The Hef Brined Pork Chop
The Hef Brined Pork ChopCourtesy Image

Beer Recipes That Prove Cooking With Your Favorite Brews Is Just as Good As Drinking Them

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.

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“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.

Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Rest time: At least 6 hours
Cook time: 10 minutes


For the pork chops and brine:

  • 4-6 12-ounce pork chops
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 ounces of Hefeweizen (chef uses Westbound & Down’s Don’t Hassle “The Hef”)
  • ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 1 cup ice

For the pork marinade:

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bunches of green onions

For the garnish:

  • 8 sprigs cilantro
  • 4 sprigs mint

How to make it:

  1. For the brine, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add ice.
  2. For the marinade, cut oranges into ¾-inch slices and keep green onions whole. Place pork, orange slices, and green onions along with cooled brine into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Marinate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Grill pork chops to an internal temperature of 136° F, then allow pork to rest for 5-10 minutes. While pork is resting, grill the orange slices and green onions.
  4. Garnish chops with the grilled oranges and green onions. Finish the plate with fresh mint and cilantro.
Grilled One-y Citrus Chili Wings
Grilled One-y Citrus Chili Wings Courtesy Image

2. Grilled One-y Citrus Chili Wings

Beer as a marinade? It works. Give your chicken wings a malty bath in Oskar Blues’ One-y, a citrus-forward, 100-calorie hazy IPA. Berkey developed this grilled chicken wing recipe in collaboration with Oskar Blues Brewery. “By marinating the wings with One-y and fresh orange slices, then grilling them with a chili rub, we were able to pack a ton of those citrus flavors (and some heat) into the wings while keeping them light,” he says.

Servings: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 6 hours minimum
Cook time: 15-20 minutes


For the chicken wings:

  • 12 ounce can One-y Hazy IPA from Oskar Blues
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
  • Vegetable oil, for grill
  • 1 lime, halved

For the chili rub:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

How to make it:

  1. Whisk together One-y, salt, sugar, and garlic in a large mixing bowl until salt and sugar have dissolved. Add water, peppercorns, orange slices, and chicken wings. If necessary, add water until all wings are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
  2. Remove wings from brine, discarding liquid, and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and arrange on a rack or baking sheet. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl, mixing well to combine. Generously season wings on all sides with spice rub.
  3. Heat a grill to medium heat. Oil grates with vegetable oil. Add wings and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and meat is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
Skillet Beer Bratwurst
Skillet Beer Bratwurst Courtesy Image

3. Skillet Beer Bratwurst

Allow this beer and brat recipe to hold you over until the next Oktoberfest. The subtle malt backbone and hop flavor of the IPA, plus savory bratwurst, thyme and a kick from the poblano create a perfect bite. “There’s no pairing like a beer and bratwurst, and this recipe takes that to a whole new level,” says Gavin Fine, who helms Fine Dining Restaurant Group in Jackson, Wyoming, which includes six restaurants, a brewery, specialty grocer, butcher shop, and more.

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 4 bratwursts from Bovine & Swine Beer Bratwurst
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for brats; 2 tablespoons olive oil for the onion
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 poblano pepper, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed + chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1-2 cans Roadhouse Brewing Co Wilson IPA
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard powder

How to make it:

  1. Sear the bratwurst in the skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Remove bratwurst from the skillet and add the onions, garlic, and poblanos. Sweat the onions and garlic until they’re translucent.
  3. Add the beer, beef stock, thyme, paprika mustard powder and bratwurst. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Strawberry Sour Ale Compote
Strawberry Sour Ale Compote Courtesy Image

4. Strawberry Sour Ale Compote

Servings: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

“I love making dessert sauces with sour beers,” says chef Rosalind Graverson from Craft and Draft’s location in Irmo, South Carolina. “They already have so much complex flavor—sweet, acidic, fruity.” Generously drizzle this strawberry sour compote on a scoop of ice cream, slice of cheese cake or pound cake.


How to make it:

  1. In a saucepan, heat strawberries and sugar until juice is released and liquid starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add beer and return to a boil. Reduce heat again and simmer until liquid reduces by half (about 30 minutes).
  2. Serve on top of your favorite dessert.
Shrimp Sauteed in Barbecue Butter
Shrimp Sauteed in Barbecue Butter

5. Shrimp Sauteed in Barbecue Butter

Ready to try a fine-dining dish at home? Executive chef Michael Nelson from GW Fins in New Orleans shared his barbecue butter shrimp recipe that hinges on the addition of beer. “Not only does the Abita Amber add a sharpness to the flavor profile of this dish, but the carbonation adds an element to the sauce that leaves it lighter and airier on the palate,” he says.

Servings: 4 (but you’ll have leftover barbecue butter to freeze for future use)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


For the barbecue butter:

  • 4 tablespoons plus 4 sticks (1 pound) salted butter, softened, divided
  • 6 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 6 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the shrimp:

  • 2 pounds (16–20 count or larger) wild-caught American shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends Shrimp Magic or creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 bottle Abita Amber beer, plus more, as needed
  • 1⁄2 recipe BBQ Butter

How to make it:

  1. For the barbecue butter, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan on medium-low. Add the shallots and garlic; sauté until soft but not browned. A lid helps this process so they steam a little while cooking. Spread this mixture out on a plate and refrigerate.
  2. Place the remaining 1 pound of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until light and fluffy. (You can do this with a wooden spoon if you soften the butter to room temperature first).
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add lemon juice, rosemary, paprika, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, along with the cooled shallot mixture. Whip on high for another minute. Divide mixture in half, cutting half of it into chunks; set aside.
  4. Save the other half of mixture for later use by rolling it into a 2-inch-diameter log in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate or label, date, and freeze up to 6 months.
  5. Season the shrimp lightly with the Shrimp Magic seasoning. Set a large, heavy skillet or sauté pan on medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil, then the 2 tablespoons of salted butter. When the butter foams, add the seasoned shrimp and sauté quickly for 2 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  6. Add the beer and reduce by half. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Make sure there is enough reduced liquid to keep the temperature at a simmer. If it’s all cooked off, the heat will rise quickly and the compound butter will break when you stir it in.
  7. Whisk all the chunks of BBQ butter into the simmering beer and stir until the mixture has a creamy consistency.


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