The delicious hamburger is an American staple invented by Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas, in the 1880s. Of course, Fletcher’s claim is one of many in a long list of hamburger inventors, but he’s from Texas, so that’s what we’re going with.
Regardless of where it may have been created, the reason for its staying power is rather simple – it’s delicious. But why? It’s just meat, bread, and cheese at its most basic, right? Well, there’s actually a scientific name for what makes them so good and it’s called the “Maillard Reaction.” This reaction is a process that caramelizes the sugars and proteins found in meat, and creates that lovely crisp crust on the paddy. So, the more crust on your burger the better it will taste. The best way to achieve that crust is by using a griddle and smashing two 2-ounce paddies flat as can be on the grill. This provides more surface area for crusting to occur. Then, simply slide a piece of cheese between the two-stacked paddies, add your buns and toppings, and get to work enjoying every delicious bite!
Now that we’ve covered the burger, how about a tasty beverage to wash it down? We’re talking about beer here, but which kind should you drink?
We’ve put together a few of our chef’s favorite burger and beer pairings for you to enjoy over the Memorial Day weekend!
Classic Hamburger & Oatmeal Stout
The classic hamburger with its simple savory ingredients pairs wonderfully with an oatmeal stout as the bitter and sweetness of the beer contrast nicely with the umami of the burger.
Cheeseburger & Deschutes Hop Trip
The classic cheeseburger is an excellent partner for a fresh hopped beer like Deschutes Hop Trip with an intense hop flavor and heavy hints of floral and citrus that plays well off the melty cheese of a solid cheeseburger.
Bacon Cheeseburger & Austin Beerworks Einhorn
Now, for the next level of burger goodness: the bacon cheeseburger. All the salty, fatty deliciousness of this burger needs to be cut by a tart and funky sour beer like the Austin Beerworks Einhorn, a sour wheat that’s light, tart and refreshing.
Mushroom Swiss Burger & Founders Brewing Porter
Sometimes all you need are two great toppings to make a fantastic burger. A mushroom and Swiss burger does just that and works perfectly when balanced by a dark roasted porter like Founders Brewing Porter.
Blue Cheese Burger & Lindeman’s Oude Guezue
The blue cheese burger with caramelized onions is another fantastic burger choice that adds a little funkiness to your paddy. Nothing goes better with funky than the funky Gueuze. Try it with Lindeman’s Oude Guezue for a lovely pairing with the stinky blue cheese and sweet caramelized onions.
BBQ Buger & Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier
The BBQ burger is what happens when you add a dusting of chili spice, sweet barbecue sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, smoky bacon and fried onions to your burger. It’s a messy handful that is kept together with a Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier. The tart maltiness and hints of banana and cloves pairs perfectly with a burger like this. Is your mouth watering?