What Beers to Pair for #NationalHotDogDay

It’s #nationalhotdogday, and you’re already too preoccupied trying to figure out if it’s a sandwich or not, that you completely forget that nothing goes with a footlong like a perfect craft beer. So you swing by the store to pick up a nice ale and it hits you: “What should I get to go with my tube steak?”

Look no further, as here is a quick and easy guide to make that brat even better with a beautiful brew.

Classic Dog

The original. The champion. The kind you really don’t want to see somebody eat 72 of at a time.

Amber/Red Ale

The malty sweetness goes great alongside the caramelized meats and sweeter condiments, as well as the light sweetness of the bun, while still pushing back with some light hop bitterness.

Personal Pick: Sooke Oceanside Brewing Renfrew Red Ale

Belgian Dubbel

Similar to above, the sweetness is the prominent match, but more through the candi sugar. Great alongside the saltiness of the dog.

Personal Pick: Category 12 Brewing Induction Dubbel


Using more of the bitter/floral notes to contrast the hot dog, lean towards a more classic British-styled IPA, or even an ESB.

Personal Pick: Sooke Brewing Company IPA

Polish Sausage

The stronger flavours scream for a more emphatic beer.

Scotch Ale

A little more sweetness, a little more caramel, a little more of everything. Big flavoured dog calling for a big flavoured beer.

Personal Pick: Russell Brewing Angry Scotch Ale

Aged Beers

Have something you’ve been keeping set aside for a while? A lot of the sweet, malty, warm notes will pair amazingly with the punch of a polish sausage, while some of the sherry notes and possible savoury flavours from aging will carry through even better.

Personal Pick: Howe Sound Brewing Wee Bugger Barley Wine

Amber Ale

A little more restrained than the above options, but providing a balance of sweet, lightly bitter, and palate-cleansing.

Personal Pick: Twa Dogs Brewery Gowden Locks Amber Ale

Chili Dog

Take your classic, and pile on the chili, cheese, and find a private corner to eat this, because it is never a pretty sight to watch that.

Brown Ale

An underrated style, this lighter, malty beer with nice caramel notes can cut through the impact the chili will have on the pairing.

Personal Pick: Spinnakers Brewpub You Otter Have Another Nut Brown Ale


Bready, light, crisp. The perfect opposite of the rich, meaty, thick, and spicy notes.

Personal Pick: Driftwood Brewing Crooked Coast Altbier

Pale Ale

Instead of contrasting, this pairing matches up a lot of the same experiences, matching each drink with the weight of the meal.

Personal Pick: Vancouver Island Brewing Piper’s Pale Ale

Chicago Dog

For the uninitiated, this is an all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled peppers and a dash of celery salt. So sweet, savoury, spicy, tart, and salty.

Fruit Beer

Going a little lighter, but matching up against the amount of light and tart flavours on the dog, a nice bright fruit beer can amplify many of the already bright flavours.

Personal Pick: Swans Brewpub Guilty Pleasure Raspberry Blonde Ale


Crisp, light, and helping to subdue some of the heat from the peppers with its wheat base, this will be a nice easy-drinking option to wash it down.

Personal Pick: Moon Under Water Brewpub This Is Hefeweizen

Pale Ale

Using the savoury notes to its advantage, the maltiness of the pale ale along with the bitterness will bring out some of the saltiness, meatiness as well as the tomato flavours.

Personal Pick: Phillips Brewing Blue Buck

Corn Dog

A hot dog on a stick, so if you happen to be at the state fair today, reach for one of these.

Pale Ale

The light hop bitterness will play off the cornmeal shell and saltiness, and the maltiness against the savoury dog make for a perfect combo.

Personal Pick: Canoe Brewpub West Coast Ale


Kick up the hoppiness, and play off the sweetness even more.

Personal Pick: Hoyne Brewing Devil’s Dream IPA

Amber/Red Ale

Go the other way, use the maltiness and brighten the saltier and savoury aspect of the corndog.

Personal Pick: Lighthouse Brewing Race Rocks Ale

So there you have it, whatever you’re grilling today, make sure you match it with a perfectly paired beer.

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