Beer Brats

A party isn’t a party without Beer Brats! Bratwurst simmered in beer and onions, then grilled to a crisp, juicy perfection before serving. These beer-infused brats are always a hit at parties and cook outs!

Coming from the midwest, beer brats are a party staple. My parents always used one secret ingredient that I haven’t found in most bratwurst recipes and I think it really makes these brats the best!

bratwurst with onions on a platter with beer and ketchup

Beer Brats Recipe

Beer brats are the family recipe that each family cooks slightly different than everyone else. The basics are always the same: bratwurst, beer and onions. But then I have found that different families add their own little touches.

Our family used butter. Why? Because butter seems to make everything taste better.

Beer Brats are perfect for cook outs, parties and holidays but also just for an easy dinner night at home. Grab your favorite beer and let’s get grilling!

What Is Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a mild German sausage typically made from pork, but it can be made from a combination of pork, veal and beef.

Bratwurst usually are made with a natural casing made from animal intestines that give the sausages a delicious snap when you bite into them.

Ingredients For Making Bratwurst Cooked In Beer

All you need is a few ingredients to make these mouth-watering, juicy grilled beer brats!

ingredients for making beer brats
  • Bratwurst: Raw bratwurst is what we’re looking for here. Sometimes you’ll see bratwurst that’s already cooked and just needs to be finished off on the grill but since we’re simmering this bratwurst in beer, we need them raw.
  • Vidalia Onions: A Vidalia onions is a large yellow onion that’s super sweet. You can use regular yellow onions and that will work just fine, but grab Vidalia onions if you can!
  • Beer: Use your favorite beer, whatever you like to drink. A summer ale like we have here is delicious, but you can use a pilsner, lager or really anything you have on hand. Darker beers like stout work great too if you really want to amp up the beer flavor in these brats!
  • Hot Dog Buns: Hot dog buns seem to be the perfect size for bratwurst, but you can use any long roll that you find.

How Do You Make Beer Brats?

Bratwurst cooked in beer are so easy to make! All you need to do is add the raw bratwurst to a pot along with sliced onions and butter. Pour in your favorite beer and bring to a simmer.

Simmer the brats for about an hour until they are cooked through and have absorbed all the delicious beer, onion and butter flavor.

bratwurst, onions and butter in a pot

Place the brats on a grill that’s about 400 degrees and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until you get lovely grill marks.

bratwurst on the grill

Finishing the bratwurst on the grill not only adds these lovely grill marks, but it creates that delicious snap we all love when you take a bite.

Simmering the brats in beer, butter and onions first not only adds the most delicious flavor, but it makes the bratwurst super tender and juicy!

brats on the grill

How Do You Serve Beer Brats?

Top this delicious grilled bratwurst with the onions that simmered in the beer and butter for the most delicious bite of sausage you’ve ever tasted. Condiments served on the side usually include spicy mustard or brown mustard and ketchup.

Although I’ve seen lots of other toppings and condiments for bratwurst like mayonnaise, relish and even hot sauce!

What To Serve With Grilled Bratwurst?

Gather up all your favorite sides for these delicious grilled sausages! We have so many side dish options here to share with you, so go ahead and check out our full side dish menu when you have a chance.

Here are some of our favorite sides to serve with bratwurst:

beer brats with onions on a platter

Can You Make Beer Brats Ahead Of Time?

Absolutely. This is a perfect make ahead dinner recipe for easy nights at home or for parties and BBQs!

Boil the bratwurst in beer, onions and butter for 1 hour and then let cool. Place the pot into the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.

This can be done a day ahead of time if needed. Remove the pot from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature and then grill the brats per the recipe.

bratwurst with onions on a platter close up

What Kind Of Bratwurst Should I Buy?

Like we mentioned before, all you need for this recipe is raw bratwurst. You can grab your favorite brand from the grocery store or get them from your local butcher.

Just make sure wherever you get your bratwurst that they are raw and not pre-cooked.

beer brats in a basket with beer on the side

What To Use Instead Of Beer

If alcohol isn’t on the table for you, even when cooking, there are a few options. Use non-alcoholic beer or you can simmer the bratwurst in chicken broth or beef broth.

Try adding different flavors to the liquid like apple juice and bay leaves for added flavor.

Looking For More Grilling Recipes?

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Grilled bratwurst topped with onions

Beer Brats

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Grab your favorite beer to make these addicting, super flavorful Beer Brats! We have one secret ingredient that makes these bratwurst the best. Bratwurst on the grill are such an easy dinner idea, but also perfect for cook outs and parties!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 packages uncooked bratwurst (5 to a package)
  • 3 large Vidalia onions, sliced (can also use yellow onions)
  •  8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick)
  • 412 ounce cans beer (your favorite kind!)
  • Buns for serving

Instructions

  1. Add the bratwurst, onions and butter to a pot. Pour in the beer and bring to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for one hour.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 400 degrees.
  3. Remove the bratwurst from the pot and place onto a platter. Grill the brats for 2-3 minutes on each side and then remove from the grill.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the onions from the beer and add to a bowl for serving.
  5. Serve these Beer Brats on buns with onions spooned on top.

Recipe Notes

To Make Ahead: Boil the bratwurst in beer, onions and butter for 1 hour and then let cool. Place the pot into the refrigerator until ready to grill. This can be done a day ahead of time if needed. Remove the pot from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature and then grill the brats per the recipe.

Store: To store leftover bratwurst, place in a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freeze: After the brats have cooled completely, wrap individually and then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and warm up in the microwave, oven or back on the grill.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top / Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, beer brats, bratwurst cooked in beer, bratwurst on the grill, bratwurst recipe, party food, easy recipes

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4 Responses
  1. Drew B.

    With my father and grandfather both hailing from the bratwurst capital of the world–Sheboygan, Wisconsin–they’d both claim the recipe is backwards: You want to cook the brats on a grill for the smoky flavor and crispy casing, and THEN dunk them in a luscious brine of beer, onions and butter for a few minutes before serving.

    I’ve had more than my share of both variants and theirs is definitely a solid notch above a boiled-out brat. You WANT all those hot meat juices to remain, not cook out in boiling beer. The beer and onions flavor should be topical, not boiled into the essence of the meat.

    Purists (like them) would also insist on a hardroll, not a long hot-dog-like bun. And to this day, my dad refuses to use tongs when grilling brats — with a bit of water, he wets his fingers and can feel when they’re exactly right.

    No disrespect for the recipe, but merely a suggestion based on real-deal Germans who loved their beer and butcher shops.

    1. Dan

      So I’m from the mid-west originally, an Illinois suburb, and this is how my family always made them. The beer, butter and onions infuse into the brats, giving them tons of flavor. Then you just crispy the skins up on the grill so you get that delicious pop. I know all families do it differently though!

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