Updated at: 02-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Ever wondered what the secret ingredient is to make that perfect, juicy beer can chicken? It’s all about picking the right brew.

In fact, a study showed that Pilsner Urquell is considered the best beer for beer can chicken due to its complementary pairing and crisp taste.

This article will guide you through selecting the ideal type of beers for your flavorful dish by breaking down their characteristics and offering expert advice on top choices.

Factors to Consider

Best Beer For Beer Can Chicken (1)

Flavor Profile

Understanding the flavor profile of your choice beer is crucial in achieving a lip-smacking beer can chicken. A lager, with its moderate bitterness and overall balance, often plays well with many seasoning choices for the chicken.

Likewise, Pilsners like Pilsner Urquell offer a crisp taste that complements the meat nicely. Certain fruit-enhanced beers such as Four Peaks Peach Ale bring an interesting dimension to your beer-infused chicken recipes by introducing subtle sweet undertones.

However, it’s important to note that while these flavors subtly seep into the poultry, their main role is not to season but help create a moist cooking environment for perfect tenderness.


The level of carbonation in a beer can affect the overall flavor and cooking process. High levels of carbonation can help to tenderize the meat by breaking down its fibers, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful chicken.

Additionally, the bubbles created by carbonation can help to infuse the meat with subtle notes of flavor from the beer.

It’s worth noting that different styles of beers have varying levels of carbonation, so it’s essential to choose one that suits your taste preferences and desired outcome for your beer can chicken recipe.

Maltiness and Hoppiness

The maltiness and hoppiness of a beer play important roles in enhancing the flavor of beer can chicken. When it comes to maltiness, beers with a rich malty character can add depth and sweetness to the chicken, complementing its natural flavors.

For example, darker beers like stouts and porters have roasted malt flavors that can give a smoky and caramelized taste to the chicken.

On the other hand, hoppiness refers to the bitterness derived from hops in beer. Beers with hoppy profiles can provide a contrasting element to balance out the richness of the meat.

Pale ales and India pale ales (IPAs) are known for their hop-forward nature, which adds a touch of citrusy flavor or floral notes that harmonize well with grilled or smoked chicken.

It’s worth noting that while maltiness and hoppiness contribute to the overall taste experience, they should not overpower or dominate the dish.

The goal is to find a balanced beer that complements rather than overpowers the flavors of beer can chicken.

Alcohol Content

The alcohol content of the beer you choose for your beer can chicken can have an impact on both the flavor and cooking process. A higher alcohol content can add a stronger flavor to the chicken, while lower alcohol beers may provide a more subtle taste.

It’s important to note that during cooking, most of the alcohol will evaporate, leaving behind only the flavors. So even if you’re concerned about using alcoholic beverages in your cooking, rest assured that it won’t leave your dish boozy.

Ultimately, when it comes to selecting a beer for beer can chicken, consider what level of alcohol flavor you prefer and experiment with different options to find your perfect match.

Top 5 Beers for Beer Can Chicken

Looking for the best beers to enhance your beer can chicken? Check out our top 5 picks that will take your meal to the next level!

Pilsner Urquell

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Pilsner Urquell is widely regarded as the best overall beer for cooking beer can chicken. This classic Czech lager pairs exceptionally well with chicken and offers a crisp, clean flavor profile that enhances the taste of the meat.

With its light color and moderate bitterness, Pilsner Urquell creates a perfect balance when used for beer can chicken. It provides moisture to the bird without overpowering it with strong flavors.

What makes this beer even more appealing is its availability and affordability, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to achieve flavorful and juicy results when cooking this popular dish.

Bud Light

Calories In 12 Oz Bud Light (1)

Bud Light is a popular choice for beer can chicken, and it’s easy to see why. This light lager has a crisp and refreshing flavor that pairs well with the smoky flavors of grilled chicken. With its low alcohol content, Bud Light won’t overpower the chicken or leave behind any unwanted bitterness.

It provides just enough carbonation to help create a moist cooking environment without adding excessive foam to the beer can.

So, if you’re looking for a straightforward and reliable option for your beer can chicken recipe, Bud Light is definitely worth considering.

Guinness Stout

Best Beer For Beer Can Chicken (3)

Guinness Stout is a popular choice for beer can chicken due to its rich and robust flavor profile. This iconic Irish stout adds depth and complexity to the chicken, enhancing its natural flavors.

With its creamy texture and hints of roasted malt, Guinness Stout creates a succulent and tender dish that is sure to impress.

The dark color of the stout also adds a beautiful caramelized appearance to the chicken once it’s cooked.

So if you’re looking for a bold and flavorful option for your beer can chicken recipe, look no further than Guinness Stout.

Blue Moon Wheat Beer

Blue Moon White Ipa Calories (3)

Blue Moon Wheat Beer is a popular choice for beer can chicken due to its unique flavor profile. This Belgian-style wheat ale has hints of orange peel and coriander, which add a citrusy note to the chicken as it cooks.

The light and refreshing nature of Blue Moon pairs well with the flavors of grilled or smoked chicken, creating a delicious combination. Its smooth and slightly creamy texture helps to keep the meat moist during cooking, resulting in tender and flavorful chicken.

Whether grilling or roasting your beer can chicken, Blue Moon Wheat Beer adds a delightful twist to this classic dish.

Newcastle Brown Ale

Best Beer For Beer Can Chicken (4)

Newcastle Brown Ale is a flavorful and rich beer that can add depth to your beer can chicken recipe. With its smooth caramel and nutty notes, Newcastle brings a unique flavor profile to the dish.

While it may not be as commonly used as some other beers for beer can chicken, Newcastle Brown Ale offers a delicious twist that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

One of the key factors in selecting the best beer for beer can chicken is the maltiness, which adds complexity and enhances the overall taste. Newcastle hits the mark with its malty sweetness, complementing the savory flavors of the chicken perfectly.

Its smoothness also ensures that your bird stays moist throughout cooking.

If you’re looking to step up your beer can chicken game, give Newcastle Brown Ale a try. Its distinctive flavor profile will take your dish to new heights and leave you wanting more of this delectable combination.

Beers to Avoid for the Perfect Flavor

Firstly, it’s best to steer clear of strongly flavored or heavily hopped beers when cooking beer can chicken. Beers with intense citrusy or hoppy profiles can be overpowering and may detract from the natural flavors of the chicken.

Similarly, dark and heavy-bodied beers like porters and stouts may create a taste imbalance that doesn’t quite harmonize with the poultry.

Additionally, highly aromatic brews should be used sparingly or avoided altogether. Certain types of fruit-infused or spiced beers may clash with the delicate flavors of the chicken. Instead, opt for milder options that won’t overpower your dish but still contribute some subtle notes.

So keep these tips in mind when selecting your preferred beer for beer can chicken – opt for more neutral options over bold ones and let the natural flavors of your poultry shine through!


In conclusion, when it comes to the best beer for beer can chicken, there are several factors to consider such as flavor profilecarbonationmaltiness, and hoppiness. Pilsner Urquell stands out as a top choice due to its crispness and compatibility with chicken.

So grab your favorite brew and get ready to enjoy some deliciously flavorful beer can chicken!