Learn how to make a delicious beer brat including a zesty beer bath to boil your bratwurst and a great recipe for a quick red pepper relish topping!

For us Midwesterners, bratwurst is a tradition! Bratwurst originated in Germany, and many of us can trace our roots back to that part of the world. We grill beer brats along our hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s an expected entrée at our backyard barbeques.

I even have friends that make homemade bratwurst! They use a meat grinder and natural casings to stuff their own sausages. I personally love a combination of pork cuts like ground pork shoulder and ground pork belly with a more traditional spice mixture; mustard powder, black pepper, caraway seeds.

Beer Brats

If I don’t have any homemade bratwurst on hand, I just grab some from the grocery store and make them delicious with this beer and onion bath and zesty relish topping! It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy a brat.

So, what happens if the weather takes a turn for the worse and you can no longer grill your bratwurst? Have no fear, this homemade beer bratwursts recipe made on the stove are just as good as grilled bratwurst! Boiling brats in beer allows you to add more flavor and keep the moisture in the bratwurst. It’s so delicious!

Beer Brats

How To Top Beer Brats

You have two choices as to how long to boil your bratwurst. You can heat the beer mixture on low and cook them at a simmer for 20 minutes. Or, you can heat the beer mixture on high heat, and cook them for 10-12 minutes.

I recommend the slow simmering method, if you have the time!

To add caramelization to the bratwurst afterwards, you can place them on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, or you can quickly broil them in the oven. Doing this will add flavor and caramelize the outside casing of the brat.

Beer Brats

How to Top Beer Brats

Traditionally, we dress our bratwurst with sauerkraut and and a good German mustard like this spicy one. But you can top yours however you like! Here are some flavor combinations that you’ll love:

  • Grilled or sautéed onions and stone ground mustard
  • Coleslaw and barbecue sauce
  • Nacho cheese and jalapeno peppers
  • Pickle relish and yellow mustard

Below, I include a simple homemade relish made with red peppers. This is one of our favorite bratwurst toppings. It’s perfect paired with spicy mustard! 

Beer Brats

The Best Beer for Brats

For the best results with your beer bath, I recommend using either a light beer like Busch Light, or a medium bodied lager like Miller High Life.

Beer Brats

Delicious Beer Brats

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Make these delicious Beer Boiled Brats and top with mustard and a quick homemade red pepper relish. They're so delish, no grilling needed!


  • 5 bratwurst buns
  • 5 tablespoon Dijon mustard, for topping

For the Beer Boiled Brats:

  • 5 bratwurst, any flavor, uncooked
  • 48 ounces light beer
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced

For the Red Pepper Relish

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a stock pot, add beer, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and garlic powder and bring to a boil.  
  2. Add sliced onions to the beer mixture and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then, add bratwursts. For a fast cook, bring to a boil, and cook for 12 minutes. For a slower cook, allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. (Optional) To caramelize the outside of the bratwurst, carefully remove from the pot with tongs. Add the brats to a greased baking sheet and carefully prick with a fork to keep the bratwurst from exploding in the oven. Broil the bratwursts on high for 2-3 minutes.
  5. You can return the brats to the beer solution on low or no heat to keep them warm before serving.
  6. For the red pepper relish, add olive oil to small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add red peppers and onions, sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and vinegar, then reduce heat to low. Stir well and allow to cook down for an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
  7. Assemble the brats on a bun with a hearty scoop of the red pepper relish and mustard (optional). Serve warm.

Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 570

Did you make this recipe?

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If you love this Beer Brats recipe, I think you will LOVE my Easy Bratwurst Pasta recipe! It’s one of the most popular recipes on the blog and gets rave reviews! 

Beer Brats
Beer Brats
Beer Brats