Beer Bread

filed under: Bread on August 16, 2018

This Beer Bread recipe is not only simple, but it is also out of this world delicious! Follow my tricks to make an out-of-this-world Beer Bread! I promise it will be the only recipe you will ever need!

Beer Bread Cut Into and Close up

Beer Bread

I made no less than 10 different beer bread recipes before coming back to the basics. This recipe is based on one my grandma made in the 1970’s using Schmidt’s beer. No one ever told me it had beer in it, and I certainly never asked! But I do remember it having the most amazing unique flavor that I never experienced at home. I always thought grandma just had a special magic when it came to baking. (Truth is, I think she does!)

Beer Options

We liked IPA beers the best, but here are our favorites:

Surly Furious IPA

Eddyline Brewery Epic Day

Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat

Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest

Pikes Peak Brewing Co. Elephant Rock IPA

One amazing thing about beer bread is that it can be changed depending on the season. Try a pumpkin, apple, or honey flavored beer for an extra flavor punch. I haven’t tried Guinness Beer Bread, but I hear that it is fabulous.

Beer Bread Recipe

Beer Bread Recipe

When I visited grandma and she generously shared her recipe with me, we talked about why she did it the way she did. She actually used lard instead of butter as it was more economical and readily available. (They didn’t have much and always made use of what they had!) She would place the lard on top of the beer bread before placing in the oven. I found that fascinating and asked her why… she said ‘because that’s how my mom did it’. Fair enough!

I also listed salt as optional in this recipe. We love a saltier bread and even sprinkled some sea salt over the finished product! You can certainly omit the salt if you prefer.

Easy Beer Bread Recipe

Sugar in Beer Bread

Grandma also didn’t add sugar to hers, so I am leaving that out of the recipe. However, it is an important ingredient depending on the beer you use.

I started with an IPA beer and found that no additional sugar was needed. The power of that beer was enough to properly flavor the beer bread. I eventually ended up using a Miller Lite in the recipe (as we like to drink the IPA too and were out!) and didn’t think the bread was as flavorful. So I added 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and LOVED how it turned out. You can add anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons in this beer bread recipe, and it should be done according to your tastes.

If you prefer a sweeter beer bread but don’t want to use granulated sugar, you can use honey! About 1/4 cup works best in the recipe I have shared below.

How to Make Beer Bread

Butter and Beer Bread

Butter matters! After making a zillion beer bread recipes I found that I liked a SALTED butter and that it should be as organic as possible. Dark in color and rich in flavor. If I was going to try and replicate what lard did in grandma’s recipe, I needed to make sure that I was using a high-quality butter! One of our favorites was an Amish salted butter that I found at the co-op. I also loved Challenge Butter!

The BEST Beer Bread

Flavor Options for Beer Bread

As you will see from my base recipe, beer bread is one of those breads that can be easily customized to fit your tastes.

Beer Cheese Bread:

Add 1 to 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese to the batter. I like to reserve about 1/4 cup to spread over the top of the bread before baking. You can also add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and dried rosemary to kick it up a notch!

Apple Beer Bread:

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup of chopped apple, and use an apple-flavored beer. Try adding apple butter for over-the-top amazing flavor!

Chocolate Beer Bread:

Add in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for sprinkling over the top), use 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and a chocolate flavored beer.

The sky is the limit when it comes to making beer bread! What is your favorite flavor?

Here is a video on how I made this Beer Bread. I used Coors for this version.

4.85 from 39 votes
Beer Bread
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Cooling Time
5 mins
Total Time
50 mins

The only Beer Bread Recipe you will ever need! It's all about the beer (of course) and the butter! 

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beer bread
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 187 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 3 cups (330g) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt optional
  • 1 can (12-ounces) beer room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) salted OR unsalted butter, cold
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x5 glass loaf pan with butter or pan-release. (If you don't have glass try and use a light colored pan as a dark pan might bake the edges too quickly.)

  2. In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. (add the sugar here if using)
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  4. Pour in the beer and stir all ingredients until just combined and there are no dry parts. The batter will be thick.

  5. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and smooth out if needed.
  6. Cut the butter into slices (roughly tablespoon size) and place on top of the raw batter evenly.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown on top. There should be about 1/2 inch of melted butter bubbling at the bottom. (I start checking at 35 minutes and my bread is usually done. I have a convection oven.)

  8. Allow to cool on the counter for about 5 minutes or until all of the butter in the bottom of the pan is soaked back up into the bread.

Recipe Video

[brid autoplay="true" video="385435" player="16518" title="Beer Bread " description="Beer Bread" duration="50" uploaddate="2019-02-27 12:22:12" thumbnailurl="//"]
Recipe Notes

**If using granulated sugar you can use 1-4 tablespoons. The use of sugar is based on the type of beer used and your preferences. When using a lite beer I used 2 tablespoons and found it to be sweet enough. If you prefer a sweeter beer bread use all 4 tablespoons.

**I listed salt as optional. We love how to brings out the flavor but again, it really depends on what kind of beer you use. 

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  • Martha Reynolds says:

    How will the bread rise? I used to buy self rising flour, but don’t anymore.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Martha! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We used all-purpose flour for this recipe. Have a great day!

  • Elaine Gus says:

    Looks yummy can’t wait to try it.

  • Lisa says:

    Excellent. Used Dutch beer first time. Next time I will use a chocolate stout. The is bread is great warm. But even better when toasted the next day for breakfast

  • Rebecca Payton says:

    Fabulous! Used Corona Light, 2Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1cup shredded sharp cheddar mixed in with 1/4 c cheddar on top. Best I’ve ever made!

  • Lauren says:

    I make this recipe exactly as is, being sure to weigh the ingredients as I go. It’s delicious fresh out of the oven.

  • Ryan says:

    Has anyone tried cooking this bread in a pellet smoker. I am wondering how it would taste with a wood flavor.

  • Jessica Love says:

    I used this recipe for my first time ever making beer bread and I am hooked!! I used an imperial hot chocolate stout, Stone Xocoveza, and it turned out phenomenal! I opted for half the salt and used honey to make it a little sweeter and I felt it was the perfect proportions. Will definitely continue to use this with different beers!

  • Jan says:

    BEEN MAKING bEER bRD for over 30 yrs !!! UP ‘TIL A FEW SUNDS AGO have ALWAYS used reg Budw. I tried Guinness Stout
    W O W what a (BETTTTER) difference !!!!!!!!! my recpt is;
    3 c sr flr, 3 T sug 1 12oz beer & “tons ” of REAL BUTTER on top as it’s baking !!!

  • Sandy says:

    Where is sugar listed in the recipe?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Sandy! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Sugar is optional in this recipe, depending on the beer you use. When made with an IPA, no sugar was needed; the stronger beer made the bread flavorful enough. However, we did add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar when the bread was made with a light beer. I would suggest adding anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons of sugar, depending on your preference. I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

  • Grace says:

    Just made this and made a loaf using a wheat beer and one using a fruited sour beer and they are both amazing!!! I used whole wheat flour and I didn’t add sugar or salt. I also only used 2 tablespoons of butter. They both turned out amazing!!!

  • Cay Stamps says:

    This is my Go-to, my GOAT, my One-and-Only, when it comes to beer bread. I take it to every pot-luck and picnic, and if there is ever any left, I always get a volunteer to “take it off my hands”. It is one of those infinitely adaptable recipes… Rosemary garlic? yep, Cajun spice? yep, Italian herbs and parmesan? yep, all good! Coors Banquet (that classic malty American Lager) comes in a 12 oz. bottle (coincidence? I think not) and is perfection with the added 2 Tbs of sugar… Even for savory flavors. I raise my buttered slice in cheers to you for this classic recipe!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      LOVE IT!

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.