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The PERFECT Beer Boiled Brats

I love changing up what I grill, which is why beer boiled brats have been on the menu this week again. Some links in this article are affiliate links.

Let’s recap. It’s the middle of September, but that doesn’t mean we stop making yummy food on the grill.

Oh no. Around here, we grill all year round – so long as we can get a path to the grill through the snow, we’re grilling at least once a week!

Last week, I shared the bacon cheddar stuffed burgers we made over Labor Day weekend (again). They were awesome.

This week isn’t a new favorite on the grill but rather an old one. If I’m going to have a bratwurst, I sure hope that it’s a beer boiled one.

Bratwurst with mustard and relish on a plate with more in the background.

The first time I mentioned this to my husband, back when we were dating, he looked at me like I was nuts. I looked at him like I was nuts.

You mean you’ve never had a beer boiled brat before?” I asked him incredulously. Apparently this is a regional thing.

Let me be the first to tell you: It shouldn’t be. Beer boiled brats are awesome. They are the way bratwurst was meant to be eaten. They take some thinking ahead, but it’s well worth it.

Six grilled bratwurst on buns on a plate on a wooden table

What kind of beer should I use for beer boiled brats?

Do not use your fancy, expensive beer. That is simply a waste of money – and of good beer.

Instead, go for the cheapest beer you can find that isn’t skunky. I prefer an IPA or other lighter beer over a heavier stout.

That said, use what you have on hand. I’ve made it with a variety of beer varieties, and I’ve never had a complaint.

How much beer do I need?

Budget about a third to a half cup of beer for each bratwurst you make to start. This will depend partially on the size and depth of your pan, but it’s a pretty good estimate.

As you simmer the brats in beer, some will evaporate, especially if you have them on the grill. Keep extra on hand just in case.

Can I prep these ahead of time?

You can absolutely boil these in advance then grill them later. In fact, this past weekend, I boiled them at home before I brought them to a beach to grill them there.

You don’t want to grill them and serve them later, however. Like most meat, they taste best when they’re freshly cooked.

You can boil them up to two days in advance before you grill them. Let them come to room temperature, then store them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge until you grill them.

What’s the best way to make beer boiled brats for a party?

If you’re making a lot of them for a large party, use a disposable roasting pan and boil them on your grill.

Depending on how many you need, use either a half or full roasting pan. If it comes with a cover, great. If not, use aluminum foil to cover it to keep the beer from evaporating too quickly.

How should I toast my buns?

First, use traditional hot dog buns. They’re the right size and texture for this.

Second, yes, toast the buns. They taste better and have a better texture, I promise.

Added bonus? They help keep your toppings from making the bun soggy. No one wants a soggy bun.

To toast them, wait until your brats are about halfway done before you start.

Carefully open them, and place them face down on the grill. Ensure you have a spot with heat but not direct flame.

Let them toast for about two minutes, then carefully remove them.

Are beer boiled brats gluten free?

The bratwurst themselves are gluten free – though always check the label. Manufacturers sneak odd ingredients into things constantly, but they should contain no gluten.

Beer, however, has gluten. When you boil the brats in beer, you add gluten to them.

However… many manufacturers now make gluten free beer. If you have someone with a gluten intolerance, use one of those brands and gluten free buns.

With those precautions, you can make gluten free beer boiled brats.

Grilled bratwurst in buns next to a grill


How to Make Beer Boiled Brats

Get your standard bratwurst. These are the normal everyday ones that taste decent, but you’re going to make them magnificent.

Place them in a pot and cover with the beer. You want them completely covered by a half inch or so, but no need to use more beer than that.

Use a heavy pot that retains the heat and won’t scorch. I love my enameled cast iron pot for this.

When you pour the beer, be careful. You want the beer to not get all foamy and frothy as much as you can help it, so pour slowly to minimize that.

You want them covered by a half inch or so. For mine, that took about 2 cans of beer. The rest, I saved for later.

Turn the heat up enough so that they boiling, then reduce to a simmer.

Leave them along for a good two hours or so. Check them periodically to see how the level of beer is doing.

You want them to stay covered by beer the whole time, so every half hour or so, check on them and add some more beer to top them off if needed.

After two hours of the beer jacuzzi, place your brats on a medium temperature grill. Grill them for just a couple minutes on each side, and that finishes them off perfectly.

Bratwurst on the grill.

Use your grill tongs to carefully remove them. Add them to their buns and put the appropriate toppings on them, and you’re good to go.

Adding mustard to grilled bratwurst on a bun

Weigh in: How do you top your beer boiled brats?

Bratwurst with mustard and relish on a plate with more in the background.

Beer Boiled Brats

If you love bratwurst, you'll love beer boiled brats. This is the way they were supposed to be eaten!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Lactose
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Boiling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 9 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Michelle


  • 8 bratwurst
  • 2 2/3 cups pale ale
  • 8 hot dog buns


  • Add bratwurst to a heavy pan. Carefully pour beer over the brats, then cover.
    8 bratwurst, 2 2/3 cups pale ale
  • Turn the heat to medium, and bring brats to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Simmer brats for two hours.
  • Remove brats from beer, and heat grill to medium.
  • Grill brats 5-7 minutes, turning periodically.
  • Place onto lightly toasted buns and top appropriately, then serve immediately.
    8 hot dog buns



  • Any beer you have on hand, but an ale is traditionally what you want to use.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 976mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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  1. […] love brats and these Beer Boiled Brats from Honest and Truly sound […]

  2. Mrs4444 says:

    Ooohhh….yum. I only simmer mine for a half hour or so. I should try your method! Thanks.

  3. Michelle says:

    Pat – They are well worth it. Water away!

    Tara – Have you ever made them before? They absolutely rock. So much better than the regular ones.

    Heather – So glad to hear you're like me on both counts. I got the oddest look from my husband the first time I explained this to my husband.

    Joanna – That is a memory, isn't it? I hope the wee ones giggle about their daddy in the blizzard just as much as we do.

  4. Joanna Jenkins says:

    Hi Michelle, I've never made Brats before but these look fantastic. Growing up in Ohio, I remember my Dad out at the bbq in his winter coat in a blizzard grilling 🙂
    xo jj

  5. Heather E says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Heather E says:

    I love love love beer boiled brats. They are one of my most FAVORITE summer staples. AND we also grill year round here, even in the snow. There is just nothing like grilled food. YUM!

  7. Heather E says:

    I love love love beer boiled brats. They are one of my most FAVORITE summer staples. AND we also grill year round here, even in the snow. There is just nothing like grilled food. YUM!

  8. Tara R. says:

    Surprisingly I have some cheap beer in my beer frig… and some brats. I see a grill fest coming up soon.

  9. Pat says:

    My mouth's watering just reading about them!

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