Did you know that humans have been drinking beer for nearly 7,000 years? And that nearly every ancient culture in the world, from ancient Mesopotamia to the Incas had some kind of fermented grain concoction as part of their diet?
Is it any wonder then that modern day beer-aficionados have finally given this glorious brew a day to call its own?
The first Friday in August is International Beer Day. So take a moment to pop the top and savor a glass, can or bottle of your favorite brew.
Maybe a pilsner is your go-to.
Maybe a hefeweizen or a stout is more your style.
Better yet, with Oktoberfest, football season, and the holidays fast approaching, I challenge you to embrace all the flavors beer has to offer by not only drinking it, but cooking with it too.
Here are a few of MilitaryShopper’s favorite beer-licious recipes and some tips for finding just the right brew to go with whatever happens to land on your plate.
5 Recipes Where Beer Makes It Better
If there was ever 2 things that absolutely belong together it’s sausage and beer. This recipe takes bratwurst to the next level. I can practically smell the sauerkraut and thyme from here.
Pairings: Just like the recipe, bratwurst, grilled pork, grilled chicken, seafood, and spicy foods pair well with a good lager. Just make sure you’ve chilled it perfectly. According to the experts over at Epicurious, for the best flavor, it should be served between 40°F and 50°F.
Easy and bread don’t usually belong in the same sentence, but this recipe has just 3 simple ingredients. Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? Scratch that. Freshly baked BEER bread? I think not.
Pairings: Let it never be said that beer isn’t sophisticated enough for a cocktail party. Wine tends to be the go-to accompaniment to those fancy cheese trays, but it’s not your only option. Try a pale ale with sharp cheddar or a fruit beer with soft cheeses like mascarpone.
Need more ideas for great beer and cheese pairings? The folks over at BeerAdvocate have everything you need.
The crockpot might be the working man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Let’s see, there’s beef, onions, garlic, butter, and yes….BEER! And did I mention, it practically makes its own gravy right there in the pot? Follow this easy recipe and your mouth will start watering the minute you walk in the door.
Pairings: Though the recipe isn’t specific, hearty roasted meats like a beef demand a full-bodied brew. Try a porter or a stout in the recipe, and then pour some in your glass to go with it.
Wondering what goes best with sushi or chicken wings? Check out this great article over on Men’s Fitness.
Cooking with beer isn’t just reserved for meat-eaters. If you prefer a lighter fare, or just like a little veggie with your meat, try this smorgasbord of beer battered veggies. Even the kids will love these!
Pairings: For strong, earthy vegetables like mushrooms and potatoes, try an earthy brew with lots of good hoppy flavor. For sweeter root vegetables, try a caramel porter.
Craving onion rings? Nothing goes better with them than a spicy aioli and a nice, cold pale ale. Get even more great vegetable and beer pairings from Food and Wine (who knew they knew beer too?)
Who said you can’t have beer for dessert? Ready to absolutely knock the socks off your dinner guests? This recipe takes a little bit of work, but the payoff is so worth it. Chocolate and beer? Yes, you really can have it all.
Pairings: Picking the right brew to have in or with your dessert can be a bit tricky. Strong flavors like dark chocolate pair well with stronger flavored beers. Sweeter dessert can make your favorite brew taste more bitter than usual, so try something fruit-based or look for beers that tout fruity undertones. Get more dessert and beer pairing from Serious Eats.
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses beer as an ingredient? Share it with MilitaryShoppers for a chance to win a $50 commissary shopping spree.