Creature Cooks: Jerk Chicken Wings Paired with Automatic  

Creature Cooks is back, and this time we’re pairing Jerk chicken wings with our year-round Pale Ale, Automatic! This recipe comes from our Safety and Compliance Manager, not to mention grill master, Caitlin Wilson. Here’s what Caitlin had to say about this pairing: 

 “Jerk wings are a summer staple on my grill, and I love pairing them with Automatic Pale Ale. The sweet and spicy flavor of the Jerk nicely balances the slightly catty, orange, and melon flavors bursting from Automatic. It’s also the perfect grilling beer with a much lower ABV and lighter body than its sister beers Tropicalia and Cosmik Debris.” 

A few tips to perfect your Jerk chicken: 

  • Traditional Jamaican Jerk uses Scotch Bonnet peppers which can be hard to find. Habaneros make a good substitute but try and find Scotch Bonnets if possible.  
  • Jerk also traditionally cooks over Pimento wood, the same wood that the all-spice berries used in the marinade are grown on. Pimento wood, like Scotch Bonnets, can be tough to find at local stores. However, you can order it online or use a great substitute like any other fruit wood (Caitlin recommends apple or peach.)  

Jerk Chicken Wings paired with Creature Comforts Automatic Pale Ale 

Prep: 10 minutes, plus at least 8 hours marinating time  

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes  


  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped  
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped  
  • 2 garlic cloves  
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers (substitute habanero if scotch bonnet not available)  
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger  
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese 5-spice Powder  
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries  
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, coarsely ground pepper  
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme  
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg  
  • 1 teaspoon salt  
  • ½ cup soy sauce  
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
  • 15-20 whole chicken wings  

Step 1  

For the marinade: In a food processor or blender, combine onion, scallions, garlic, peppers, ginger, and all dry ingredients. Blend until a coarse paste is formed. Slowly add in soy sauce and vegetable oil. Blend until combined.   

Step 2  

Cover chicken with marinade either in shallow dish or in large gallon-size zip-lock bags. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight (minimum 8 hours).  

Step 3  

For Vortex cooking: Place steel Vortex in the center of the grill’s bottom rack and fill with charcoal. Light and allow coals to turn white with both vents wide open. Once charcoal is preheated, replace the top grate and line the wings around the outside of the top grate, skin-side up. Place a small chunk of apple wood directly over the flame. After ~20 minutes, flip the wings and cover. Allow wings to cook 10 more minutes and flip again and cover. Once wings are 165 degrees internally (about 5 more minutes of cook time) remove from grill and enjoy with a cold Automatic Pale Ale.  

For grilling using indirect heat: Light charcoal on one side of the grill (or burners on one side if using gas grill). Once grill is heated, place wings skin-side down over direct heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally. After 10-15 minutes, move wings, skin-side up, to other side of the grill to finish cooking with indirect medium heat (10-15 more minutes). You can add a wood chunk to the coals at this step. Once the wings have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove, and enjoy with a cold Automatic Pale Ale.