Holiday trend: Baking with beer

Posted on December 18, 2012 by Mary Ellen Brewington

You’ve probably heard about cooking with wine, but have you given much thought to cooking with beer? Better yet, have you ever thought about baking with beer? It has several advantages: it can add sweetness, enhance flavors, and lighten batters to create fluffier baked goods.

Sweets and candies are commonplace during the holidays. Impress your guests or bring a truly unique hostess gift by baking a special adult treat. Here are a few fun recipes to get you started, featuring a dark stout beer like Guinness or a Belgian-style white beer Hoegaarden:

Baking with beer may not be for everyone, so you can always stick with the traditional method and serve it in a big, frosted mug. Cater to your guest’s taste buds during your holiday meal or party and try a different beer with each course to enhance the flavors in each dish.

Before dinner, start with something light-bodied like Samuel Adams Boston Lager or Pilsner. You don’t want to overwhelm taste buds before you begin eating. For appetizers like specialty cheeses and smoked meats, Newcastle Brown Ale and Heineken are great to pair.

As you move onto your main course, amp it up a notch. Ales, like Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Ale, are great to pair with glazed hams because their earthy, fruity tones complement the sweetness of the meat perfectly. Just for fun, try Lagunitas Brown Shugga; it is filled with sweet brown sugar, and its flavor will fill you with sweet joy. Stouts like Highland Black Mocha Stout are the best way to end the meal. They pair well with rich holiday desserts because of their distinct coffee and chocolate flavors.

There’s a drink to enhance the flavor of almost any dish, whether it’s an ingredient in your baking or served in frothy glass at your holiday table.

Please remember to be safe in your festivities. Celebrate responsibly and have a happy holiday!

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