Cooking with beer isn’t novel. Stouts make regular appearances in recipes for hearty stews and chilis. Beer cheese soups and beer-battered onion rings, fish tacos, shrimp (everything, really…) are staples on brewpub menus. Of course, beer can chicken is a fun trick to perform on the grill during backyard barbecues. But why stop here? Considering the impressive breadth of craft brews available these days, it’s a shame we don’t experiment cooking with beer more often.
Beer recipes are super versatile: Use brews in to bake, braise, and simmer; they can add flavor and depth to sauces, marinades, and brines. A lager can stand up to rich meats, while a stout can add a subtle hint of chocolate to desserts. To put it another way, beer is bidding to go beyond soups and batters.
“For us, cooking with beer is all about exploring great beers and their flavors in new ways—bringing a beer’s complex flavor profile into food,” says Warren Berkey, the co-founder of Beer Belly. The Instagram account is devoted to the art of cooking with beer, spiking chorizo queso with a hazy IPA and drawing on the roasted caramel flavors of a porter for the base of slow-braised short ribs.
Here, chefs and recipe creators share with us their favorite beer recipes. These dishes range from chicken wings marinated in a citrus IPA to pork chops brined in a hefeweizen to a sour beer compote perfect for drizzling over ice cream.
Beer Recipes That Use Your Favorite Brews in Creative Ways
1. The Hef Brined Pork Chop
The natural sweetness of a classic hefeweizen is a perfect match for the pork and brown sugar in this beer-brined pork chop recipe created by chef Justin Brunson, the owner of River Bear American Meats and Culture Meat & Cheese in Denver. “The key to this dish is getting a good char when grilling and adding the cooling herbs as the finishing touch, which really brings the whole dish together,” Brunson says.