Cooking with beer can seem like a man’s game since many men like to cook and grill with beer, but it can add so much more to a dish. The trick is to know which beer to use with each specific dish. Using the wrong beer can overpower the dish and make it taste bad.
Let’s talk taste. Beer adds a rich, earthy flavor to soups and stews, which is why everyone knows to add a can of beer to chili. Beer that is sweet or nutty can add depth to desserts, and you don’t have to worry about the alcohol because it evaporates when it cooks.
Beer is divided into two main groups, Ales and Lagers. Ale has fruity and earthy flavors, while lagers are lighter and drier.
There are four types of Ale, Wheat Beers, Pale Ale, Stouts and Porter and two basic Lagers, which are Pilsner and Brock.
Wheat beers have a fruity, mellow, crisp flavor that goes great with salads and fish. It’s a pale color and is often labeled, “White, Wit, Weiss, or Weisen” on the label. Check out this recipe for salmon poached in wheat beer.
Pale Ale and Bitter
These are traditional British ales, which are stronger with more carbonation. India Pale Ale (IPA) is stronger and more bitter, which don’t make them ideal for cooking. Check out this recipe for Beef stew.