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Apr 8, 2013 04:52 PM

I generally dislike beer but I want to learn to cook with it. Id like suggestions of beers to try or good to cook with.

I'm really not a beer person, in general I love sweet wines and mixed drinks if they are available.
I've tasted a few of the *generic* beers like Coors, Budweiser, Paps. and I've had a few of the darker Beers like Negra Modelo. and I didn't really care for any of them. The beer that I actually do love is a blueberry beer called Wild Blue.
But anyway I am wanting to learn to cook with beer for things like Bratwurst's (I LOVE Brats and I've had some amazing beer flavored ones)
But I'd also like to do some other recipes.
Does anyone have any suggestions on perhaps some different beers to sample. I like Colorado and I don't mind traveling around the state to taste some things. I'd just like to be able to drink at the pub and enjoy a beer :) (and of course be able to cook with one)

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  1. I just grab what's in the fridge.... that said, we usually stick with beers that are "regular" meaning, no fruity or otherwise flavored beer. I like Killian's Red, MGD, Alaskan Amber, that type of stuff. Sometimes there's some odd stuff in there, pub beer types, so I'll cook with those. I really don't like the fruity stuff at all.
    For cooking, I'd pick up a rather plain beer, add it to something you are braising, sausages, short ribs, etc.
    I also use it in bread baking, and beer cheese soup.

    1. Do you like mussels? You can steam them with beer.

      Easy recipe...

      1. I'm not a big beer person, but I sometimes get a porter- or Guiness float (if nothing else, to see the look on the bartender's face).
        You get the flavor of the beer combined with the creaminess and sweetness of the vanilla ice cream.

        1. You've really asked two questions: what beers to try and what beers to cook with.

          For your first question, you'll want to find a bar that serves 60 or more beers from different styles. Happily, such bars are common in Colorado. if you'll share your town we can probably find a good one close to you. Many will offer 'flights," five or so beers sold in two or three ounce quantities specifically so you can sample a lot of beers without getting drunk. Fr your post I guess you'd like some traditional German pilsners and maybe some of the sweeter or even fruit-flavored Belgian ales.

          As for cooking, the Sky's the limit. For a start, throw a beer in as a substitute for some or all of the water in a chili recipe. Any of the big three will do, but something like a Negro Modela or a Red Stripe is better. Don't go too crazy here with fruit beers or super-hoppy IPAs unless you've enjoyed the beer alone.

          5 Replies
          1. re: nokitchen

            anything super-hoppy, like some american ipa's, can become bitter with cooking, so aren't always a good choice.

            pils and lagers are easy to cook with because they are light in flavor. stouts of all sorts work well with beef.

            it's the acid in the beer that helps in braises and slow-cooks and i almost always use some with beef chuck or corned beef.

            to the op: if you've got any brewpubs near you, they generally have offer flights as well as some beer-cooked menu items. that may help you hone your palate.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Thank you! I will look into some stouts because I cook a lot of beef :)

            2. re: nokitchen

              I live in South-Denver so about 15 minutes away from downtown :) I am very interested in finding a bar that serves *flights* that sounds perfect for sampling and figuring out what kinds of beers I might enjoy. (Also yes a common place I visit is called *The Bull and Bush* and they have an extensive beer list. I think I will check there and ask about samples) Thank you for the advice!

              1. re: JoshsgirlNyah

                JoshsgirlINyah, I live up near Brighton and work down in Centennial :) It's been my experience that just about any place that is a brewery here in CO will do beer flights. If you go on and search "brewery" TONS will come up, you can take your pick. The Bull and Bush probably does flights since they do brewing. If they don't do flights, their hefeweizen is probably a good place to start since hefeweizens are generally pretty light. You can also just talk to the bartender and tell him what you like (the blueberry beer) and see if they have anything there that is similar.

                Once you go to one or two places you will start seeing a trend as to what you like, so that way when you go somewhere else, you know what kind you can order pretty much anywhere. Like, I know I like light wheat beers so I can go anywhere and order one and it'll be enjoyable. I also know that I don't like most IPAs so I know to avoid those.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  I think Julie is right -- that Bull and Bush is a perfect place to start. Tell the bartender exactly what you told us and ask for him or her to design a couple flights around that and I bet you'll be golden.

                  Back on the eating front, our hosts here at Chow have a lot of recipes which incorporate beer. You can run a search, and here are five to get you started, including beer ice!

            3. I use a generic pilsner for bratwurst, kraut and other German dishes. Miller Genuine Draft is my go to cooking beer.

              You can make brat and kraut with a reisling wine if you like the stronger flavor of wine. .