It’s party time and beers and brats are the football fare of choice. Step up the flavor by thinking way beyond mustard and onions with these brat-topping ideas. The ratio of the ingredients is less important than your guests’ ability to have a little fun with out-of-the-ordinary brat combinations. These recipes were tested by some recent college graduates—all very tailgate savvy. They also paired them up with some beers for your drinking pleasure.

Upstream Salmon Brats

Try out salmon brats for a fun change up from pork. Look for salmon sausages at specialty food stores.


  • Salmon sausage
  • Goat cheese
  • Red peppers
  • Arugula
  • Chopped dill pickles
  • Chives
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Beer Pairing:
Blondes, wheats and light ales are great with seafood.

Bollywood Brats
Bollywood brats were the crowd favorite. Hot Indian spice put an exciting spin on a traditional American favorite.


  • Beer bratwurst
  • Sweet hot pickles or thinly sliced cucumbers
  • Mango chutney
  • Ketchup
  • Curry powder

Create a slurry of one part chutney, two parts ketchup and a hefty pinch of curry powder. Add toppings to the brats.

Beer Pairing:
Pilsners work well to tame the fire from the spices.

Autumn Apple Chicken Brats
Fall is meant for apples and football. Why not combine the two?


  • Chicken sausage brats
  • Sautéed apples, diced
  • Sautéed Anaheim or pickled jalapeño peppers
  • Sautéed red onions, thinly sliced
  • Aged cheddar cheese, grated
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Beer Pairing:
Scotch Ale brings out the meaty flavors in the chicken, cheddar and roasted apples.

Italian Vegetarian Brats
Vegetarians can keep up with carnivorous tailgaters with this Mediterranean brat.


  • Vegetarian sausage
  • Tomato, finely diced
  • Fresh basil
  • Parmesan, shaved
  • Marinara sauce (use like ketchup)

Beer Pairing:
Ale with just a kiss of hops goes well with tomatoes. Enjoy a hearty brat and a delicious brew.

Chicago Dog, Colorado Style
Chi-town appetites will smile at this trendy take on a traditional sausage.


  • Pork bratwurst
  • Course-ground mustard
  • Pappadew peppers
  • Diced dill pickles
  • Cucumber spears
  • Celery seed

Beer Pairing:
India Pale Ale is like a favorite football jersey: it goes with just about any food on game day. But this brat’s pickled toppings make it an especially good match.

Now, all you’re missing is the Buffalo Dip – no problem get our delicious recipe here.

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Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at