Beer & Sear is a special feature brought to you monthly by Bill’s Bar & Burger in Downtown Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network. Each month, we take a burger appearing on Bill’s menu and pair it with a local Pittsburgh beer to discover how well they work together. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you damn well should): Get to Bill’s pronto and test out the pairing for yourself!
As we enter into August, the Summer wind down is inevitably in the back of our minds. Despite the ongoing heat wave, NFL Training Camp has started, back to school commercials are all over the TV, and pumpkin beers have reared their gourdy heads all over the place. But let’s not go full-on Fall Mode just yet…there’s still some time to enjoy the beers meant for the season. And, naturally, a burger that pairs with them harmoniously.
Amidst all the splendor of the world of handcrafted, elaborate, crazy burgers we live in, sometimes we forget that deliciousness can be achieved through simplicity. A burger doesn’t always need to stand a foot tall off its plate to get the job done, although that’s always a welcomed bonus for burger lovers everywhere. The little guys have some rights as well. And as long as the flavor is present, who’s going to argue?
That said, let’s take some time to give a lil’ love to the slider this month. A slider is defined as an American term for a small sandwich or hamburger served on…yep, you guessed it, a slider roll. Sliders are diverse in that they can be served as hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, or entrees. Or, if you get home late, a midnight snack. Regardless of size, sliders can pack a flavorful punch if the right combination of ingredients is captured. And, just like its big brother, they taste even better when paired with the right handcrafted beer.
At Bill’s Bar & Burger, the menu is chock full of specialty gourmet burgers that tip the plate and make you smile. But the Mini B’s are wildly popular as well, both for their size and their taste profile. Put on your bib and indulge with me.
THE BURGER(s): The Mini B’s
THE BEER: Full Pint Brewing’s White Lightning Belgian White
Bill’s Bar & Burger in Pittsburgh is one of five locations in the Bill’s family and has been part of our community for just over a year. They also have destinations in Downtown New York, New York’s Meatpacking District, Rockefeller Center, and Atlantic City, as well as a high-end steakhouse in Las Vegas. The theme behind Bill’s is to present approachable, yet elevated food items with burgers leading the charge combined with a laid-back, “every-man’s” approach to adult libations. With over 1.9 million burgers sold, Bill’s is dedicated to consistently creating memorable experiences for their guests while offering the best our local beer scene has to offer. They source locally as much as possible and feature an extensive lineup of local beers and spirits for your enjoyment.
About Full Pint Brewing
Full Pint Brewing Company has been bringing quality beer to the Pittsburgh scene since May of 2010. They operate out of a production facility in North Versailles that also features a taproom where enthusiasts can enjoy many of their offerings on-site. They also opened the Wild Side Pub in Lawrenceville in 2015, giving them a larger reach into the Pittsburgh market and a home in one of the city’s most happening neighborhoods. Wild Side features a full menu and 12 beers on tap.
Full Pint is responsible for many solid beers found across Pittsburgh and beyond, including Rye Rebellion (seasonal), Night of the Living Stout (seasonal), Chinookie IPA (year-round), and today’s featured beer: White Lightning (year-round).
About the Burger(s)
The Mini B’s consist of three beef sliders topped with American Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Pickles, and Special Sauce.
White Lightning is a top seller for Full Pint that can be found in many craft beer destinations all over town and throughout their distribution footprint. In addition to enjoying it on tap, White Lightning is available in six packs and 12-packs as well. White Lightning is an easy-drinking Belgian-inspired beer with a light body, mild bitterness, and aromas of orange and wheat. It packs a relatively low ABV punch at 6% and is the perfect complement to any hot Summer day.
Why You Need This In Your Mouth
For me, the Mini B’s are a take on an American classic with a twist to keep things interesting. So many memories from childhood cookouts and barbecues at my parents’ and grandparents’ houses were accompanied by burgers on the grill. And these little beauties brought those memories back. The classic burger patty with American Cheese and pickles capture the tradition that’s made the burger a staple for decades while the caramelized onions and Bill’s special sauce kick the flavor up a level and give each bite that delicious, bold onion flavor.
Maybe my burger obsession has gone a little overboard when biting into a Mini B takes me back to childhood times of playing wiffle ball with my cousins, having water gun fights, and driving all the adults crazy at every family function. But hey, if some guy can think he’s on top of a mountain peak by biting into a peppermint patty, I’m well within my rights to wax nostalgic.
I enjoyed White Lightning as a complement to the Mini B’s because there was not too many flavor combinations happening, such as a burger that also contains bacon and other prominent fixings. Sometimes, a lighter beer can’t stand up to the richness a burger delivers and that soothing beer flavor gets lost. However, White Lightning did its part to cleanse the palate. As a more malt-forward offering, the beer’s sweetness combined with the slightest touch of bitterness was very refreshing between bites.
This combination is a winner and the Mini B’s are always part of Bill’s menu. Don’t hesitate…come check this one out for yourself!
August 15th – August 21st is Pittsburgh Summer Restaurant Week! Bill’s has a special burger available for you to dig into: The Lobster BLT Burger! It contains Bill’s Signature Burger Patty with Spicy Maine Lobster, Smoked Bacon Mayo, Shaved Iceberg Lettuce, and Roasted Tomato Jam. Served on a Mediterranean Sea Salt Brioche Bun with Old Bay Chips on the side. Limited time only!