Bottoms Up • Cooking with Beer

NOT JUST FOR WASHING DOWN PRETZELS: Like a good wine, beer in a recipe adds a deep, earthy flavor to savory dishes like chili, soup, and stew. And don’t think your baked goods won’t benefit from a bit of nutty, caramelized flavor. 

In fact, beer can be great for just about every cooking techniquebaking, braising, deglazing,
battering, sauces, marinating, and simmering.


Vegan and tasty; perfect for vegetables and seafood!   

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 8.5 oz 1 cup +1 tbsp lager beer
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp table salt


Sift flour with a mesh strainer, then pour into a bowl. Pour chilled beer a little at a time stirring with spatula until you have a smooth batter (about as dense as yogurt). Incorporate 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp table salt. 

Wrap with plastic and store in fridge 30 minutes before using. 


Add one or more spices in the beer batter. Lemon juice is perfect for fish and seafood. 

  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch nutmeg


Heat oil to 355°. This batter works with any type of oil, but sesame, sunflower, or extra-virgin olive oil are recommended. 

Before frying, check mixture density. Dip a piece of vegetable or fish into the batter: if the mix covers the ingredient with a thin and consistent film, flow it into the oil. If it does not coat your food evenly, add flour or beer to correct the density. Maintain batter temperature as low as possible to take advantage of the thermal shock. Fry until golden, then place on a plate lined with paper towels with the help of a slotted spoon. Serve as soon as possible.


This beer bread comes together quickly and needs no kneading. 

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can beer
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will work, but I use 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare a bread loaf pan or 8″ square pan.

Mix dry ingredients first, combining them thoroughly with a whisk before adding beer. Add beer, then stir with a spoon until combined.

Add a small amount of melted butter to bottom of pan. Pour batter into loaf pan. Pour melted butter over mixture. Be sure to put an extra pan or some foil beneath your bread as the butter might overflow.

Bake 1 hour for a bread loaf pan. If using an 8″ square pan check it around 45 min. and every 5 min until done. Remove from pan and cool at least 15 minutes.


“Today, American wild and sour ales hold their own with the best in the world. By playing up acidity and fruity notes instead of bitterness, wild-yeast brewers have won over scores of drinkers who thought they’d never, ever like craft beer. In this ideal summertime pairing, we went against the conventional wisdom about beer floats, which recommends using stouts and porters. We found that the bitterness in stout fights ice cream to the death.”  

~Andrea Slonecker & Christian Debenedetti

  • ¾ cup American wild ale with fruit
  • 1 giant scoop good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • Raspberries for garnish (optional)

It’s important to add the ice cream to the beer, rather than vice versa, to ensure that it will float and not stick to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with two or three raspberries if desired. Serve immediately with a spoon and a straw.