Cranberry Ale Beer Bread

This is my go-to beer bread recipe.  It works best with very flavorful beers.  Don’t use a lager or something ridiculous like Miller or Coors, but choose something dark, sweet, or hoppy.  Maltier beers like an Irish red ale taste great, but they don’t stand out as much.

For Thanksgiving, I used Harpoon’s Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale, added a little orange zest, and 1/4 cup soaked and finely chopped dried cranberries.

I served it with orange simple syrup that resulted from my candied orange slices experiment and mixed it with some Earth Balance to create a tasty spread that complements the flavors of the ale quite nicely.  If you don’t have simple syrup, you could use orange marmalade plus margarine instead. 

I would also suggest trying Sam Adam’s Pumpkin Ale with a hint of nutmeg and orange zest, and served with a maple-infused margarine.

This recipe has been tweaked from a Stephen Pyles recipe I found on

Basic Beer Bread

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces beer, at room temperature
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

2. Add the beer to the dry ingredients all at once, mixing as little as possible; the batter should be lumpy.
3. Pour the batter into a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan and brush with the melted Earth Balance.

4. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. (Mine takes right at 40 minutes.)

5. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

6. Dust with flour if desired.


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