Cooking with (Gluten-free) Beer: A Safe Twist on Old Favorites

“Ugh!” you’re probably saying, “Enough with the vegetable recipes!”

It’s true that we’ve gone a little green lately – gluten-free ways to cook kale, artichoke, cabbagey slaw, etc. Today we’ll go in the opposite direction: back to beer.

We talk a lot about beer, because it seems to be the stumbling block for a lot of celiacs diagnosed in adulthood. There are gluten-free beers, and they’re available in an increasing number of restaurants, bars and grocery stores.

But beer isn’t just for drinking. It’s also for eating. Well, sort of. There are lots of recipes that call for beer, and they can be easily modified to fit a gluten-free crowd.

Beer is a common ingredient for cooking. As the good folks at NPR explain, people cook with beer because, “The hops add bitterness, which is offset with the sweetness of the malted grain and complemented by the flavor of the yeast. Dark beers also provide a distinct roasted flavor.”

Accordingly, beer compliments a variety of ingredients, from sweet vegetables to gamey meats. It’s a frequent ingredient in batter because the carbonation adds a nice fizz.

You may not have a deep-fryer at home, so beer-battered onion rings might be a ways away – but you can still enjoy this collection of recipes made with beer:

  • The NPR article above has a variety of recipes, but the patatas bravas with beer and vinegar sound the best to me.
  • Beer can chicken is a classic, but you might have to thoroughly rinse a seltzer or soda can and pour the gluten-free beer into it to make things work right.
  • also has a variety of recipes, but I can’t wait to try a cider-including version of their raspberry lambic ice cream.
  • The folks behind Beer 47 also have way more recipes than I could list here. The one I’m most curious about? Beer rice.
  • Curious about baking with beer? Take a look at this great primer by Food and Wine Blog. Keep in mind that just like you’ll have to adjust recipes to make them gluten-free, you’ll have to adjust them to work around the inclusion of beer.

What is your favorite beer for cooking?

3 thoughts on “Cooking with (Gluten-free) Beer: A Safe Twist on Old Favorites”

  1. I love the taste of beer. My favorite gluten free beer is Bard’s beer. I’ve never tried cooking a chicken this way but yours looks so yummy, I’m tempted to give the beer can roasted chicken method a go!


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