13 Best Alcohol Pairings For Veggie Burgers

From black beans to mushrooms to spinach to corn to blue cheese, you can put almost anything you want in a veggie burger patty, and just like with meat burgers; you can also top them with any ingredients you like. With all the different flavor possibilities and combinations, there's a lot of potential when it comes to pairing them with the perfect alcoholic beverage. While this is wonderful, it can also make selecting the ideal complimentary drink somewhat complicated if you don't have much experience in this realm. Don't worry, though, I do!

As a vegetarian for 30 years, I have tons of experience eating veggie burgers. I also love to make veggie burgers at home and have experimented with a broad range of toppings and ingredients over the years. In addition, I worked in the service industry as a server and bartender for 20 years, so I know quite a bit about drink pairings. Honestly, I'm kind of an expert on these two topics, so I jumped at the chance to come up with a list of the best alcohol pairings for veggie burgers. Keep reading to learn about my top recommendations and why they make a good match so you can pair flavors like a pro.

Classic veggie burgers with lager

A classic burger is made with melted cheese and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, and pickles. While veggie burgers may not be considered classic, that doesn't mean they can't be garnished the same way. If you're enjoying an all-American style veggie burger with traditional toppings, the top recommendation is to pair it with an easy-to-drink American lager, like Yuengling Traditional Lager or Great Divide American Lager. They both have a crisp taste and light hops, which helps them go down smoothly with the flavors of a veggie burger.

Pilsners, a type of lager, also go great with classic veggie burgers. One favorite is Mama's Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues Brewery. It is slightly hoppy and has a subtle lemon taste, both of which make for easy drinking when paired with a classic burger. Technically, beers like Coors and Pabst Blue Ribbon are also lagers, so they work, too, but if you're craving lots of flavors, definitely opt for a more complex craft beer.

BBQ-style burgers with bourbon

Hands down, there are few better ways to enjoy a veggie burger than with melted, sharp cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, and fried or grilled onions on top. This time-honored flavor combination features a smokey taste and the perfect blend of savory, tangy, and sweet. As such, these types of veggie burgers go perfectly with bourbon, which also tends to have a smokey, woodsy, biting profile. While all bourbons are aged in oak barrels, you can't go wrong with quality brands like Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek. The rich flavor profiles and expert distilling lead to the ideal pairing with BBQ dishes of any kind.

The best way to enjoy a BBQ-style veggie burger with bourbon is to drink it straight. Not only do the flavors of both combine to create a wonderful, balanced blend, but the BBQ sauce and onions also help cut through the strong burn associated with drinking bourbon. As an added bonus, bourbon also helps minimize onion breath, something many people try to avoid. If drinking straight bourbon is a bit too intense for you, try mixing it with ginger ale. It creates a more mild flavor that many find easier to drink without overpowering the complex taste of bourbon.

Southwestern veggie burgers with tequila cocktails

Southwestern-style veggie burgers and tequila cocktails are another great pairing. Combine with salsa, guacamole, cheese, and either jalapenos or green chili strips. Considering all those ingredients are also staples of Mexican cuisine, tequila is kind of the obvious choice. Not only does it go perfectly with lime, but its grassy, bright taste profile helps cut through spiciness while allowing you to taste the myriad of other flavors on the veggie burger.

While pairing Southwestern-style veggie burgers with straight tequila makes a solid choice, so do tequila cocktails like a zesty Paloma, classic margarita, or a Mexican mule (a Moscow mule with tequila instead of vodka). In addition to the complex flavors of tequila, each of these drinks contains a fair amount of citrus, which goes great with Southwestern flavors.

If you're looking for a milder drink pairing that doesn't pack as much of a punch, light Mexican beers like Corona and Sol also make a delicious drink pairing with Southwestern veggie burgers. They are able to cut through capsaicin without masking the other flavors that make these burgers so delicious.

California-style veggie burgers with pinot grigio

When you think of California-style veggie burgers, it's probably the image of light, fresh toppings and lots of hearty veggies. Often, homemade recipes top veggie patties with fresh avocado, arugula, grilled peppers, and muenster. Raw spinach and pepperjack cheese also go great on these kinds of burgers. Either way, nothing goes better with this style of ingredients than a glass of light, white wine.

The crisp veggies and creamy avocado together create a smooth and refreshing blend with various types of white wines, pinot grigio being the best among them. It has a slightly citrusy, acidic taste and a dry finish, all of which balance out leafy greens and other veggies while still allowing them to shine. Many pinot grigios also feature apple and floral tasting notes, which further complement the taste and texture of a California-style burger.

Of course, California is also a major producer of wine, so if you like, you can take this pairing a step further and choose a pinot grigio from a reputable California vineyard. Options like Clos Du Bois and J Vineyards make great choices, and they're typically available for about $15 or less per bottle.

Thai-style veggie burgers with wheat beers

Wheat beers and Thai-style veggie burgers make an outstanding pair. Thai food has lots of bold flavors like peanut, spicy chili peppers, coriander, garlic, and Thai basil. Considering the vibrancy, you want to pair them with a light drink that still has enough flavor not to get lost in the mix: Cue wheat beers. They have a bright citrus taste and are easy to drink, especially when paired with nutty, spicy elements. The citrus and malt of a wheat beer also reduce some of the heat to create a smooth alcohol pairing with Thai veggie burgers.

Farmhouse ales are often pretty similar to unfiltered wheat beers, so they also make a great choice with Thai-style veggie burgers. Similar to wheat beers, they contain noticeable citrus flavors. However, farmhouse ale typically features a hoppier aftertaste with elements of hay or straw, and while some people find this a touch overpowering, it pairs excellently with spicy flavors. If you're not a beer drinker, white wines are a second choice for Thai-style veggie burgers because they also feature citrus elements, even if they are less potent.

Mushroom Swiss veggie burgers with malbec

Grilled mushrooms and Swiss cheese are a classic topping combination for burgers, so it's no surprise they go well on veggie patties, too. Whether the burger is made with a whole portobello cap or uses grilled mushrooms and Swiss cheese for the garnishes, Malbec is the recommended alcohol pairing. It is easy to drink but not so subtle that you miss the chance to appreciate its nuanced flavors and firm tannins as they blend with the ingredients at work in your veggie burger.

The earthiness of mushrooms and the oaky, often fruity taste of many Malbecs create a smooth blend of balanced flavors. In addition, the creaminess of Swiss cheese makes a fantastic pair with the velvety texture of Malbec. Some prefer Malbecs from Argentina, but French Malbecs also make a great choice. French Malbecs are typically more tart and savory, and Argentinian Malbecs are more fruit-forward, but they both balance out mushroom and Swiss cheese in expert fashion.

Black bean burgers with mezcal

Black bean burgers are one of the most popular renditions of veggie burgers. They have an excellent consistency for making veggie patties and are full of protein. In addition, black bean burgers have a strong flavor that pairs well with savory flavors like cumin, garlic, and onion, making for a delicious burger.

When pairing all of the flavors of a black bean burger with alcohol, you want to pick a bold spirit that won't get swallowed up without contributing to the overall taste. Mezcal, a spirit known for its intense taste and potent smokey flavor, is perfect here. The smokiness of the mezcal balances out the beans and compliments their rich flavor perfectly. It also enhances the savory spices typically used when making a black bean patty.

Love for mezcal runs deep, but its fierce taste is not for everyone. If you don't love mezcal, tequila also goes well with black bean burgers. It is also an agave-based spirit, but it lacks the fierce smokiness that mezcal possesses. Or, for something more toned down, try a dark porter. Porters are smooth and nutty and often have elements of coffee, so they stand out against black beans without taking over.

Chickpea or quinoa veggie burgers with chardonnay

Chickpeas and quinoa are extremely popular ingredients used for making veggie burgers. They have a lot of nutritional value, have the perfect consistency for forming patties, and blend well with a myriad of spices and toppings. The neutrality of chickpeas and quinoa also means they pair well with lots of spirits and drinks. Even so, chardonnay is your best alcohol pairing for this veggie burger.

The smooth texture of chickpea and quinoa burgers goes well with the light buttery flavor of chardonnay. In addition, chardonnay isn't so acidic, so it does not prevent the other, more subtle elements of the veggie burger from shining through. Reliable chardonnay pairings are SIMI Chardonnay and La Crema Chardonnay. They both feature a smooth, buttery flavor that tastes fantastic with chickpea and quinoa burgers. If you don't prefer buttery chardonnays, oaked chardonnay also makes a superb choice. They may be less creamy, but they are still smooth and crisp, so they balance out veggie burgers quite well.

Blue cheese veggie burgers with cabernet

Blue cheese is a fantastic topping for veggie burgers because it adds a lot of umami, something that is especially beneficial when topping less complex veggie burger patties made with ingredients like tempeh, tofu, rice, or quinoa. Blue cheese also goes exceptionally well with bold red wines like cabernet sauvignon.

Both blue cheese and cabernet have a potent flavor, strong bite, and bold aftertaste that makes them a perfect combination. Cabernet is also known for its acidity, medium-high tannins, and dry aftertaste, all of which balance out the funkiness and creaminess of blue cheese. Pairing veggie burgers with blue cheese and cabernet allows you to savor a match of intense flavors. Best of all, there are lots of reasonably priced cabernets readily available.

Sangiovese is another red wine that pairs well with blue cheese veggie burgers. Like cabernet, it features a high acidity and high tannins. A Sangiovese Cabernet blend, like Monte Antico Toscana, provides you the best of both worlds for under $20.

Beet veggie burgers with stout beers

While an acquired taste for some, beets have a prominent earthy taste that packs veggie burgers full of flavor. Beets are also rich in nutrients and have numerous health benefits, making them an excellent addition to veggie burgers, especially if you are looking for a healthy alternative to traditional meat burgers.

Regardless of why you choose to enjoy beet burgers, their slightly sweet and floral earthiness goes exceptionally well with stout beers. Stouts have a rich, malty sweetness with a subtle hoppy taste that adds a touch of bitterness. They also have elements of fruit, coffee, chocolate, and sometimes caramel. As a result, the flavor is surprisingly similar to the terraceous taste of beets, and they make an extraordinary pair. Guinness is by far the most famous stout beer, and it makes an excellent choice for pairing with beet veggie burgers. Still, there are lots of other fantastic craft stout beers that enhance the flavor and complement beet veggie burgers perfectly.

Porter beers also go well with beet veggie burgers due to their nutty, chocolatey, and coffee undertones. However, they tend to be a bit less sweet than stouts, so don't expect them to counterbalance the earthiness to such a great extent.

Tempeh burger with vodka cocktails

Tempeh burgers are great for several reasons. First, they only require a little prep work because tempeh comes fully formed. All you have to do is slice and cook it, and it is ready for the bun. Second, it has a mild nutty flavor that goes well with any toppings, giving it mass appeal. Third, tempeh's adaptable flavor pairs perfectly with almost any drink and alcohol you like.

The top alcohol pairing recommendation for a tempeh burger is a vodka cocktail. Similar to tempeh, vodka has a mild taste that blends well with lots of other ingredients and does not add a considerable flavor profile of its own. As a result, anything from a cosmopolitan to a Moscow mule to a vodka soda makes a great pair with tempeh burgers. Whether you prefer drinks with a citrus, fruity, savory, or sweet flavor, they will taste great with tempeh burgers. One of the best vodka cocktails to enjoy with a tempeh burger is a gimlet because it has a bright, citrusy taste that blends well with the nuttiness of the tempeh and also complements standard burger toppings, like lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and more.

Sweet potato veggie burgers with pumpkin beers

Sweet potato is an outstanding ingredient for veggie burgers. Not only does its mashed consistency help keep veggie burger patties intact, but it also adds a ton of flavor to the mix and gives them an appealing color. Whether you're making a recipe at home or enjoying a veggie burger in a restaurant, sweet potato is pretty common.

Pairing pumpkin beer with a sweet potato-based veggie burger makes an outstanding duo. Sweet potato and pumpkin are a classic flavor combination for the holiday season, so it is no surprise they blend well at other times. They both feature a sweet and savory flavor that complement each other without being too intense or overly sweet. In the autumn months, you are likely to find a plethora of fantastic pumpkin beers, but thanks to pumpkin-flavored food and drinks having somewhat of a cult following, you can typically find at least one or two pumpkin beers almost year-round.

If you are having trouble locating a pumpkin beer in the off-season, a fruity grenache or merlot makes a wonderful substitute. They still complement the sweetness of a sweet potato veggie burger and are readily available all year long.

Impossible or Beyond burgers with IPAs

Admittedly, imitation meats like Beyond and Impossible plant-based burger patties aren't a widely chosen option for vegetarians. However, years of serving and bartending and lots of feedback from guests have provided great insight into what pairs well with them. IPAs have a bold flavor that stands up incredibly well with realistic meat alternatives.

While there are several styles of IPA, they all feature an undeniably hoppy taste described as earthy, funky, and tangy. The many distinct flavors found within IPAs complement the heartiness of ground beef, even if it's imitation. For recommended craft options, try VooDoo Ranger from New Belgium or 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Brewery. You should be able to find both easily, and they showcase this style of beer's flavors at their full potential.

If IPAs are a bit too intense for your palette, try something more subtle, like an American ale. They still contain a bold flavor profile that goes well with Impossible or Beyond burgers, but the hoppiness is significantly paired down, making it much more enjoyable for some drinkers.