-ish, so I avoid going too dark with the beer. The flavors from all the beer ingredients infuse the brats with flavor, so choose a beer that you love that has a lot of character.
We are close to Wisconsin, so I drive over the border to purchase Spotted Cow from the New Glarus brewery. It's a very tasty cream ale that I've used for this recipe. And while I'm grilling, I enjoy of few of the beers!
How to Make Beer Brats
Let’s get those brats going. First fire up the grill to medium heat.
Start by layering a baking dish with peppers and onions. Make sure to choose a dish that will be OK on the grill. Set the brats over the peppers and onions.
You can fit more on there if you’d like. Go ahead, toss on a couple more. This recipe is easy to scale up.
Next, pour the beer over the brats. You want to cover or mostly cover the brats in beer, so you may need more than one, or use a smaller container.
If you’d prefer to NOT cook with beer, use chicken or vegetable broth. The results will be similar, though not quite the same.
Next, shut the grill lid. Let the brats simmer in there for about 20 minutes, flipping them once about 10 minutes in. They will turn a whitish color.
Now, it’s time to sear! So, remove the baking dish and set it aside. Set the brats directly onto the hot grill grates and sear them a couple minutes per side, until you get those gorgeous dark grill marks, like these babies.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Brats on the Grill?
While the beer brats are cooking and they're getting close to being done, let's get our toppings going, shall we?
Making the Caramelized Onions
Making caramelized onions is easy and I have a little trick that helps them cook up more quickly - a pinch of sugar.
Here is the process. Heat some oil in a pan to medium heat. Add your chopped onion and cook it down about 6-7 minutes, until it is nice and softened up. Add a bit of sugar and water and let it simmer until the moisture reduces and the onions are nicely caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Keep warm.
They turn out nice and sweet this way, ideal for topping beer brats.
Making the Beer Cheese
For the beer cheese, heat a small pot to medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and stir, cooking about 5 minutes, to form a roux. Add 6 ounces of beer and stir to thicken.
Swirl in the cream cheese and chili flakes, then add the cheddar cheese a bit at a time, stirring to incorporate, until it all melts together into a creamy beer cheese. You can add more beer or water if it hasn’t reached your desired consistency.
BOOM! Nice and cheesy!
Serving Up the Beer Brats
When you're ready to serve up the beer brats, set them onto some lightly toasted pretzel buns, then top with the caramelized onions, a few dollops of creamy beer cheese, and finish them off with some crumbled pretzels for that nice crunch factor.
No reason to wait around to making these, my friends. Get that grill fired up now! You need these!
I absolutely love when the weather shifts to warmer weather. It always makes me think of parties growing up with beer brats. And now that Mike makes amazing condiments like this homemade beer cheese it takes these beer brats to the next level. Oh wait, and put it on a pretzel bun and top it with crushed pretzels? Are you kidding me? Over the top!!!
Try These Other Popular Recipes
- Quick Summer Brat Party (with recipes)
- The Ultimate Nacho Cheese Dog Recipe
- Pepper and Egg Sandwich
- Sausage and Peppers
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Grilled Beer Brats with Homemade Beer Cheese - Recipe
- 6 brats
- 18 ounces light beer – a cream ale is great
- 2 large white onions chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
FOR THE BEER CHEESE
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- Toasted pretzel rolls
- Crushed pretzels
- Get the onions going first by heating the oil in a pan to medium heat. Add ¾ of the chopped onion and cook it down about 6-7 minutes, until softened. Add the sugar and water and let it simmer until the moisture reduces and the onions are nicely caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Keep warm.
- While the onions are cooking, set a pan onto your grill’s side burner and add the sausages. Add 12 ounces of beer to cover them. Add the remaining onions and jalapeno peppers. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grates. Sear the sausages about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned on all sides. The internal temperature should be 150 degrees F.
- For the beer cheese, heat a small pot to medium heat and melt the butter.
- Add the flour and stir, cooking about 5 minutes, to form a roux.
- Add the remaining 6 ounces of beer and stir to thicken.
- Swirl in the cream cheese and add the cheddar cheese a bit at a time, stirring to incorporate, until it all melts together into a creamy beer cheese. You can add more beer or water if it hasn’t reached your desired consistency.
- Serve the brats on toasted pretzel rolls. Top with beer cheese, caramelized onions and crushed pretzels.
Rebecca J Hoffman says
What do you do with the onions and peppers you simmered the brats on?
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Rebecca, they are very edible. You can discard them if you'd like, as they're really meant for additional flavor, or serve them with the brats. Delicious!!!
I had a Brat battle and I did yours and and another that had the reverse step of grilling THEN soaking in a crockpot. They were both five stars. (Truth be told I love the having them simmer and people can just grab them whenever). Both just completely worked. This was my first Chili Pepper Madness recipe, I’ll be trying two more this weekend!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Awesome! Thanks! Off to buy more brats...