Getting Crafty with Beer

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Adding beer to your recipes can add some terrific flavor.  But how do you select which beer goes with which dish?   Here’s a handy cooking-with-beer guide along with some of my favorite beer-infused recipes.

For a more pronounced flavor of hops, put an extra splash of beer in at the end of cooking. Giving the dish a final brief simmer rather than a boil will retain the essence of the hops.


This culinary beer guide suggested by “The Craft Beer Cookbook” author Jacquelyn Dodd will help kick-start your craft beer cooking.

Stout and porter: Stouts tend to use roasted barley. Porters do not. Porters also tend to have a hoppier taste. Many stouts and porters have chocolate and coffee undertones. Use these beers in recipes that feature chocolate and red meat.

Pale ales: Pale ales get their name from the pale malt used to brew them. With a more even ration of malt to hop, the flavor is better balanced than some stronger brews. Pale ales are a good choice for fruit, poultry and seafood recipes.

Brown ales: Brown ales have a rich, malty flavor. Look for the nationality associated with this beer. American brown ales tend to have more hops. English brown ales tend to be sweeter with a maltier flavor. Try brown ales in recipes that have roasted root vegetables and red meat as ingredients.

Wheat ales: Wheat beers are brewed with wheat and tend to have a yeast-forward taste with a lower hop undertone. Flavors of citrus, cloves and coriander are often present in wheat ales. One of the most popular wheat ales is Blue Moon, a Belgian-style white wheat ale.

Wheat ales work well in recipe with apples, pears and citrus as well as with seafood and white meats like chicken and pork.

Lagers:Lagers are known for their clean, crisp taste and longer fermentations, making the yeast settle to the bottom. Lagers and pilsners are another good choice for shellfish, fish, white meats and citrus-based recipes.


Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Brown Ale Vinaigrette


Keibasa and Mussels Steamed in Lager


Beer Marinated Steak with Herb Sauce

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Chocolate Stout Cake


Beer-Infused Beef Stew with Puff Pastry Topping


Warm Brie with Beer-Braised Dried Fruit


Chocolate Stout Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This entry was posted in Desserts, Entrees, Holiday & Entertaining, Recipes, Soups & Salads, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Getting Crafty with Beer

  1. Curt says:

    I listened to you today on WPR and you mentioned that you’ve not tried breakfast cereal with beer. From a past camping experience back in the 70s it actually is tasty in place of milk. The beer added a sweetness to the cereal(I believe it was Corn Flakes and probably Miller or PBR)

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