Alonfso de Anda
After working long shifts in hot, sweaty, cramped, high-pressure environments, most chefs like to go out for a beer or two to unwind when the night’s over. Hell, I need a beer now and all I did was type a sentence about someone else’s stressful job. (Hey, typing is work, too.)
We asked a slew of fantastic chefs from all over the country to tell us about their favorite post-shift beers. And the answers certainly surprised us, as the selected styles range from from easy-drinking, refreshing American lagers to rich, dessert-like stouts.
Here are the beers that America’s chefs love to drink after a long night in the kitchen:
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Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. Betty
Kölsch, 5.75% ABV
“During my shift I’m standing in front of a live fire, and when we get busy I’m really building a sweat, so having my favorite beer close by is one of my favorite work perks. Dorćol’s Betty is crisp and light, but it’s got these flavors you don’t typically find in a blonde. It’s the perfect cold, crisp refresher after a night at the oven."
-- Jason Garcia, Il Forno (San Antonio, TX)
Boulevard Brewing Co. Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
Saison, 8.5% ABV
“I love the texture and complex flavors of Boulevard Tank 7. It’s not a heavy, bitter, hoppy beer like so many beers on the market. It’s rich, floral, and light enough to drink as a session beer. I grab them anywhere from my favorite dive bars to some of the finest restaurants in KC.”
-- Colby Garrelts, Bluestem and rye (Kansas City, MO)
Golden Road Brewing Wolf Pup Session IPA
Session IPA, 4.5% ABV
“If I’m going to drink one solid beer after work, I usually look for a stout or porter: Belching Beaver Brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout brings me a comforting, warm feeling, and I’ve always loved Maui Brewing's Coconut Hiwa Porter. I also enjoy a good IPA (and San Diego has a vast amount of those!), so I usually go for something I haven’t tried, to mix it up. My current go-to IPA is Golden Road Wolf Pup Session IPA.”
-- Christina Pancheri, Miss B’s Coconut Club (San Diego, CA)
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Oskar Blues Brewery IPA
IPA, 6.43% ABV
"In my opinion, Oskar Blues IPA happens to be the perfect drink after a long day. The flavor is very clean and consistent, and there are slight fruit notes that make it all the more refreshing. I'm normally a stout kind of guy, but the lightness of this IPA makes it easy to throw back a few and relax. Almost reminds me of being on vacation."
-- Michelangelo Aliaga, Primo Italia (Torrance, CA)
Coast Brewing Co. 32º/50º
Kölsch, 4.8% ABV
“It’s light and refreshing, which is essential after a day in the hot kitchen. Not to mention it’s local and organic, which is what I’m all about! Easily my favorite beer.”
-- Trey Dutton, 1KEPT (Charleston, SC)
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AleSmith Brewing Co. San Diego Pale Ale .394
Pale Ale, 6% ABV
“I really like the AleSmith .394. It’s one of the cleanest and freshest tasting pale ales around. I also love that it’s from a local brewery honoring our most beloved Padre, Tony Gwynn.”
-- Kevin Templeton, barleymash and The Smoking Gun (San Diego, CA)
Miller High Life
American Adjunct Lager, 4.6% ABV
"My after-shift drink is an ice cold Miller High Life and a whiskey shot (preferably Rittenhouse Rye). After tasting saké and wine and feeding guests, there’s nothing like a classic beer/shot combo. Usually late at night, my palate is shot from tasting everything. A simple straightforward beer and shot isn't fussy -- it’s the most comforting way to end a long day of work."
-- Ricardo "Ricky" Arias, dinnertable (New York, NY)
Paulaner Original Munich Lager
Munich Lager, 4.9% ABV
"My favorite after work beer is Paulaner Lager, simply because it's refreshing and not too heavy. The taste and flavor always reminds me of a good Austrian brewed lager. It's like a little piece of home here in New York, and it works perfectly with a nice pork dish. It's also my secret ingredient for most of my pork sauces or gravies."
-- Thomas Slivovsky, Paulaner on Bowery (New York, NY)
Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter
Porter, 5.4% ABV
“I was in Colorado when Breckenridge Brewery opened. Since I’m from there, I immediately felt a connection to the brewery and have always had an affection for the Vanilla Porter. It’s one of the few beers I love. It’s got the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of a classic porter, but with a twist.”
-- Sean Brasel, Meat Market (Miami, FL)
Pacífico Cerveza Clara
Pilsner-Style Lager, 4.5% ABV
"After a long day, nothing tastes better than a Michelada with Pacífico. It’s so refreshing with the lime juice, a couple of ice cubes, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and spiced Tajin rim."
-- Julian Medina, La Chula (New York, NY)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Hop Hunter IPA
IPA, 6.2% ABV
“My beer preferences change with the season. During the fall, I love drinking Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter IPA. I love the flavor profile! The citrus notes take me back to the hot, sunny days of summer, while the warm, hoppy flavors preview the wood fires and warm blankets to come during the inevitable cold that grips Minnesota. I also love Deschutes Hop Henge IPA during fall. I used to live in Oregon, and Deschutes beer always brings me back to those days. Their beer packs so much more than a unique flavor -- it brings back a memory.”
-- Jason Littlefield, Lumber Exchange Event Center (Minneapolis, MN)
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Hill Farmstead Brewery Edward
American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV
"This incredible American Pale Ale from Vermont was hard to get until the last year or so, when they increased production. The nose is super tropical and woodsy, like a mango hanging in a pine tree. It has a great, creamy texture due to the fact that it's unfiltered and naturally carbonated. A punch of hops cleanses your palate and leaves a lingering, pleasant bitterness on the back of your tongue. It's so complex, interesting, and utterly delicious that I never get tired of it."
-- John Poiarkoff, Denizen (Brooklyn, NY)
Goose Island Beer Co. Bourbon County Brand Stout
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, 13.8% ABV
“I like a rich, full-bodied beer, and it definitely doesn't hurt that Bourbon County Brand Stout has been aged in bourbon barrels. This is a relaxing beer to sip on, and it pairs perfectly with a late night snack -- or even dessert. With a higher alcohol content than most beers (13.8% ABV), one or two is enough to make you forget some of stresses of the work day.”
-- Mitch Liebovich, Wrigley BBQ (Chicago, IL)
Pabst Blue Ribbon
American Adjunct Lager, 4.74% ABV
“Because I can always have another."
-- Nick Pacewicz, Blyth & Burrows (Portland, ME)
Note: Golden Road Brewing, Goose Island Beer Co., and Breckenridge Brewery are members of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch. Pacifico is owned by Grupo Modelo and Anheuser-Busch.