8 Incredible Beer-Infused Recipes
The infinite variety of craft beers can lend complexity to a host of recipes, both savory and sweet. Their distinct flavors can be a focal point—beer ice cream, anyone?—or a deliciously unexpected addition to brines, batters, braises and even salad dressings. And just as you shouldn’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink, use beers you love in the following recipes. Any leftover suds make perfect pairings.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
4 bratwursts (5–6 ounces each), pricked with a fork in several places
3 cups beer, or as needed
½ cup sauerkraut
4 high-quality hot dog buns
Mustard, for serving (optional)
In a medium-sized stockpot (wider than the bratwursts), add 2 tablespoons butter and the garlic and cayenne. Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat, stirring so the garlic doesn’t brown. Stir in the brown sugar, caraway seeds and 4 turns of black pepper, then add the brats and enough beer to cover them by about an inch. Bring the beer to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the sauerkraut, including any liquid it’s packed in, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the bratwursts are cooked through. The brats will have expanded and the meat will be tight in the casings. Keep them in the liquid until you’re ready to grill and serve.
While the brats are cooking, light a charcoal or gas grill, or set a grill pan over high heat.
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and brush the cut sides of the buns lightly with it. Put the buns cut-side down on the grilling surface and toast until golden brown. Transfer the toasted buns to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Transfer the brats from the liquid to the grill. Turning as necessary, grill until they have crusty bark on the outside, about 10 minutes. Serve the brats on the toasted buns with mustard and a heap of the sauerkraut on top. Serves 4.
The Blind Pig serves this dressing with a salad of arugula, poached apples, pickled onion, cherry tomatoes and bacon.
½ cup olive or vegetable oil
½ cup lager
6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of cayenne
Emulsify all the ingredients with a whisk, or by shaking in a jar. Makes 1½ cups.
The Brewer’s Art uses its popular and powerful Resurrection ale for this delicious duck-breast “ham,” but any abbey brown ale will also work. Make a full batch, as the duck will keep a week in the refrigerator and indefinitely in the freezer.
6 cups abbey brown ale
¾ cup kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
5 allspice berries
1 cardamom pod
20 pink peppercorns
½ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon curing salt No. 1 (widely available online)
2 tablespoons liquid smoke (optional)
12 duck breasts (6–7 ounces each; Kumm prefers Rouen ducks for their large size and flavorful meat.)
In a stockpot over high heat, bring 4 cups of water and all the ingredients except the duck breasts to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the brine to a large, nonreactive glass or plastic container and refrigerate. Chill until cold, then add the duck breasts, making sure they’re submerged (you can cover the container or not). Let the duck sit in the refrigerator for 7 days, and pat dry before cooking.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly oil a sheet pan and place the breasts in a single layer, skin-side down. Roast until an internal thermometer inserted into the breasts reads 155°F. Let the breasts rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly and serving. The Brewer’s Art serves the duck sliced over a frisée salad with a poached duck egg and sweet-potato croutons. Serves 24.
1½ cups Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup maple syrup
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beer, garlic and shallots to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is reduced to ¼ cup, then strain and reserve.
In a large cast iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Add the maple syrup and reduced beer, toss the potatoes to coat and bring the liquid to a boil.
Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Serve warm. Serves 4.
Mini-loaf pans provide a great balance between tender bread and crunchy tops, but this simple recipe can be made in any loaf pan. At Schlafly, the bread is served with a creamy blue cheese spread.
5½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups Schlafly Pale Ale, or other pale ale
Melted butter for brushing
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the beer slowly and mix with a wooden spoon just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
Brush loaf pans with butter, divide the dough equally among them, and bake for 30 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter, rotate the pans 180 degrees and bake another 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry with some crumbs attached. Cool on a baking rack. Make 4 mini-loaves.
This take on beer-battered “fries” can also be made with green beans or zucchini sticks.
2 egg yolks
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups canola or vegetable oil
4 canned chipotle peppers, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo liquid, reserved
2 tablespoons ground horseradish
1 tablespoon high-quality reposado Tequila
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups Saint Arnold Lawnmower Beer
1 pound asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, washed and dried well
Blend the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the oil until the mixture resembles mayonnaise. One by one, add the chipotle, its liquid, horseradish and Tequila, blending well after each addition. Salt and pepper to taste. Set the borracho sauce aside.
Combine all the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Add the beer and combine gently. Do not overwhisk the batter. The batter should be a little thick.
Fill a large, heavy pot with at least 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 375°F (use a deep-fry or candy thermometer to check the temperature). Dip the asparagus spears individually into the batter, letting the excess fall back into the bowl, and add to the oil in small batches so they don’t stick to each other. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Dry on paper towels. Serve warm with the borracho sauce. Serves 4.
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 cups organic cane sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups Hilliard’s Murdered Out Stout, or other stout beer
1 stick butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
German chocolate cake filling (recipe below)
Chocolate frosting (recipe below)
¼ cup toasted flaked or shredded sweetened coconut, for garnish
¼ cup chocolate curls or mini-chocolate chips, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners into muffin or cupcake tin.
Whisk the cocoa powder, cane sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl, and the beer, butter, vanilla extract and eggs in a smaller bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing just until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps.
Fill each cupcake liner three-quarters to the top of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees, then bake for another 10 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a baking rack.
With an apple corer or very small spoon, remove a ½-inch core from the center of each cupcake and fill with the German chocolate filling. Frost the tops, and garnish with coconut and chocolate. Makes 12 cupcakes.
German Chocolate Cake Filling
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1⅓ cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and mix in the coconut, pecans and vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Microwave chocolate at 30-second intervals, being careful not to burn it, until melted. Cool to room temperature. In the large bowl of an electric mixer set on low speed, beat together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate.
1½ cups craft beer, such as a porter or mild ale
¾ cup sugar
1 large pinch salt
6 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)
In a small heavy saucepan set over high heat, reduce the beer by half. Cool the beer to room temperature.
Whisk the sugar, salt and egg yolks in a medium saucepan pan until well mixed. Add the cream, and whisk continuously over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Strain the cooked mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the reduced beer and vanilla, and whisk to incorporate. When thoroughly mixed, refrigerate.
Once cold, process the mixture in an ice cream maker for 45 minutes, or until firm. Transfer to a freezer to solidify. Makes 4 cups.
- 1Grilled Beer-Braised Bratwursts
- 2Lemon-Lager Vinaigrette
- 3Resurrection Beer-Brined Duck Ham
- 4Smoked Porter & Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- 5Schlafly Pale Ale Bread
- 6Beer-Battered Asparagus with Borracho Sauce
- 7German Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
- 8Beer Ice Cream