How to Stock Your Beer Fridge for Cooking

Which beers are best for using in recipes? Read on to find out!

Published Feb. 8, 2023.

Have you ever cooked with beer? Here at Cook’s Country, we often rely on it to bring toasty depth to stews and braises, add yeasty flavor and lift to batters and breads, and keep us hydrated while we cook. However, you shouldn’t use all beers interchangeably when cooking; different beers can have drastically different flavor profiles and bitterness levels. Here’s a guide on what to use and when.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

The Right Beer for Mild Flavor

For most recipes, a mild lager or pilsner is just right. Trusty Budweiser has a light, sweet taste and can be used in almost any recipe with good results, especially stews and breads. 


Prosciutto Bread

Why just pile cured meats atop your bread when you can embed them deep within?
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The Right Beer for Robust Flavor

When we want a more robust flavor, to use in a braise for example, we’ll call for a fuller-bodied brown ale, Belgian ale, or wheat beer; Newcastle is a good option for these. 


Slow-Cooker Beer-Braised Beef with Onions

This Belgian beef-and-beer stew is a natural for the slow cooker—but you have to know how to handle the three main ingredients.
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The Right Beer for Roasty, Bittersweet Flavor

And sometimes when we need a roasty, bittersweet flavor, we’ll cook with stout. We usually reach for Guinness, especially when cooking dishes with roots in the UK.


Bangers and Mash with Guinness-Onion Gravy

A mixture of Guinness, Dijon mustard, and onion doubles as a simmering sauce and a gravy for bratwurst sausages.
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The Wrong Beer for Cooking

Lastly, keep your hoppy IPAs for drinking only; they’re overwhelmingly bitter in recipes.

Bottoms up!

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