Beer can flavor food several ways – from the bitterness of the hops imparting their flavor to the sweetness of the malt and more. While you can cook a lot of foods with beer, not all recipes will taste great with beer. Thanks to the brewpub revolution, people assume that beer can pair with all types of food – but that just isn’t the reality. Also, you cannot use the same beer as the one used in the dish – which means you need an ample supply of complimenting beers on hand if you are going to tame the brewsky and become a gourmand of beer recipes.
Cooking with Beer: A Few Basics
Honestly, it takes time and a lot of practice. You’ll need to experiment assimilating beer into your recipes and your personal cooking style. And no, you don’t have to dumb down your tastes or style to add beer. There are plenty of fine restaurants and gourmet dishes out there that use beer as a base. Also, you don’t have to assume the only recipes that pair well or use beers nicely are fried. While beer does take on the heaviness of fried foods well, it has plenty of uses in lighter dishes too.
Basic Rules of Cooking with Beer
We will call these the golden rules – or pale ale rules if such pleases you. These should be your rule of thumb before you incorporate any beer into your recipes.
Lastly, never use a beer in a recipe if you haven’t drunk it or wouldn’t drink it on its own. If a beer tastes bad from the bottle, how do you think it will taste in your recipe? Drink it up and then see what recipes you imagine it going well with – usually if you find yourself craving something with a beer, it is a good bet it will taste great if it is cooked with it.
Cooking with Beer Requires Beer on Hand – and Lots of Variety
You need a good variety of beers on hand to cook with them – and we’re talking good quality beers here. To make sure you’re stocked up, we recommend looking into a beer of the month club. Then you have great micro brews delivered to your door each month.
If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend first trying out the Craft Beer Club or the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. Of course, you can read up on all of our beer of the month club reviews to see which club membership option suits your tastes and budget.