Milwaukee Beer & Pretzel Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

Growing up in the Midwest, beer and pretzels are a major part of one’s diet, particularly in Milwaukee where beer is king.I wanted to capture the greatness that is Milwaukee in one burger. The burger itself is a mixture of brauts and sirloin with some pretzels throw in just for the heck of it (pretzels certainly go with beer, right?). Top that with some white-cheddar cheese, beer-braised onions, and crunchy pretzels and you have yourself the ultimate Milwaukee Beer & Pretzel Burger. And what’s more American than beer and pretzels? (well, okay, apple pie, but beer and pretzels are pretty darn American!)


Beer Butter:
1 cup stout beer
2/3 cup butter

Beer-Braised Onions:
1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Pilsner beer

1/2 pound Wisconsin fresh braut (bratwurst), removed from casing
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 cup unsalted pretzels, finely crushed
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 thick slices white cheddar cheese
6 Kaiser buns, split
1 1/2 cups unsalted pretzels, roughly chopped


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make Beer-Butter, in a small fireproof saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce beer by 3/4. Add butter, stir until butter has melted, and remove from heat.

In order to make Beer-Braised Onions, heat oil in a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add beer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In order to make the patties, combine braut, sirloin, crushed pretzels, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, place a slice of cheese on each patty. Also, during the last few minutes of grilling, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

In order to assemble the burgers, on each bun bottom, spread a generous amount of Beer Butter. On each bun bottom, place an equal amount of chopped pretzels, a cheese-topped patty, and an equal amount of Beer Braised Onions. Add the bun tops.

Makes 6 burgers.