Cooking with Beer

Cooking with BeerWhy cook with beer?

Because it makes meals taste better.

Pretty simple, huh?

Just like wine, beer can really enhance a recipe. Chefs have known this for years, and more and more are catching on. Beer’s advantage is that it can provide almost any flavor – floral, nutty, sweet, bitter, coffee, roasted, honey, and the list goes on and on. Wine can’t even come close to this variety. On top of that, beer is much cheaper, a benefit for the home cook and the restaurant chef.

This section has all of the beer recipes I’ve posted on BillyBrew. As I post more recipes, I will update this page, so make sure you bookmark it. I’ve provided some tools below for that.

Beer and Food Recipes:

Some basic guidelines:

  1. Never cook with a beer you wouldn’t drink. If you don’t like it in your glass, you’re not going to like it in your meal.
  2. Match intensities. The beer and food should be in harmony. Don’t cover up the flavor of the food with an intense beer, and vice-versa. That defeats the purpose of using the beer. Try to strike a balance with flavors, and it’s OK to just have the beer as a background flavor, as long as it enhances the rest of the dish.
  3. Take advantage of similarities. If the meal has a citrusy flavor, such as a Mexican dish that uses limes, use a beer with a citrusy flavor. A West Coast IPA would work well in this situation because of the citrusy hops that they use. Making a chocolate pudding? A porter or stout would bring it to life with their roasted chocolate notes.
  4. Be careful with bitterness. It’s easy to spoil a dish with a bitter beer. Remember that when you cook beer it concentrates the flavors, so a bitter beer will become even more bitter when cooked. Pale Ales and IPAs can work wonderfully, but err on the side of caution and don’t go overboard.
  5. Don’t just add beer for the sake of adding it. Really think about what it brings to the table. Maybe it’s not right for what you’re making?