Main Course/ Pork/ Recipes

Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions

When we were in Texas a couple weeks ago, our friend Morgan made the most insanely delicious beer brats for dinner. She also made ribs, sweet potato grits and roasted veggies. It was quite the meal and after returning home to California, no matter how hard I tried, I could just NOT stop thinking about those beer brats.

So….I decided I just had to make them for myself. As soon as humanely possible. I texted Morgan to find out her basic recipe —- bratwurst, beer and onions — then went to work. If you’ve never tried beer brats before, do yourself {and your loved ones!} a favor and try this recipe soon. The sausages are simmered in a holiday brew with caramelized onions, garlic and a bit of brown sugar then finished on the grill for that great smoky finish.

For these, I used this yummy seasonal beer from Anchor Brewing company in San Francisco. When Christie was visiting last weekend we tried to visit this brewery as a fun indoor activity since we were experiencing superstorm 2012 outside. However, apparently they book six months out for the free brewery tours! wow. That’s all I have to say about that.

You could also use pumpkin beer or any ol’ beer! Morgan said she’s made these brats with pumpkin beer before and they were especially delicious.

After you simmer the brats in the beer, you finish on the grill and reduce the beer and onions down to a thick, magical, delicious sauce. Spoon the sauce and caramelized onions over the grilled brats and you’ll swoon. Or, spoon the sauce over the grilled brats, squeeze on some spicy barbecue sauce then slap a bun on it and eat it like a glorified hot dog. Either way, you’re gonna love it.

Aaaaaand I love you.

Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions

serves 4

Print this Recipe!


1 lb bratwurst sausage (about 4 links)

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 bottle beer (12 oz), preferably seasonal or flavored (i.e. pumpkin beer or holiday beer)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Turn on the grill outside and let it heat up.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until golden. Add the thinly sliced garlic and saute for another three minutes until toasty.

Add the bratwursts to the pan, along with the beer. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The bratwursts should have turned white at this point.

Remove the sausages with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Turn the heat to high so the beer mixture boils again. Add the salt, brown sugar and Worcestershire. Stir well and continue boiling.

While the “sauce” is boiling, grill the sausages for only about 5 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. They have cooked in the beer so you just want to finish them on the grill and get those lovely caramelized grill marks.

When done, bring the sausages back inside. At this point, your beer should have reduced down to about a quarter of a cup of liquid. Place grilled brats back in the beer sauce and spoon sauce over.

Serve brats with sauce and onions on top.


45 minutes

You Might Also Like

  • Em (Wine and Butter)
    December 5, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Oh my! These sound INSANE. Im all about the sausages and the sauces (and the onions and the pumpkin beer reduction and the BBQ and…)

  • RJ
    December 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Brats and grits?! Love it!!! Can’t wait to try these brats!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    December 5, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Anything with caramelized onions sounds fantastic to me! 🙂

  • Brittany @ Brittany Cooks
    December 5, 2012 at 4:47 am

    I have been craving sausage for more then a month, and it’s weird because it’s not something I usually love or crave. I’ll have to try this soon! 🙂

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    December 5, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Yum! I don’t think I’ve ever had a real brat, but this looks too good to pass up. And cooled in pumpkin beer? Puh-lease.

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    December 5, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Be still my heart – all my favorite things in one recipe! I have a secret love for brats that I’m not sure many people understand, and caramelize onions to put on, well, everything. What an awesome dish!

  • Beth
    December 5, 2012 at 5:12 am

    This sounds really good but can you please share the sweet potato grits recipe? Sweet potato grits would be a great for a fall brunch. Thanks!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    December 5, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Sounds about right. We tried doing an Anchor tour in October and were told they were booked till January.
    Tip for amazing winter (ahem, year-round for me) beer: Rochefort 8 and Chimay Blue. Let slightly warm after pulling from fridge. Drink. Thank the Belgian monks that brewed drank beer.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    December 5, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Oh this looks amazing!!!! This is being made ASAP 😀

  • Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens)
    December 5, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Thanks for the recipe idea! Yum, who doesn’t love brats and beer!?

  • Aunt Tammie
    December 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Oh my goodness…these look delicious! Might have to try these Saturday while listening to the Nederland Bulldogs (local high school football team) playoff game on the radio…Go Dawgs!!!

  • Heather @ Heather's Dish
    December 5, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Bring on the onions – I love brats + onions!

  • Emily @ Emily Eats and Runs
    December 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I’m definitely making this meal soon! My husband and I traveled to Germany last year to go to Oktoberfest, and this dinner will bring back lots of fun memories 🙂

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

    This is my husband’s dream food + a football game on and he’d be in heaven 🙂

  • Beverly Aragon
    December 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Oh wow, this is definitely happening! I’ve got some pumpkin beer I’ve been hoarding and am willing to let go of one bottle for these brats. 🙂

  • A farmer in the dell
    December 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    These sound awesome! I just so happen to have 1 lonely pumpkin beer in my fridge. Major debate, cook with it or drink it?!

  • TC
    December 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    My favorite seasonal beer! I am lucky enough to have had a chance to tour the brewery, but we did indeed have to schedule 6 months in advance.

  • Molly @ Happy&Healthy
    December 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Wow, those look and sound incredible! I think my boyfriend would would faint from excitement if I made these ha

  • Laura
    December 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    wow, adding these to my “must-make” list before football season is over! Any way your friend would share her sweet potato grits, too… those sound heavenly and I’m quite intrigued!

    Also, are you going to do a post about your two friends coming to visit? I really miss the more personal side to your blog where you share funny anecdotes about your every day living, even if it’s just baking up a storm and dropping eggs on your kitchen floor with dexter! I don’t mean you have to post 3x a day of your eats, but just share more of your day to day living?

  • Lisa Eirene (@LisaEirene)
    December 5, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I LOVE brats and caramelized onions. We eat this often!

  • Elise
    December 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Did your friend happen to use Shiner Cheer? I live in Austin, and people here get pretty excited about Cheer (but not nearly as excited as they get for Ruby Red Bird-Shiner’s summer seasonal beer).

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}
    December 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Yum, I love cooking with beer and bratwurst is ah-mazing! If I’ve had a bad day, I’d take a nice bratwurst over chocolate any day in spite of my love for all things sweet. Looks great with those caramelized onions and I’d love to try that brew!

  • jenna k
    December 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    i’ll pretty much take any excuse to have caramelized onions. and brats are so good! loving this idea- totally different from everything else out there right now.

  • Jess
    December 6, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Do you think your friend Morgan will have ME over for dinner? 😉
    These look absolutely fantastic!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    December 6, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Ohhhh this is so happening at my house this weekend! Love brats… and beer 🙂

  • Ruth Crumplar
    December 6, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Those look AMAZING!! Can’t wait to make them. Can you please also post a recipe for those sweet potato grits? Those sound heavenly.

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    December 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    This makes me dream of grilling. Totally craving a brat right now.

  • Sarah
    December 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Yes yes yes indeedy. Beer braised sausages with onions? On a roll, thankyou ma’am.

  • Aura
    December 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I just made these and they were DELICIOUS!!! I used winter lager and half beer brats/ half chicken sausage bc that is what I had, and the brats were def better. The onions however were the absolute best part.

  • Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
    December 7, 2012 at 2:55 am

    […] could also add grilled chicken or tofu to this to bulk it up a bit. I served mine with a beer brat on the side. No, I’m not […]

  • Kristin
    December 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Best brats we’ve ever had. Absolutely fabulous. Will become a household staple!

  • Sweet Potato Grits
    December 14, 2012 at 3:20 am

    […] also added a touch of pure maple syrup to my grits…just because. We had these grits with our beer brats, but I think they would be absolutely delicious for breakfast alongside biscuits and sausage […]

  • Foodstuffs: Jan. 14 – Jan. 21
    January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    […] Tuesday night was a total disaster, a lot of the other recipes we made were awesome, especially the beer brats. We had them with Brussels sprouts, buttered bread, and red wine and it was just such a good […]

  • Foodstuffs: Jan. 28 – Feb. 3
    January 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    […] Beer brats with caramelized onions + veggies + bread […]

  • Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions « What's for Dinner Mom?
    February 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

    […] I saw this recipe on Pinterest it screamed for me to cook it now!  I found this recipe for Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions on Eat, Live, […]

  • Foodstuffs: Feb. 18 – Feb. 24
    February 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    […] Beer brats with Brussels sprouts and buttered bread […]

  • Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions | What's for Dinner Mom?
    May 14, 2013 at 6:35 am

    […] used a recipe I found on Pinterest from eat, live, run for Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions.   They recommend a seasonal or flavored ale but I only had Honey Brown on hand and it was […]

  • Kathy
    October 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

    It is the perfect weather in Austin today to make this yummy recipe. Not too hot to fire up the grill for a few minutes. And the carmalized onions?, are going to be awesome on the beer brats! Thanks for the recipe.

  • The REWM: Foodstuffs: Jan. 28 – Feb. 3
    January 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    […] Beer brats with caramelized onions + veggies + bread […]

  • The REWM: Foodstuffs: Jan. 14 – Jan. 21
    January 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    […] Tuesday night was a total disaster, a lot of the other recipes we made were awesome, especially the beer brats. We had them with Brussels sprouts, buttered bread, and red wine and it was just such a good […]

  • Meghan
    May 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I wanted to see if it would ?be ok if we featured your recipe for Beer Brats with Caramelized Onions on One of the main goals of the site (created by the Brewers Association?) is to bring craft beer to the dinner table, either through pairings or as an ingredient in foods.

    I would create a post similar to this: and include your bio/logo/link to your site. It would be shared on our homepage and promoted though our social media channels.

    Please let me know if this would be possible! Thanks again!

  • Kristi
    June 3, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I hate when people say, oh it looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! I read reviews to see what those who have tried it have to relay about the outcome. Didn’t find one review that did.