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What to bring to a beer tasting potluck?

Already on the menu are (Alton Browns) ribs and gumbo. I'm thinking of Alton Browns once and tasty beans recipe or my famous rosemary cashews (Ina Garten). Other ideas (I don't like cabbage!)

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  1. I love pizzas. You can make them all ahead and then just cook 10 minutes. There are so many options to even using premade crusts these days. You can get really creative and make a few different of the small pizzas. Not just regular but shrimp, creme fraische, spinach and mozzarella; chicken, monterey jack with pesto and olives and carmelized onions. Or just pepperoni if you want. They are fun and just cut in slices

    I make a spicy crock pot dish using sage sausage cut in bit size pieces with honey and chipoltes and apple cider. Slow cooked just a few hours and then served in a large bowl with toothpics, hearthy easy and fun to just nibble.

    My pan fried olive balls, room temp is fine.

    I would think a fun potato dish. I did small stuffed potatoes for a potluck. I took small white potatoes bake and cut in half and then scooped out. Then mixed the traditional, cheese, bacon, sour cream, etc and refilled and then baked. Reheating would be great in the oven, but even a micro just for a few minutes will work fine. They are just a bit bigger than bite size, but a great side with ribs

    Of course Salad ... Got to have something healthy. I love lettuce cups. I use some little endive cups and stuff with a chopped salad. You can use your favorite salad, but I love to chop it up so it fits it the endive cups. That way everyone has their own. I still put dressing on the side or if you want a simple vinaigrette would be best I think. Then just spoon in the lettuce leaves. Everyone gets one.

    Pasta. I would do a baked pasta dish with maybe some gooey cheese, mushrooms. etc.

    Have fun!!

    1. Farfar Bridies is an old Scottish appetizer that goes well with beer. Buy a couple inexpensive steaks - I particularly like ribeye. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Sear them hot and fast. Then cut into bite sized pieces ans smear with Coleman's mustard or other spicy mustard.

      Take a package of puff pastry and cut each sheet into 9 squares. Fold a steak bite into each square, fold into a triangle , seal and set on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F until puffy and golden - maybe 12-15 minutes. Serve with a mustard dipping sauce.

        1. It might be fun if everyone brought a dish from a different ethnic cuisine. Some beers taste better with pizza, some better with Mexican food, some with Indian food, and so on. So a winning beer with one food might be the loser with another.

          1. A platter of crudites (sliced/chopped raw vegetables) is easy and good for you, and the veggies are an excellent palate cleanser between beer courses.

            1. potato salad or mac and cheese.

              1. I like alkapals idea with serving mac & cheese.
                And the other thing is cheese enchiladas the way I serve them is to make a tossed green salad, salsa, sliced avocado, black olives and cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapenos. Place a hot gooey cheese enchilada down, then I add the tossed lettuce,cilantro, tomato, and all the rest. Serve with salsa. You could also serve a cold shrimp and avocado shrimp cocktail with a spicy base.
                These and other spicy Mexican foods go well with beer.
                What we did for our beer tasting party was to place white butcher paper on a separte table with black thin felt tip pens. People love to write their comments!
                Was a lit of fun, we had everyone bring a six pack of beer. There was a large mix of international and domestic. soooo fun!

                2 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  chef c, your enchilada idea made me think of easy quesadillas. crunchy, cheesy, hot! simple to make, and to keep warm in foil. hot skillet, oil, flour tortilla down, add grated mixed mexican cheese blend, put the other tortilla on top, then flip so both sides get golden brown and delicious. let rest a little bit, then slice into sixths. they won't last any time. add sides of guac and pico de gallo, and wow, you've got a par-tee.

                  to quote homer simpson, "mmmmm, beer!" our friend rené has this talking homer simpson bottle opener, and it is a voice clip of homer saying just that: "mmmm....beeeer." http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-HOMER-SIMPSON...
                  i'm easily amused, i guess, but it is always fun.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I love that! I see we have the same slapstick humor!
                    That would be prefect at the party!

                  1. re: salsailsa

                    Whoa! Time to take this party out to the garage!

                    1. make homemade pretzels..hot, warm and with mustard ...the best with beer!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: energy

                        Do you have a good soft pretzel recipe? I would love to stuff with chilis and cheese or make pepperoni pizza pretzels.

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          Definitely a great idea. I have had jalapeno pretzels before but never made any.

                          1. re: chef chicklet

                            just saw a easy, pretzel w/ musturd recipe in of all place the Food Network Mag. It is supposed to be a "copy" of Anutie Anne's soft pretzels you find in the malls.

                            1. re: energy

                              Really? I do love their pretzels, thanks!!!

                        2. There is a great cheese fondue with Guiness in it. I think that would be good.

                          1. Chili, spicy tamales, chorizo in beans. Greasy~salty~spicy...

                            1. ballpark franks or brats, peanuts in the shell and a video of your favorite baseball team. we're only days away from the start of the 09 season.

                              1. There are some great suggestions here.

                                I would add Swedish Meatballs to the list. Tasty, but not so spicy as to overpower anything.

                                1. This Moroccan lamb stew is delicious and easy. It also has a robust flavor. I think it would meld beautifully with the flavor of beer.

                                  Serve it with some couscous. I like mine with a bit of pine nuts and currants.

                                  Tagine d'Angeau aux Poires

                                  Recipe By: Clotilde Desoulier
                                  Serving Size: 6



                                  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
                                  2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
                                  smoked sea salt
                                  3 yellow onions, chopped
                                  2 cloves garlic, minced
                                  saffron threads
                                  2 teaspoons ras el hamout (Moroccan spice blend available at Penzeys or Whole Foods)
                                  chili powder
                                  3/4 cup whole Marcona almonds (smaller and more fragile than CA almonds; also available at Whole Foods)(pistachios make a good substitution)
                                  1 tablespoon unsalted butter
                                  1 large Asian pear or other firm pear such as Bosc, Anjou or Winter Nellis, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
                                  6 cups prepared couscous


                                  Heat the olive oil in the base of a large tagine. Arrange half of the meat in a single layer without crowding. Brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Season with salt. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining raw lamb. Remove to the plate as well.

                                  Add the onions and garlic to the tagine with a tablespoon of water. Sauté to soften. Add the spices and stir to release the aromas. Return the meat to the tagine and stir together. Pour in hot water to come halfway up the meat. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

                                  Just before serving melt butter in a skillet. Toast the almonds over medium heat and set aside.

                                  Place the pears in the skillet and heat over medium heat until translucent but not until they become soft.

                                  Remove the lid from the tagine and bring the lamb up to a low boil to thicken the gravy. When it's a good consistency remove it to a large bowl.

                                  Wipe out the base of the tagine. Fluff the couscous and put it in the base. Arrange the pear wedges around the edges. Sprinkle on the toasted almonds. Place the lamb in the center of the couscous pouring the gravy over the meat and into the bed of couscous. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro leaves and serve.


                                  If ras el hamout is not available a blend of 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper can be substituted.

                                  If a tagine (both the name of this genre of Moroccan stew and the unique container it's cooked in) is not available, a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven will do.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rainey

                                    Yumm!! Everything sounds so good. I've just heard we have a vegetarian coming so I volunteered a veggie "main type dish". I'm thinking of Ina Garten's Wild Mushroom Lasagna (pasta, cheese and mushrooms). I expect others will bring Italian and Mexican flavors, a vegetarian Moroccan dish sounds good. And I'm definitely making that lamb stew next week!

                                    1. re: jackiecat

                                      Bet you'll enjoy it! Be sure to use a pear that will hold up to the heat. The first time I did it I used Barletts and that was a huge mistake. Now I use Asian pears and I think they're perfect.

                                      Would you let me know what you think of it with beer? I'm not a beer drinker so I'd love an opinion.

                                  2. I'm much more experienced with wine tasting, but based on that here are some suggestions.

                                    With beer, no one will be spitting! So if you're going to sample a wide range of brews, or go through a multiple round elimination format, you will get filled up on beer. So heavier, startchy dishes that taste good with beer will be popular, but might get in the way of drinking more beer. Ribs and gumbo are already on the filling side, so I would go for some contrast.

                                    Something salty will help, some spicy chips might work. Maybe nachos? Salads are a good idea. I'd say slaw, but you don't like cabbage. A fruit plate or fruit salad could work, especially for the lighter beers. A plain on watermellon might fit the bill.

                                    A simple bread and cheese plate might work too -- it is filling and starchy, but plain bread is a good way to reset the palate.

                                    1. not to sound too simple but beer and that 7 layer mexican dip is always great. And I'm a big hot wings and beer.

                                      have fun

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: lexpatti

                                        >>>>>And I'm a big hot wings and beer<<<<<
                                        no wonder everyone loves ya!

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          years ago, this huge group of law students had this awesome party bringing their best world new found beer and a batch of wings (any style) and they held a contest - best wings, best beer. I was invited once, soooooo cool!!!

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            And who ... doesn't love wings and beer!
                                            Guiness, Boddingtons Cream Ale, Wexford, spicy wings, I like blue but prefer ranch, sorry. And lots of that healthy stuff ...

                                            The dinner made for a king!! Or Queen!!

                                        2. Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing oh yeah slicked carrots and celery too.

                                          1. What kind of beers are you going to be tasting? That makes a huge difference in pairing.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: DougOLis

                                              country ham and biscuits

                                              Beer cheese with crackers and crudities

                                              1. re: DougOLis

                                                I just found out we'll be tasting 2 home brews. I've decided to make Ina Garten's Pasta Pesto and Peas. I decided on this recipe because Ina's are the only recipes I trust to make for a group without trying it out myself first, I don't have to transport something hot and I have some frozen home made pesto from last fall.

                                                Thanks for all your good ideas. I will be trying many of them in the next few months!

                                                1. re: jackiecat

                                                  jackiecat, i don't wanna rain on your parade, but maybe just mist over it ;-). i don't think pesto will be a good flavor match at all for beer. the basil, olive oil, and parm strong flavors will fight with the beer, in my opinion. (edit: i forgot, garlic, too!) if you must do pasta, go instead with a tortellini salad, with a light vinaigrette.

                                                  but, again, in my opinion...

                                                  potato salad would be a very good side dish -- flavorful, substantial but not too heavy, and -- most important -- not competitive with the flavors of the beer. it'd be complementary to the gumbo and ribs, both in flavor and texture. it does not have to be transported hot, and is good at room temp. you can probably make it in your sleep without any recipe. plus, paul prudhomme and many new orleans folks eat their gumbo with the potato salad in it.

                                                  have fun at the par-tay!

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I agree, pesto ... sorry, wouldn't go well for me either. Potato salad even with just a vinaigrette would be good. Something lighter. Sorry Agree with alkapal too.

                                                    But yes Inas are great. Only tried maybe 3, but always good. But hey, everyone has their own taste so you know the group better than we, so make what you feel comfortable with.

                                              2. Chocolate, especially something like a dark chocolate brownie. Chocolate and beer go together better than PB&J.

                                                1. How about some big soft hot pretzles, with a couple of different dipping sauces?

                                                  1. Thanks all. The pesto salad was a big hit, but I agree, not so hot with beer.