Cooking With Beer: What You Need to Know


By: Kayla Brown

Though craft beers have been in the spotlight lately, regular commercial brews have a special place in your kitchen as well. Commercial brews are ideal for cooking – they’re inexpensive and consistent. You always know what you’re getting, and that will never change. Plus, you can add beer to pretty much everything, making it a pretty novel and versatile ingredient.

When adding beer to foods, it’s important to consider what type of beer would best complement the dish that you’re making. Here are just a few examples of what different beers can bring to your meals.


Wheat Beers (White, Wit, Weiss, or Weizen)

These tend to be on the lighter and mellower side. They have fruity and crisp flavors and pair well with fish, salads, and grilled red meats.

Pale Ale and Bitter

Bitter tends to have little carbonation and works perfectly with fatty meats. Pale Ale has more carbonation and goes great with almost everything – from cheese to dishes like fish and chips. 


Known as the “classic Irish beer”, Stout is dry and toasty, bringing coffee and chocolate flavors to the dish. Though it can seem a little overwhelming, it’s a great choice for blending into desserts.


Another important tip to remember is that flavors tend to change as you cook with them. By adding beer at the end of a recipe, the notes will remain true to the original flavor. But by adding the beer early and heating it over time, the flavors with concentrate and transform. From fried foods and stews, to marinades and mussels. We’re not trying to say that beer is best for every dish – some ingredients don’t mix well with beer – but it’s definitely worth experimenting with. 

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