Elevate Your Summer Beer-B-Q with Summer Ale Soaked Wood Chips & Recipes

What’s better than combining two of America’s favorite summer traditions – grilling and craft beer?

As a brewer and self-proclaimed foodie, I’m always trying new ways to incorporate beer in my recipes. With a summer of grilling and enjoying refreshing Summer Ale ahead of us, we worked with grillmaster Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills® to develop a fun DIY activity for craft beer-loving and backyard BBQ pit masters alike: Samuel Adams Summer ale-soaked wood chips and beer infused recipes.

Soaking wood chips in Samuel Adams beer adds a new element to smoking on the grill. When placed on the hot coals of a charcoal grill or in a smoker tray on a gas grill, Weber Applewood Chips soaked in Samuel Adams Summer Ale infuse flavors into grilled food. The unique flavors  imparted by this method include a slightly sweet and citrusy note imparted by the lemon peel in Summer Ale along with a subtle peppery flavor from Grains of Paradise used as a spice in the brew.

If you’re firing your grill this this summer, wow friends and family with our easy method for wood chips soaked in Summer Ale and check out this flavorful recipe for Summer Ale salmon filets.

More recipes to come throughout the summer and don’t forget to pair your final grilled masterpiece with a Summer Ale! Enjoy!

Show us (@SamuelAdamsBeer) your grilling skills on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #CookingWithSamAdams

Samuel Adams Summer Ale-Soaked Wood Chips:

  • To maximize the flavors and aromas of Samuel Adams Summer Ale, soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes. The wood chips can be soaked by placing them in a bucket and covering them fully with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.
  • After soaking, remove the chips and drain excess beer. The wood chips should be damp, not dripping wet when placed in the grill to help prolong their ability to smolder, rather than burn, and add more beer flavor to the food. We recommend using Weber’s Apple Wood Chips.

Tips for Smoking on a Charcoal Grill:

  • Light a pile of charcoal briquettes on the grill grate, or for best results use a chimney starter to light your coals.
  • Sprinkle a handful of damp wood chips directly onto the coals once they are covered in white ash and place the lid on the grill. As smoke begins to pour out of the grill, place your food on top of the grill grate and re-cover. Be sure to position the vent on the opposite side of the charcoal to draw heat and smoke over the food as it leaves the grill.
  • Begin grilling the food, and add coals as necessary to maintain heat.

Tips for Smoking on a Gas Grill:

Some gas grills come with a built-in smoker box, which can simply be filled with the wood chips soaked in Summer Ale. If your grill doesn’t have a built-in smoker box, follow these simple steps:

  • Use the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray which is pre-filled with the Apple Wood Chips.
  • The wood chips can be soaked by placing the entire pre-made tin in a bucket and covering it fully with Samuel Adams Summer Ale. Soak for at least thirty minutes to maximize flavor and allow the wood to fully absorb the beer.
  • When ready to grill, take the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray out of the liquid using tongs and place directly on the heated grill grates (not under the grates).

Samuel Adams Summer Ale Salmon Fillets

Recipe by Kevin Kolman, Weber Grills®

Serves:  4


  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 4 salmon fillets (with skin), each 6 to 8 ounces and about 1 inch thick, pin bones removed
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (preferably Weber® Original BBQ sauce)
  • 2 bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale (marinade)

For the soaked wood chips:

  • 2 large handfuls of Weber Firespice Apple Wood Chips (for charcoal grill) or Weber Apple Smoker Tray
  • 1 bottle Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Summer Ale Salmon Fillets


Method: Marinate the salmon with 2 bottles Samuel Adams Summer Ale for 30 minutes.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450° F).

In a medium-sized bowl combine and mix all ingredients except for the salmon and BBQ sauce.  This will serve as a rub. Lightly coat each piece of salmon with the rub, making sure to coat the top and sides of the fish.

Brush the cooking grates clean on your grill. Add two handfuls of the soaked, drained wood chips to the smoker box, or directly over the ashed-over charcoal. Close the lid of the grill. When smoke appears, grill the salmon, flesh side down first, over direct high heat with the lid closed, until you can lift the fillets off of the cooking grate with tongs without sticking, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the fillets over and continue cooking to your desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare.

During the last minute of grilling, glaze each piece of salmon with the barbecue sauce and close the lid.  Insert a spatula between the skin and flesh. The salmon should raise right off the grate leaving the skin on the cooking grate. Discard the skin.

Let the salmon rest for 3-4 minutes and serve with Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Where to find Samuel Adams & Weber Wood Chips:

  • To find where Samuel Adams brews are sold near you, visit: http://www.samueladams.com/find-a-sam
  • A DIY Kit is available on the Samuel Adams e-store: http://www.samueladamsstore.com/. The kit includes a Samuel Adams metal bucket for soaking chips, Weber Apple Wood chips, two Samuel Adams Summer Ale glasses and a special Samuel Adams spatula for $30.00 plus shipping. Or, Weber Wood Chips and the Weber Firespice Apple Smoker Tray are available at home improvement and hardware stores nationwide, or at www.weber.com.