Beer: A Sparkling Ingredient for Favorite Recipes 1

Flavoring for Soups, Stews, Sauces and Salad Dressing

Home to more than 230 established breweries, Colorado is a craft-beer-lover’s dream come true. In fact, more than 10 percent of the nation’s craft breweries can be found in Colorado – astonishing, considering that less than two percent of the country’s population lives here.

The Western Slope has its share of craft beer makers, including the Aspen Brewing Company, Grand Junction’s Kannah Creek Brewing Company and the Ska and Steamworks Brewing companies in Durango. Here in the mid-valley, locals can enjoy hand-crafted beer from the year-old Roaring Fork Beer Company in Carbondale and the award-winning Glenwood Canyon Brewpub.

What do Coloradoans do with all that beer? Drink most of it, of course, but readers may be surprised to learn that it’s also pretty good to eat too. offers no less than five cookbooks that focus on cooking with beer. The Craft Beer Cookbook: From IPAs and Bocks to Pilsners and Porters, 100 Artisanal Recipes for Cooking with Beer, written by Jacquelyn Dodd, rated five stars from most of the 37 customers who reviewed it. Reviewer Dan Martin notes that the book’s introductory material “covers the why and how of pairing with beer. It even appropriately addresses whether the alcohol is cooked off and when it isn’t. There is even a helpful chart to aid in what beers pair best with certain types of foods.”

Corrie Murray, general manager of the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, says, “Cooking with beer is an easy way to enrich the flavors of a dish. Beer can help bring an earthy tone to your meal and give it a more complex flavor profile.” Murray says that it’s simple to change the flavor of a dish by simply substituting beer for any liquid in the recipe, and notes, “Beer is often a great ingredient for fry batters, soups, stews, sautéed dishes, sauces, gravies or even bread. When we have a chance to use beer in our food, we will.”

Murray says that the Brewpub often experiments with cooking with its beers and has yet to have a failure. Some of the Brewpub’s favorite recipes are Beer Cheese Soup, IPA BBQ sauce and their Beer Battered Cod.

Here, courtesy of the Brewpub, is their recipe for Raspberry Ale Vinaigrette, a favorite that’s great for summer meals.

Raspberry Vinaigrette


  • Raspberry vinegar, 1 cup
  • Dijon mustard, ½ cup
  • Raspberries, frozen, ½ cup
  • Sugar, ¾ cup
  • Raspberry wheat beer, ½ cup
  • Oil, blended, 2½ cups
  • Salt, ½ tablespoon
  • White pepper, ½ teaspoon


Place all of the ingredients except the oil into a mixer and set on a medium speed. Blend until all of the raspberries have broken up. Place a splash guard over the bowl and slowly add the oil.