What dark beer is preferable when called for in a recipe?

Mike Rowe with a beer

On Friday, we discussed gingerbread made with ale, and that got us thinking: Does it make sense to use a dark beer like porter (e.g. Dark Russian) or stout (e.g. Guinness) in this recipe? And, if so, what is the difference? So it seemed like true serendipity that over at Serious Eats we found an article called "Beer Mythbusting: The Truth About Porter and Stout." The article gives an interesting history of the two, but, in the end, it turns out that beers can be labeled with whatever name the brewer wants to use. So choosing beer to cook with is just like choosing wine - just go with what tastes good. If you like to drink it; you'll like to eat it.

And while we're on the topic of booze, we thought we'd give a shout out to Mike Rowe's 3-part documentary on the Discovery channel: How Booze Built America. It's light history, but quite humorous and provides a history lesson in a very painless way. If you get a chance, check it out.

1 Comment

  • SwedishChef  on  10/1/2012 at 4:09 PM

    I'd vote for a sweet/malty rather than bitter/hoppy beer. The hop bitterness doesn't seem like a plus in a baked good...whereas malty flavors are often sought after (see how many baked good include barley malt as an ingredient). That would make your top ale choices: scottish ale or british brown ale (scottish ales are harder to find commercially, but something like Newcastle Brown Ale is widely available) ...or you could go with malty lagers like a Bock or Munich style.

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