The F.N. Sharp Guide to Cooking with Beer + Recipes to Try
If your relationship with beer starts and ends with drinking it from a frosty mug, bottle or can, you might be surprised to learn that beer makes an excellent cooking ingredient! Similar to cooking with wine, beer enhances other flavors in a dish. When used in a batter, fried foods come out airy and crisp. Add beer to a stew or a sauce and it will taste rich and earthy as if you simmered it for hours. When used as a marinade, it can break down the tough muscle fibers in meat to keep it tender and juicy. You can even use beer in desserts and baked goods!
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
Tips for Cooking with Beer, Plus 21 Creative and Inspiring Recipes to Try
As with wine, beer comes in a wide variety of flavors and textures. Not all beers work well in a recipe, so when a recipe calls for beer, don’t just reach for any old can or bottle. The essential thing to remember about cooking with beer is to choose a quality, drinkable beer. Dumping a can of cheap beer into your dish isn’t likely to give you the results you want for most recipes.
The style of beer you use in cooking is just as important as cooking with wine. You wouldn’t use a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon in a delicate seafood recipe, but you would use a light-bodied white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.
Beer is similar — for a light dish featuring chicken or seafood, you’ll most likely use a lighter style of beer such as pale ale. For a hearty stew or chili, a full-bodied stout will give it an earthy richness. The types of yeast and hops primarily affect beer’s bitterness. The brewing process and added flavors such as fruits, spices, chocolate and nuts also impact the final taste.
What Are the Different Types of Beer?
Walk into a store or pub specializing in craft beer and you’ll be amazed by the selection. The countless styles and breweries can feel overwhelming. If you tend to drink only one style or one brewery’s beer, you might be tempted to stick with what you know. For cooking, you’ll want to learn a bit about the different styles of beer so you can choose the best one for your recipe — and you might find some new beers to drink, too!
The four necessary ingredients in beer are water, yeast, hops and barley. Beer begins as one of two styles, either a lager or an ale. Without getting too technical, lagers require a longer fermentation time, cooler temperatures and a type of yeast that settles to the bottom during the fermentation process. Ales need less time to ferment, use warmer temperatures and yeast that settles on the top during the fermentation process. Lagers tend to be lighter and drier and ales tend to be earthier and more robust.
Beers range widely in their alcohol percentages and bitterness. Barley gives beer its malty flavor and hops give it bitterness. The balance between these two (along with the type of yeast), is what differentiates beer styles and flavors.
You might notice ABV (alcohol by volume) and IBU (international bitterness units) numbers posted next to beers on a menu or chalkboard. A lower IBU score (10 to 35) means the beer will taste less bitter and is usually sweeter. A “hoppy” beer will have the strong, piney flavor of the hops used and will have a high IBU score (50 to 100).
Contrary to popular belief, darker-colored beers aren’t necessarily more bitter — they often taste less bitter than lighter-colored beers. Craftbeer.com has a helpful, comprehensive list of beer styles, their characteristics and some example beers. Beer is classified into about a dozen or so categories, but we’ll stick to the most common in this post.
Lagers: If you’ve sipped a Budweiser, Coors or Miller High Life, you’ve drunk a lager. Lager comes in two basic styles, a pilsner and a bock. Pilsners originated in what is now the Czech Republic and are bright-flavored, crisp and bitter and tend to be lower in alcohol than other beer styles (Budweiser is a pilsner). Lagers also come in a dark form and are medium-bodied with a caramel-like malt flavor and a higher alcohol percentage than light lagers. Sam Adams Boston Lager and typical Oktoberfest beers are dark lagers. Bocks are dark, malty beers with flavors of roasted caramel and a higher alcohol percentage than light lagers.
Wheat Beer: This is one of six basic types of ale. You’ll see labels such as hefeweizen, wit, weiss, weizen or white on a wheat beer’s label. If you’ve drunk a Shock Top or a Blue Moon, the two most common wheat beers brewed in the U.S., you’ve tasted a wheat beer. This type of beer contain at least 50 percent wheat in addition to barley and are usually unfiltered and look cloudy, and brewers sometimes add fruit. Wheat beers taste fruity, crisp and mellow and work well in recipes for chicken or seafood and are perfect for batters and baking.
Pale Ale: Originating in the U.K. along with bitter ales, the pale ales taste more hoppy or piney than other types of ales but are well-balanced between bitter and sweet. Traditional pale ales are light-colored, medium-bodied and have a light toasted maltiness. A popular pale ale in the U.S. is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Pale ales can also be amber ales, which are darker colored than pales and have a toasted toffee flavor. Pale ales work well in batters and seafood recipes.
India Pale Ale: Also known as IPAs, India pale ales are loaded with hops and taste piney, citrusy and floral. IBU scores for IPAs are among the highest of all beers, meaning they contain a high level of bitterness compounds. They get their name because prior to refrigeration, British sailors needed their beer to last on the long trip to India, so brewers added extra hops as a preservative. IPAs come in a few different styles, such as New England IPA and English-Style IPA. IPAs work best in batters and in chicken and seafood recipes.
Brown Ale: Also originating in the U.K, brown ales taste robust, toasty and malty. They tend to have low IBU scores, so they are less bitter than pale ales and IPAs. Scottish-style ales are similar but more malty and sweeter than brown ales. For cooking, use brown ales for pork, beef, stews and chilis. They also work well in batters and in baking.
Porter: Another type of ale, porters are medium-bodied with a cocoa-like sweetness. They’re also medium hoppy, so less bitter than a pale ale and less sweet than a brown ale. They are very dark-colored and often look black. Use porter in recipes that feature pork, beef, chili or stew, and for baking and batters.
Stout: If you’ve ever tasted Guinness, then you know how stout beer tastes. Stouts are dark-colored ales with a coffee or chocolate-like roasted barley flavor and a creamy texture. Stouts range in bitterness, with English-style milk and oatmeal stouts having low IBU scores and American and Irish dry stouts with higher scores. Like the other dark beers listed here, stouts do well with cooking beef and chili, as well as in baking and batters. Chocolate stouts make great ingredients for cakes, brownies, ice cream and other desserts.
Belgian Beers: Like almost all ales, Belgian-style beers have exploded in the U.S. in recent years. These include witbier (wheat), blonde, dubbel (double), golden strong, pale, tripel (triple), sour, saison (season or farmhouse), lambic and quadruple. Belgian beers tend to be malty, sweet and fruity, and they tend to have low IBU scores. The dubbel and quadruple ales are dark in color with minimal bitterness and high alcohol percentages. Tripels, blondes, saisons and golden strong Belgian beers are usually golden colored and slightly more bitter. For cooking, Belgian witbier, golden strong, saison and tripel tend to work best. You can use them in a wide variety of recipes, from hearty meats to stews to baking.
How to Choose the Right Beer for Cooking
It’s helpful to understand a bit about beer styles before you jump right in. Rule No. 1: only cook with beer you like. However, don’t be afraid to cook with an unfamiliar beer style. For example, if you don’t drink chocolate stouts, but you’re making beef chili, adding a chocolate stout will enrich your chili in ways you might not have imagined.
In general, choose lighter, less bitter styles such as wheat beers and pilsners for more delicate recipes using seafood and chicken. Choose heartier ales, stouts and porters in more robust dishes such as beef and game (more on beer, game, and other meat cuts can be found here). Avoid bitter or unusually flavored beers such as India pale ales (IPAs) or fruit beers unless you’re going for a certain flavor profile.
You also don’t have to drink the same style of beer you use in a recipe, so if you love IPAs, sip away as you stir that chili! CraftBeer.com has a comprehensive list that explains different beer styles, and BeerAdvocate.com has a list where you can search for specific beers by style or name.
How to Use Beer in Cooking
You can use beer in place of a liquid in almost any recipe. Just as with wine, beer’s alcohol evaporates once it’s heated, leaving behind delicious seasonings. As beer cooks, its flavor becomes stronger, so keep that in mind when choosing beers to make sure you don’t end up with too much bitterness or another overpowering flavor.
Beer makes an effective marinade because it tenderizes meat. If you’re baking, broiling or roasting something, you can use beer to baste the foods or as an ingredient in the basting sauce to make a hearty, rich gravy.
Beer is a perfect simmering or braising liquid, too. Pancakes, breads, biscuits, muffins and cakes receive buoyancy and lightness from beer. And the carbonation in beer batter makes fried foods crisp, airy and light.
A general rule of thumb is to stick with middle-of-the-road beers that are representative of their style (unless your recipe calls for a specific characteristic such as fruit or chocolate). Avoid highly hopped ones like IPAs, and be careful with unusual added spices and fruits in beers, or sweet or heavy coffee-flavored ones like some stouts and Belgians.
You can also substitute beer for wine in many recipes. For example, use a stout in place of a full-bodied red wine and a pale ale in place of a crisp white wine.
Using Beer in Soups and Stews
Beer and chili are a perfect match, and not just for consuming at the same time! Many chilis call for cocoa powder, so a chocolate stout makes a terrific substitution. For beef-based chilis and stews, aim for darker beers such as stouts, porters and dark lagers. For turkey chili and lighter, chicken broth-based soups, pale or amber ales work best.
Instead of using sherry, vinegar or a lime squeeze to add a little pizazz, add a splash of IPA at the end. Beer cheese soups are popular, usually using cheddar cheese and mild-flavored pilsners or English-style bitter pale ales.
Using Beer with Fried Foods
If you’ve ever bitten into a delectable, golden, crispy pile of fish and chips in a British pub, chances are the fish was beer-battered. As we noted earlier, beer is a superb batter ingredient for frying foods because its carbonation and foaming agents result in crispy, airy food.
Beer also makes batter more acidic, which limits gluten formation and prevents the coating from becoming chewy and tough. Alcohol evaporates faster than water or milk, so using beer instead also means foods cook faster. The faster a fried food cooks, the lower the risk of overcooking the food inside the batter.
You can use beer in batter to coat fish, vegetables, seafood and chicken. Use a cold, highly carbonated beer such as a pilsner, light lager or wheat beer. If you’re making pancakes, fritters, hush puppies or crepes, you can experiment with more flavorful beers such as amber ales, stouts and porters. For example, a nut brown ale or a fruit-based beer such as pumpkin ale can elevate your brunch pancakes to a new level!
Using Beer in Sauces and Marinades
As we noted earlier, beer makes an effective marinade for meats because it contains enzymes that help break down meat’s tough muscle fibers. Brining a whole chicken or turkey in a beer marinade makes it cook more evenly. The white meat, which cooks faster, remains juicy while the darker meat catches up.
More on Poultry: The F.N. Sharp Guide to Poultry Cuts
It turns out that marinating meats before grilling them in beer has some health benefits, too — grilled meats can develop cancer-causing chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Portuguese scientists found that soaking meat in beer before grilling resulted in fewer PAHs. Dark beer, such as a stout and porter, had the most significant impact, but even non-alcoholic pilsners were effective.
A general rule of thumb for marinating poultry or tofu is to use a lager for a light, caramelized flavor or a malty brown ale for a nutty flavor. For pork, lean cuts do well with a low IBU pale ale and fatty cuts pair best with a smoky porter. Beef can handle a hearty stout, strong ale or porter. IPAs aren’t left out either, as in this recipe for IPA Braised Endive with Blue Cheese and Asian Pear. For more on pork and beef, check out our pork cuts guide and our beef cuts guide.
Beer gives sauces complexities and unique flavors, too. Barbeque sauce almost begs for beer as much as eating barbeque tastes best with a cold beer to wash it down. Like wine, its flavors become more concentrated as beer cooks down.
It’s important to consider how you want your sauce to taste and what you’re pouring it over. For example, in a honey beer sauce for chicken, you’d do best with a fruity wheat beer. For this hot fudge sauce perfect for drizzling over ice cream and brownies, you’ll use a big imperial stout. For traditional barbeque sauces, ambers and smoky porters are the way to go. For an Asian-inspired barbeque sauce, use a fruity lambic beer. Even wheat beers have their place, such as in this recipe for Mediterranean Mushrooms.
Using Beer for Grilling
We’ve already touted beer’s superiority as a marinade or brining agent. Beer makes an outstanding basting and spritzing liquid when grilling, too. Basting meat with a savory liquid while it’s smoking or grilling adds flavor and prevents it from drying out.
A simple blend of dark beer, honey, melted butter and ginger makes a fabulous basting sauce for pork. For a lighter baste for enhancing chicken, check out this Lucy Saunders’ Lemon Lager Mop from Outsideonline.com.
Another way to use beer when grilling is to pour beer, a little water and some herbs into a spray bottle and spritz it over food in the final minutes of cooking.
More on Grilling: The F.N. Sharp Guide to Meat Grilling
Using Beer for Boiling and Poaching
Instead of water or wine, beer makes an excellent poaching or boiling liquid. Poaching sausage such as bratwurst is one of the most popular ways to use beer for poaching. You can either simmer the sausages in a pilsner before grilling or keep them warm in a beer bath after grilling. Salmon poached in beer is another delicious way to enjoy this healthy, popular fish. Pale ales and light lagers are fantastic for boiling crab, shrimp, clams, mussels and even lobster.
Using Beer in Baking
If you haven’t tasted a beer bread, you’re missing out! You can make a simple beer bread using a lager or pale ale or a more complex one like this Apple Guinness Cheddar Soda Bread that uses one cup of Guinness Stout. Beer is a baker’s best friend because it adds complexity and depth to sweet baked goods and amplifies the toasty flavor in crackers and breads.
Beer is also a natural leavening agent, meaning it helps the dough rise in quick breads and cakes. Just as with frying batters, beer also inhibits gluten formation, so baked goods don’t end up tough.
Avoid IPAs and other highly hopped, high IBU beers for most baked goods. Malty beers such as Belgian dubbels, English-style brown ales and bocks are good choices. You’ll find many cake recipes calling for stouts such as this Chocolate Stout Cake or this Guinness Stout Cake topped with a bourbon caramel sauce and toasted meringue.
Rules of Thumb for Cooking with Beer
By now, you’ve probably deduced that cooking with beer is pretty flexible with no hard, fast rules. However, following a few guidelines will prevent dud outcomes. Don’t hesitate to experiment!
- Only cook with drinkable beer. It doesn’t have to be a style of beer you like to drink, but it should be considered tasty by others who enjoy the style. For example, you might not be into drinking robust stouts, but they can make an excellent ingredient in foods.
- Understand the differences between hoppy, bitter beers and malty sweet styles. Beer labels are required to list the ABV percentage, but you might have to look a little harder to find the IBU score. You can look up just about any beer in the world on BeerAdvocate.com. However, don’t feel like you must get too technical. Knowing that IPAs and many pale ales are going to taste bitter, lagers are going to taste crisp and smooth and dark lagers, bocks, stouts and many Belgian styles are going to taste malty is a good start.
- Beer is fat-free, so if you’re using it in place of fatty ingredients such as milk or buttermilk, you’ll need to add some fat such as oil, butter, cheese, nut butter or coconut.
- You don’t need to drink the same style of beer you used in your recipe. Often, a contrasting style will enhance the food.
- As beer cooks down, its flavors become stronger. Choose a less intense beer for recipes that require long cook times.
Now that you’re an expert in cooking with beer, read on for some more beersome recipes to try!
21 Recipe Ideas to Try Cooking With Beer
From delicious appetizers to rich desserts, these recipes will have you well on your way to cooking like a professional beer chef!
Beer-Infused Appetizer and Dip Recipes
You’ve probably sampled beer cheese soup or beer-battered onion rings, but now you can make them at home! Here are just a few ways to use beer to kick off your meal or party.
Beer Cheese Soup
This recipe is a little more flavorful than simpler beer cheese soup recipes, but the extra ingredients make a difference. This beer cheese soup uses carrots, leeks, celery and garlic, along with an English-style bitter ale and sharp cheddar cheese.
If you don’t have an English-style bitter (sometimes labeled “ESB”) on hand, you can substitute a dark lager, bock, brown ale or another non-hoppy beer. Redhook ESB, Fuller’s ESB and Shipyard Brewing Old Thumper would be perfect. (By the way, despite the name English-style bitter, ESBs are not bitter or considered highly hopped like an IPA or American pale ale.)
Creamy Triple Mushroom Doppelbock Lager Soup
Beer cheese soup doesn't have to be the only type of soup that uses beer as the star ingredient. Check out this earthy, savory mushroom soup recipe featuring Doppelbock Lager, a malty, toasty German lager that just so happens to work perfectly in this recipe. Sam Adams Double Bock, Salvatore Doppel Bock from Paulaner or Spaten Optimator are all good choices for this beer-infused mushroom soup.
Beer Battered Onion Rings
Beer’s natural carbonation makes it an excellent ingredient in batters because it helps the food inside cook faster, reducing the risk of overcooking. It also helps keep the batter light and crisp as opposed to chewy or mushy.
This onion ring recipe calls for club soda and beer, but feel free to eliminate the club soda and use more beer in its place. A highly carbonated pilsner, light lager or wheat beer works best for fried food batter. Pilsner Urquell is a classic pilsner, but Lagunitas PILS from Lagunitas Brewing Co. or Bear Republic’s Double Aught work equally well.
Beer Caramelized Onion Dip
What happens when you combine onions, cream cheese, sour cream, swiss cheese, Gruyere and sharp white cheddar with bacon and beer for your next gathering? A stampede!
This delectable beer onion dip recipe calls for caramelizing onions in butter and brown sugar, then adding an IPA. Combine this with the cheeses and other ingredients and bake it in the oven. If you don’t have an IPA, use another hoppy style beer such as an American pale ale. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Dale’s Pale Ale are widely available options.
Bacon and beer are a match made in heaven, and this simple recipe only adds a third ingredient: brown sugar. Dogfish Head Chicory Stout is the beer chosen for this recipe, but if you can’t find a chicory stout, then other excellent alternatives include pecan or maple-flavored beers such as Sam Adams Maple Pecan Porter and Funky Buddha Brewing Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.
Soft Beer Pretzel Nuggets
Soft pretzels and beer are another quintessential match, and in this recipe, you get to combine both. Beer works well in baking because it acts as a natural leavening agent, helping dough rise and become airy. This pretzel nugget recipe calls for an amber ale, so Fat Tire Amber Ale, Bell’s Brewery Amber Ale or Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale are good options. Pair them with that beer cheese soup for dipping!
Beer-Infused Main Course Recipes
You can substitute beer for a liquid in just about any dish, including wine. The possibilities are almost endless, but here are a few examples of how you can incorporate beer into your main course.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Radish Jalapeno Slaw
This flavorful single-pot meal uses jalapeno pepper, radishes, hot smoked paprika and ancho chili powder for kick and a golden ale for balance. Look for a Belgian golden ale such as Duvel Belgian Gold Ale. Wheat beers and blonde ales work well too. This recipe also calls for some slicing and dicing, so be sure to have a sharp chef’s knife ready to put those knife skills to work.
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Pork Tostadas With Spicy Broccoli Apple Slaw
With this recipe for pork tostadas with broccoli apple slaw, ground pork is simmered in beer for a little extra flavor, then piled onto crispy tostadas and topped with a slaw made with fresh broccoli, Granny Smith apples, red onion, diced jalapeno, apple cider vinegar, lime juice and spices. Pick up either a pilsner or light lager beer and say cheers to your new twist on Taco Tuesday!
Irish Beef and Guinness Stew
This stovetop beef stew recipe brings some Irish flavor to the table with everyone’s favorite stout beer – Guinness. It’s also loaded with succulent fall apart sirloin steak, sweet carrots, earthy celery, bright green beans and creamy baby red potatoes. As an added bonus, this recipe doesn’t quite call for a full bottle of Guinness, so you can have a little nip while stirring this aromatic one pot meal.
Amber Ale Fried Chicken and Waffles
Fried chicken and waffles have been around a lot longer than you'd think, first gracing restaurant menus back in 1930s Harlem. In this recipe, the down-home comfort dish receives an upgrade with an overnight marinade for the chicken using an amber ale such as Bell’s Brewery Amber Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale or Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
Swap your boring Thanksgiving turkey with a beer and butter basting sauce. This super easy recipe suggests a pale ale, so look for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Doggie Style from Flying Dog Brewing, Mosaic Promise from Founders Brewing or Goose Green Line Pale Ale from Goose Island Beer Co. If you need some tips for slicing that baby up, then check out this F.N. Sharp guide to carving that turkey!
Beer Can Chicken
No beer recipe list would be complete without Beer Can Chicken! This fun recipe uses an open can of beer inside the body of a chicken, which props it up and allows the beer to steam the meat from the inside. The result is tender, moist, savory chicken.
This recipe says to use a cheap beer — and you could choose any old beer such as a Budweiser, but you’d be wasting an opportunity to get creative. Beer Can Chicken begs for a fruit beer such as Pyramid Apricot Ale, almost any Belgian beer, a nut-flavored beer such as Nut Brown Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company or a citrusy IPA like Stone Brewing’s Tangerine Express IPA.
This is the time to choose a beer you like to drink! And when it comes time to serve this delicious bird, be sure to check out these F.N. Sharp tips for cutting up a whole chicken so you don’t waste any of that juicy meat!
Bratwurst or other German-style sausage simmered in beer is another must on any beer recipe list! You’ll find some recipes call for simmering uncooked bratwurst in beer and then finishing them on the grill. Others say to grill the brats first, then simmer in beer after.
If it’s not grilling weather, try this stovetop option, which sears the brats in an iron skillet, then simmers them in a beer bath. Regardless of the recipe you choose, uncooked brats are best and a traditional German bock or dark lager such as a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer, 1554 from New Belgian Brewing, Negra Modelo or Shiner Bock is a great choice.
Beersamic Glazed Citrus Salmon
Beer isn’t just for cooking meats — it makes a tasty ingredient in seafood recipes, too. This healthy, delicious salmon recipe calls for fresh oranges and limes and a “beersamic” reduction. Beersamic is a flavor-laden reduction sauce you can make ahead and drizzle on a variety of foods, including meat, cheese, veggies and fruits.
You’ll want a rich, malty beer such as a Belgian quad like Abt 12 from St. Bernardus. A Scotch or Scottish ale like Claymore from Great Divide Brewing, Wee Heavy from AleSmith or Sam Adams Scotch Ale will work well too.
Lick Your Fingers Beer, Butter & Garlic Crab Legs
Beer makes a fantastic liquid for crab boils. Alaskan jumbo snow crab legs are the star in this dish, which are boiled in beer and smothered in a rich, savory butter sauce. For a more traditional crab boil that includes sausage, corn and potatoes, check out this Crab Boil with Beer and Old Bay recipe. Your best beer choices are a pilsner, a blonde ale or any non-hoppy beer.
Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak
As we mentioned earlier, beer is great for breaking down tough muscle fibers and infuses meat with flavor when used as a marinade. So the next time you plan on making fajitas, try this grilled skirt steak recipe which uses beer in the marinade. If you want to stick with a Mexican flavor profile, use Tecate, Modelo Especial or Numero Uno from Flying Dog Brewing.
Lager Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Good ol’ comfort dish mac-n-cheese has enjoyed an upgrade in recent years, and you’ll see all sorts of gourmet renditions on top restaurant menus. This decadent, creamy version takes it to the top with fresh lobster, Gruyere and white cheddar cheese. If you can’t find lobster, you can substitute shrimp or crab.
For the beer, use a crisp lager such as Cigar City Tampa-style Lager or Firestone Walker Lager. A German-style Kölsch beer would work well too, which tends to show up on shelves more often during the summer months. Try Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Summer Ale or Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Travelin’ Light Kolsch.
Beer-Infused Dessert Recipes
Just because most beers aren’t sweet like wines, don’t hesitate to use them in dessert recipes. Chocolate stouts, pumpkin ales, fruity IPAs and even crème brulee-flavored beers are just a few you’ll find in desserts. Here are a few different recipes to try.
Beer Ice Cream with Espresso, Walnut, Brownies and Coconut
Not your run-of-the-mill chocolate ice cream, this luscious homemade recipe uses unsweetened cocoa powder, a malty beer and brownie bites to really jazz things up. Who knew beer and ice cream could be friends? Look for a chocolatey stout such as Great Divide Mexican Chocolate Yeti, Organic Chocolate Stout from Samuel Smith or Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout from Terrapin Beer Co.
Strawberry Pineapple Pale Ale Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
You might think a marriage of pineapple and beer is unusual, but pineapples have been finding their way into beers in recent years. Beer is a terrific baking ingredient because it acts as a natural rising agent, creating light, airy batter. This crowd-pleaser dessert calls for beers such as Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin, Terrapin Brewing Panama Krunkles Pineapple-Papaya IPA, Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat or Pine’Hop’Le Pineapple IPA from Evolution Craft Brewing Co. The recipe also calls for fresh pineapple, so make sure you have a sharp knife on hand! We prefer the boning knife since its thin, semi-flexible blade can remove the bark without sacrificing any of that sweet pineapple, but of course that chef’s knife works just as well! Check out this video to see how to cut a pineapple in action.
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Summer Shandy Cupcakes
If you're looking for a bright and delicious dessert to bring to your next outdoor picnic or backyard barbecue, then check out these cupcakes that call for a refreshing beer style called Summer Shandy. You can buy it already blended (Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy which is widely available), or you can even make it yourself by combining a light pilsner with lemonade.
Beer Infused S’mores
When your an adult, camping and beer often go hand in hand, so why not combine your favorite campfire dessert with beer? This recipe requires a baking dish, but you could probably get away with a Dutch oven over coals if you’re far from an oven. Use a hearty chocolate stout like the ones listed above or 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout from Breckenridge Brewery.
So there you have it – 21 recipes to try cooking with beer! And if you’re more into cooking with wine, then check out these recipe ideas!