From standard to premium varieties, beer is a versatile drink that comes with an equally varied flavour and feels. While there are sweeter-tasting beers, there are also citrus, bitter and intense ones. Independent craft breweries have given the beer a new definition with their emphasis on micro-brewing unusual varieties called craft beer, displaying the hard work and art of delivering amazing flavours, beautiful aromas, and utmost quality.
When it comes to experiencing craft beer to its best, restaurants and hotels have tried the best versions of it while trying to cook with beer. Any individual who has tried to cook with wine can try their hands at it if they are looking for an interesting purpose of beer besides drinking a glassful. Following are a few valuable tips and tricks to get started.
- Multiple uses of beer
From fruity to chocolate flavours, all beers are good to use in varied cooking techniques like baking, roasting, sauce making, and broiling. It all depends on the people’s taste and liking of the beer flavour while cooking a specific dish. For instance, some home cooks may want only to use pale ale for chicken glazing, while others may use Belgian-style beer in their chocolate cake.
- Blending is the key
While cooking with beer, it is critical to blend an apt beverage with a dish. Wrong flavour selection may spoil the dish. It is because beer is used to enhance the existing flavour of a meal and add a zing to it. Thus, the right type and amount provide the right taste. Experimentation is the key to be good at making choices.
- Starting it simple
Cooking with beer should be started with simple foods like bread and cake or with simple techniques like deglazing with sweet beer or adding a little amount to some stock. It is best to avoid jumping to making complicated dishes initially, as bitter hops and sweet malts may complement a wide range of ingredients, all carrying their textures and flavour profiles.
- Caution while cooking
Although beer contains healthy barley and herbs, it should be avoided in large quantities when someone wants to cook with beer. It is the same as one would cook with wine to get a hint of fresh flavours. Whether beer is used as a liquid replacement in squid batter and beef stew or for making waffles, marinade and barbecued appetizers, it is good to know that beer flavour will intensify as the liquid reduces and the alcohol evaporates. Beer should also not be boiled for long.
- Light beers first
Until someone feels comfortable to cook with wine or cook with beer of darker, more intense and full-bodied types, the start should be made with light beers like nut-brown or pale ales. These milder beers gel well with most foods.
From the use of ales and stouts to lagers, it can do wonders to food while cooking with beer. The need is to experiment with one’s favourite beer flavours and use them creatively in dishes.