SME? Who knows, but grew up with them for sure and had them yesterday.
First, there are raw brats and pre-cooked brats. I handle them differently.
Growing up in WI, there are definitely two camps on how how to cook them … (for raw brats)
Camp 1 - pre-cook in a just below simmering pot of beer, water, onion until cooked through. Then grill to brown the casing - the ideal being not to break the skin so all the juicy fat stays inside. (This is how I do it)
Camp 2 - grill on medium heat to brown the casing but close to cooked through - again trying not to have the casing rip/pop, then into a pot of beer, water, onions to finish. Some say this method is less likely to have the skin pop.
In general my family has a rough ratio of 1:1 water to beer. I say a basic lager is the best - avoid anything IPA IMHO. - Miler, Bud, Milwaukee’s Best, Pabst, etc.
Usingers is my family’s go to source. Im so surprised how hard they are to find now that I live in the Boston area.
Honestly I’ve never done a side by side taste test. This is just “how it’s done” in my family LOL.
Precooked brats I grill and then into the beer/water/onion.
For big gatherings, that go on throughout the day - the pot of beer/water/onion (sometimes butter added) stays on the grill and all cooked brats and burgers get dropped in to stay warm through the day for whoever/whenever. Great party hack
I do neither. I don’t cook the beer with the brats. I soak the brats (Usinger, in this case), with onion slices, for a week in beer in the fridge. Pabst has always been my go-to for this. Then I move them on the grill so one side doesn’t explode. Keep moving them. Then, as I’m grilling I add even more onions to the beeronion mix, and boil down the brew onions and fresh onions in the beer. That’s my brat topping. Some good mustard, and you’re home.