How to Make Beer Brats

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
459 Calories
26g Fat
36g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 459
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 1013mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 553mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Called Wisconsin soul food, beer brats are an American addition to German cuisine. By 1860, Germans were the biggest group of immigrants in Wisconsin, later to be eclipsed by Polish workers. Bratwurst became popular during the 1920s when butchers would make them fresh, to order. Always a summer cookout staple, they gradually became popular at sports arenas.

There are two basic ways to cook beer brats: poach before or keep warm in beer afterward, each of which is described in the directions below.

Beer brats are often poached in beer before grilling. This cooks the sausage and seals in the juices so the sausage stays moist. Turn with tongs to avoid piercing the skin or the juice will run out.

Aficionados of Beer Brats will tell you to steer clear of hot dog buns as they are too soft and squishy. Use brat buns or hard rolls, instead.


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  • 8 fresh bratwurst

  • 1 bottle Pilsner beer, enough to cover bratwurst in a pan

  • 1 to 2 sweet onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 8 brat buns, or hard rolls

  • Catsup, to taste, for serving

  • Brown mustard, to taste, for serving

  • Fried onions, to taste, for serving

  • Sauerkraut, to taste, for serving

Steps to Make It

Poach Before Grilling

  1. Add beer, chopped onion and brats to a large pan.

  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until brats are done (firm to the touch).

  3. Discard liquid and fry onions in butter in a clean pan, if desired.

  4. Grill brats over a charcoal grill until browned.

  5. Serve with brat buns or hard rolls and condiments. Alternatively, keep them warm in the batter.

Beer Brat Batter for After Grilling

  1. Use fresh ingredients for this. Mix several bottles of beer with a chopped onion and a pat of butter.

  2. Bring to a simmer. Place grilled bratwurst in the batter until time to serve but do not let the liquid boil.

  3. The beer brat batter can also be used after grilling fresh bratwurst which has not been poached.

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