To make the rub, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Apply the rub all over the bird, even inside the cavity. Work the mixture under the skin wherever possible. Cover it and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
In the meantime, prepare your grill for direct grilling and preheat to 375 degrees.
When the grill is ready, pour half of the beer or other carbonated beverage into a spray bottle. Add the apple juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and shake well.
Slide the bird over the beer can, or if you are using a vertical beer can chicken roaster, place the can into the holder and slide the bird over the can and holder.
Carefully place the bird and the vertical roaster on a pie plate or cake pan in the center of the grill. Spray the bird with the mixture in the spray bottle and close the grill lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until it starts to brown all over. Respray and close the lid.
Cook for approximately 45-60 more minutes, spraying the bird every 15 minutes or so until the internal temperature of the thighs reaches between 160-165 degrees F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the thigh between the leg and the breast but not touching the bone.
This is the hard part and works best if you have two people. Use extreme caution, the can and liquid inside are very hot; do this step outside in case any liquid spills. Have one person grab the beer can with kitchen tongs to hold it in place while the second person grabs the chicken in the neck cavity with another pair of tongs and pulls it off. You can also grab it with heavy-duty oven mitts or a clean kitchen towel.
Spray the bird once more, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes before cutting it up and serving.
You don't have to use a beer can holder, the chicken will still stand up, but it may not be quite as stable.Be sure to use a beer opener or can opener to make several openings at the top of the can you use to allow the steam to come out. No beer, no problem; you can use any carbonated beverage you like or even apple juice. This recipe can be prepared on any grill with a lid as long as the lid is deep enough. In a pinch, you can even fashion a makeshift lid with a large piece of aluminum foil.The times shown in this recipe are for poultry that is four to five pounds. If yours is larger or smaller, it will take more or less time to cook. You can prepare this dish in your oven as long as it fits, however; you will not have the smoky grilled taste.