A cold beer might be a classic summer drink, but did you know it’s a delicious—and versatile—ingredient for cooking too? When it comes to cooking with beer, grilling, and baking, beer can be used in a huge variety of ways. It adds richness to marinades and sauces, gives a coffee flavor to ice cream drinks, creates a bubbly texture in breads and baked goods, and makes chocolate desserts more chocolatey. And with so many types of beer on the market, it’s worth experimenting to see which ones give you the results you like best. Here are 5 must-try summer cooking with beer recipes for this season’s cookouts and camping trips.
Beer Cheese Dip
Beer cheese soup is a Midwestern staple but not exactly hot-weather food. Turn this classic soup flavor into a cheese sauce that’s perfect for nachos or for dipping!
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2–3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light beer
- 6 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the flour and cook over medium-low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should thicken to a paste and turn light golden brown. If it doesn’t thicken after 10 minutes, stir in an additional tablespoon of flour and cook some more.
- Stir in the salt. Slowly add the beer, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition. Cook the mixture for another 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken again, stirring constantly.
- Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and fully combined.
- Stir in the Cheddar cheese, a few pinches at a time, stirring well after each addition. The cheese sauce is finished once all the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, soft pretzels, or fresh veggies.
Serve up these biscuits at a cookout or turn them into savory breakfast sandwiches.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ salt
- 1 cup beer
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
- Stir in the beer and 5 tablespoons of the melted butter. Mix until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add an additional ½ cup flour and mix well.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out until it’s about ½-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits.
- Place the biscuits a couple inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter.
Guinness Ice Cream Shake (or Float!)
The rich coffee flavor of dark beer pairs perfectly with sweet ice cream. Try this recipe with Guinness or with your favorite beer.
- 1 (11.2 oz) bottle Guinness
- 4 cups vanilla ice cream
- Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for toppings (optional)
Add the Guinness and ice cream to a blender. Blend on high until it’s your preferred consistency. (Add more ice cream if you’d like a thicker shake.) Pour into two glasses, and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Tip: If you’d rather not blend your beer and ice cream, try a beer float instead! Pour beer into a chilled glass and add a scoop or two of ice cream. Try these combos:
- Guinness + Irish-cream ice cream
- Blue Moon + orange sherbet
- Amber lager + salted-caramel ice cream
- Porter + chocolate ice cream
Beer & Garlic Grilled Chicken
This rich garlic marinade can be used for chicken or pork. If you can’t fire up the grill, you can also make this recipe in the oven.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (12 oz) bottle dark beer
- 4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Pour ¼ cup of the olive oil mixture and ½ cup of beer into a container. Mix together. Then seal the container and place it in the refrigerator.
- Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the remaining olive oil mixture and beer into the bag. Seal the bag and shake until the chicken is coated with the marinade. Place the chicken in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- When it’s time to grill the chicken, preheat the grill and allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill the chicken for about 6 minutes per side. Use the reserved marinade to baste the chicken while it cooks. (Chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 165°F.)
Some brownie recipes use espresso to deepen the chocolate flavor—adding a dark beer will do the same thing!
- ½ cup chocolate stout
- 2 sticks butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ salt
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour the stout into a small saucepan. Cook it over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until the beer is reduced to ¼ cup. (Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t burn.)
- In medium-sized microwaveable bowl, stir together the cubes of butter and the chocolate chips. Heat on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl and let cool.
- Add the sugar, vanilla, salt, and stout to the chocolate mixture. Stir well to combine.
- Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, stirring well after each one. Stir in the flour until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into a greased 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake for about 40 minutes. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.