Fill your beer bellies with these recipes

While I’m not particularly a huge fan of drinking beer (I wholeheartedly believe it tastes like stinky socks), I do love to cook with it. Using two beers from Alameda — Black Bear Stout (a dark, rich beer good for dark meat and dark desserts like brownies) and El Torero IPA (a much lighter Indian Pale Ale which was great for cheese and pasta), I created a full meal for my friends and myself, that left them full and happy. I used a variety of recipes I found on Pinterest, and added my own touches to make them my own.


APPETIZER: Bacon Jalepeno Cheese Dip from

Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Dip

Recipe type: Appetizer

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  15 mins

Total time:  25 mins

Serves: 6


This dip takes all the goodness of a jalapeno popper, and turns it into a deliciously dippable game-day treat. Serve with tortilla chips, or up the ante with freshly baked pretzel bites.


  • 6 rashers bacon, diced (thick cut bacon is so much better. Mine was thin, and make sure you cut it up, or you have MASSIVE PIECES OF BACON in your dip.)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (I used half of a very large jalapeno.)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle Corona (or other Mexican-style lager) (I used the El Torero IPA instead. Works great.)
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, cut into small cubes (I used ½. Works fine.)
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained (totally skipped these.)


  1. In large saucepan set over medium heat, cook the bacon for 3-5 minutes, or until it’s starting to crisp and has rendered out most of its fat. Add jalapenos, and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the jalapenos are softened.
  2. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add the beer, whisking briskly to break up lumps, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add the cheddar cheese and cream cheese, and simmer for 3-5 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the dip is thick and smooth and bubbling hot.
  4. Serve the dip immediately, preferably in a warming crock or small fondue pot to keep it melty and warm.




  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) (totally skipped these. Oops.)
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (used jarred, about 2 small spoonfuls.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s. Always good.)
  • 1 cup beer (Black Bear Stout made this sooo good! I recommend!)
  • Few squirts of Sriracha (I used like 5 large squirts, but my friends and I love spicy foods.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (177°C).
  • In a food processor, pulse Panko until fine crumbs. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine beef, panko, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Dig in with your hands and thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
  • To make uniform meatballs use a medium cookie scoop and form 1.5-inch meatballs. With a wet hand, squeeze each balls to smooth out the surface. At this point you can freeze the meatballs for later use.
  • To make the sauce, whisk together BBQ sauce and beer. Add a few squirts of Sriracha (by a few, I mean 4-5, and it wasn’t too spicy) and salt to your taste.
  • In a baking dish lined with aluminum foil, arrange the meatballs and pour the sauce over. Bake for 40-45 minutes. (If you’re using frozen meatballs bake for 1 hour.) You can also use slow cooker to cook the meatballs. Simply place the meatballs with sauce and cook for 5 hours on low.


PART 2: BEER MACARONI AND CHEESE by (for my lovely vegetarians.)



  • 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (again, about 2 spoonfuls.)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard (I used liquid mustard, about a tablespoon.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk (half and half!)
  • 3/4 cup amber beer (IPA worked great.)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (half and half, again.)
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fontina cheese (Uh, no. I used ½ block of cream cheese because we’re poor college students.)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided (again, no.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (no??)
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I made this for my resident vegetarian friend, so I definitely skipped this.)


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in the milk, beer and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Reduce heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese, fontina cheese (ahem, cream cheese) and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese until melted. Add chives.
  4. Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Top with crumbled bacon. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

DESSERT: Fudgy Guinness Brownies with Whiskey Caramel Glaze by

Yield: 16 brownies



  • For the brownies:
  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness) (Black Bear, again.)
  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

For the whiskey caramel glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup scotch whiskey (I used Jack Daniel’s Honey whiskey because my best friend had a bottle that he hated and so… Why not?)
  • 1 tablespoon Guinness reduction (from brownies) (Brown Bear!)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (I skipped this.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. For Brownies:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2″ overhang. Set aside.
  3. Bring stout to a boil in a small sauce pan; cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 12 minutes. Let cool. (Reserve 1 tablespoons of Guinness reduction to use in the caramel sauce.)
  4. Stir chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth.
  5. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture, then 1/4 cup stout from pan. Fold in flour and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake brownies until surface begins to crack and a tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 45-60 minutes*.
  7. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes. Using parchment overhang, lift brownie from pan and let cool completely.

For Glaze:

  1. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a dry 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stir until the sugar dissolves- then leave it alone.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted into a deep amber color.
  3. Remove from heat and carefully add the butter and whisk quickly until combined.
  4. Carefully add the whiskey, Guinness reduction and salt (caramel will bubble and seize up). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is smooth.
  5. Cool sauce to warm.
  6. Using an electric mixer, add the powdered sugar and mix until thick and creamy. Gradually add milk to thin out a bit if desired.
  7. Pour glaze over cooled brownies and let set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. When bars are completely cooled, cut into bars and serve.


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Erin Carey