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Beer Brats

4.91 from 10 votes

posted: 08/16/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Beer Brats are a super easy recipe for a great dinner or a get together. Your family is going to love this simple three ingredient recipe.

a beer brat in a bun in a tray surrounded by fries garnished with onions and topped with ketchup

I’m so happy to be working with Johnsonville to bring to you this amazing and easy recipe.

Growing up in Wisconsin, if you are serving brats, they really better be Beer Brats. A staple around here for tailgating, get togethers, and BBQs, they are a must.

So when Johnsonville asked me if I would share with you about Bratsgiving, a day devoted to bratwurst every August 16th, I knew there was only one way to celebrate: Beer Brats.

What is Bratsgiving

Bratsgiving is a day dedicated to celebrating bratwurst and creating memories with families and friends. This year, two midwest chefs are competing head to head: Chicago Chef Joe Flamm vs. Executive Chef of the Green Bay Packers, Heath Barbato, in a brat recipe contest. (Can you guess who I’m voting for??)

Head to Johnsonville’s website to cast your vote, and the winning chef will receive $10,000 to donate to the charity of their choice! Plus there are tons of great brat recipes and you can even send your friends and family a brat e-card!

overhead of package of Johnsonville brats in the package on a cutting board surrounded by cooked beer brats

What are Beer Brats?

Beer Brats are brats that are both grilled and cooked in beer. It creates a delicious and flavorful juicy brat that everyone raves over. Johnsonville makes the best brats, so use theirs for the best results!

Beer Brat Ingredients

While you can find complicated Beer Brat recipes out there, I kept mine extremely simple. They are delicious!

  • Johnsonville Bratwursts
  • Beer
  • Onion
beer being poured over grilled brats with onions underneath in a layer in a slow cooker

How to Make Beer Brats

There is a lot of argument over whether to boil the brats in the beer and then grill or to first grill and then let them warm in the beer and onion. After a lot of talking to Wisconsinites and research, I feel great about this method.

  1. Grill the bratwursts.
  2. Add onion, beer, and the brats to a slow cooker and keep on warm.

The brats are already fully cooked (after grilling), so they are just staying warm in the beer and onion mixture. After warming in there for 30 minutes, they have the perfect beer flavor while still being moist and tender from being grilled first.

As one of my neighbors said: It is the biggest life hack! This way you get your cooking done, and guests can serve themselves as they arrive and you enjoy your company.

overhead of grilled brats a layer of onions in a slow cooker

What Beer to Use

Use whatever beer you like most! I like a Pilsner because they have a very mild flavor that will accommodate most people’s tastes. If you have a beer loving crowd, use a richer and darker beer.

overhead of three beer brats in buns in a tray topped with ketchup

What to Serve with Beer Brats

Some great recipes to put out with your brats are:

If you make these Beer Brats in celebration of Bratsgiving (or ever!) let me know what you think! Or drop me a comment and tell me your favorite brat recipe.

beer being poured over grilled brats with onions underneath in a layer in a slow cooker
4.91 from 10 votes

Beer Brats

Serves: 10 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Beer Brats are a super easy recipe for a great dinner or a get together. Your family is going to love this simple recipe.


  • 10 Johnsonville Original flavor bratwursts
  • 24 ounces beer (two 12 ounce cans)
  • 1 large onion sliced thin


  • Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Grill the bratwursts for 7 minutes on each side or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  • Add the onions to the base of the slow cooker. Add the grilled bratwursts. Pour the beer over them and then add 2 cups of water. (Please note that the brats just need to be covered in liquid).
  • Set the slow cooker to warm and let the flavors combine for 30 minutes. Then allow your guests to eat at their leisure, pulling out a Beer Brat and topping with with some of the onions in a bun.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
beer being poured over grilled brats with onions underneath in a layer in a slow cooker

did you make this

Beer Brats

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Joy says

    5 stars
    I have followed your recipes for a long time now. I so enjoy what you have to offer, I sometimes tweak them to my liking, but that too is still good!
    I normally soak my brauts in beer & onions right off. Then I only have to cook them on the stove- my grill is not working. But either way I love the brauts with a German Sauerkraut with Fennel which I have add since the stores don’t carry the ones with Fennel anymore! UGH! We use Rye bread to enjoy our brauts! Thanks!! You are always on top of my Recipe List!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for the sweet words!

  2. Diann Thomas says

    I don’t use a grill but I do have an air fryer, which I love. Is it ok to do this way? Also, do you have any recipes for an air fryer?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried these in the air fryer, but it sounds like a fun experiment. We have just a few Air Fryer recipes. If you search “air fryer” in our search bar they will come up.

  3. paula says

    Hey Lisa, HAPPY LABOR DAY. You are just the best. My biggest loss would be my Crock Pot. It is ancient but “pots” better than ever. I live alone and find your CP receipts perfect. Love the receipts but also the fact that most are of few ingredients. Going to do the CP brats tomorrow. You are beautiful!! You are appreciated.
    God Bless!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you are enjoying my recipes!

  4. Jeanine says

    5 stars
    the only question i have is how do the onions get cooked in that short of a time and only on warm?

    • Lisa Longley says

      So, one thing I like about this recipe is that it is perfect for parties. The brats can hang out and stay warm while guests decide when they want to eat. The longer the onions are in there the softer they get. I don’t typically add mine to my brat, I just like the flavor the bring to the party.

  5. Linda says

    5 stars
    i have made this recipe and yum yum n so EZ.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like it!

  6. Janice says

    We don’t do any kind of alcohol in our home. Is there something I could use in place of the beer that would work well?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I know lots of people who have used and enjoyed apple cider with this recipe.

  7. Nancy says

    I love all your recipes They are short sweet and to the pot!!! 😂. A little humor. Do you think this could go in the oven and then transfer to a crockpot?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Ha! I’m glad you enjoy them, Nancy! I think you would really miss out on the nice charing of the outside if you cooked them in the oven first.

  8. HARRY JONES, MCPO USN (ret) says

    Ms Lisa, am wondering about alcohol content of brats after soaking for 1/2 hour ir so. Does the 1/2 hour reduce content to zero for minors or alcoholics?

    • Lisa Longley says

      That’s a great question, Harry. Typically, alcohol needs 3 hours or more to cook off. So the half hour here isn’t cutting it. The low alcohol content of beer would make me personally comfortable serving these to minors, but out of respect for those who are sober, I would make something else for alcoholics.

  9. Janet says

    I am going to cook mine in the air fryer then transfer to my crockpot with Bavarian style sauerkraut and onions….server with homefries

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners