Do you like to enjoy a craft beer every now and then…or better yet, cook with it? If so, you’re going to love this beer syrup recipe!
This unique spin on simple syrup transforms your favorite craft beer into a rich beer syrup that can be used any number of ways. It adds a unique flavor to desserts, cocktails, or even your favorite waffles or pancakes. So, grab your favorite brew and let’s get cooking!
Why We Fell in Love with Beer Syrup
I originally stumbled upon the idea for a beer syrup several years ago when making these chewy oatmeal cookies for a coworker’s baby shower.
Little did I know that I would completely fall in love with this smooth and delicious syrup, making it over and over again through the years.
We usually make a batch when we’re about to make some delicious baked goods, but it’s so tasty, we’ve been known to drizzle it on morning waffles and pancakes, and maybe even lick it off the spoon.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 bottles craft beer
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- 3 quart stockpot
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden kitchen spoon
- Storage container (e.g. Mason jars)
To make things even easier for you, I created a simple photo guide below. For all measurements and a more detailed guide, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1 – Combine 3 cups of your favorite beer and 1 cup sugar in a 3 quart stockpot.
Step 2 – Turn the stove to medium-high and bring the beer just to a boil, stirring frequently. The mixture may bubble up.
Step 3 – Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half and thickened, between 30 – 60 minutes depending on the type of beer you use. The syrup should coat the back of a spoon when it’s ready.
Step 4 – Stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Adjust extract and sugar to taste. When cooled, pour into a glass bottle or jar to store.
Don’t skip these tips – read them before cooking to avoid any potential mistakes.
Use a big enough pot
Make sure you leave plenty of room in your pot for the beer to bubble as it releases its carbonation. I typically use a 3 quart stockpot. Anything smaller will boil over.
Not all beers work well
The process of heating the beer will bring out any bitterness, so you’ll want to avoid beers that are already bitter to the taste.
We’ve found that milk stouts, ales, and some porters work well with this recipe.
Don’t let your beer boil aggressively
You want to keep the beer at a low simmer. If the temperature of the mixture gets too hot, you’ll end up with syrup that tastes bitter or burnt. Yuck.
Reduction time varies for each beer.
Most beers we’ve tried take at least 30 minutes to reduce, but some beers can take close to an hour to reduce. This can be a result of many factors, including the alcohol level of the beer you’re using, the relative humidity and temperature of your kitchen, and how hot your burner is.
How to Use Your Syrup
We’ve been known to pour beer syrup over pancakes and cinnamon infused belgian waffles (Y-U-M!), but the possibilities are nearly endless when you use it as an ingredient:
- Substitute some beer syrup for some of the sugar in your cookies, cakes, and brownies to add irresistible softness.
- Add some to whipped cream for frosting desserts, or to top a strong coffee.
- Use it in a beer cocktail, or to rim glasses filled with sweeter coffee and beer cocktails.
- Drizzle beer syrup on coffee flavored ice cream or pound cake served with whipped cream.
Does beer syrup have alcohol?
Many sites out there will say that beer syrup is alcohol free. Which is mostly true.
Alcohol does cook off during the simmering process. However, how much alcohol burns off is going to depend on a wide variety of factors. (source)
Generally speaking, the syrup that results from this recipe won’t likely have more than trace amounts of alcohol. But without knowing exactly how you cook everything and which beer you use, I can’t guarantee that it is 100% alcohol free.
What does beer syrup taste like?
This is going to depend on many factors. But you can expect the syrup to taste like a sweetened, concentrated version of whatever beer you choose.
Here are a few of the beers we’ve turned into syrup over the years:
Left Hand Brewery Milk Stout generally takes about 35-45 minutes to reduce, and has a creamy, smooth flavor. It’s also more prone to bitterness, so be careful to keep the temperature low and reduce it slowly.
Heavy Seas Winter Storm creates a bold and flavorful syrup, with plenty of holiday spice. This is my favorite choice when baking our chewy oatmeal cookies with ale.
Allagash White Belgian Style Wheat Beer is light and sweet, and is perfect when you just want a something with a hint of citrus.
Out of Bounds Stout by Avery Brewing creates a strong syrup where the bitter coffee flavors are intensified. It’s a bit strong on its own, but works well when used as an ingredient for Molasses and Stout Cookies or Chocolate Cake
How to Store Your Beer Syrup
Store your syrup refrigerated in a mason jar or other airtight container for up to two weeks.
If you liked my beer syrup, you’re going to love my 3 ingredient beer biscuits. They’re a delicious family recipe that comes together in a matter of minutes.
Or you can check out my other party recipes right here.
Beer Syrup Recipe
You're going to love this beer syrup. Your favorite beer is transformed into rich simple syrup that adds a unique flavor to your favorite desserts and cocktails.
- 2 twelve ounce beers (approximately 3 cups)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Combine 3 cups of your favorite beer and 1 cup sugar in a 3 quart stockpot.
- Turn the stove to medium-high and bring the beer just to a boil, stirring frequently. The mixture may bubble up.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half and thickened, between 30 - 60 minutes depending on the type of beer you use. The syrup should coat the back of a spoon when it's ready.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Adjust extract and sugar to taste. When cooled, pour into a glass bottle or jar to store.
Remember, the step-by-step photos and FAQ in the recipe post are there to help you if you feel stuck at any point.
- Make sure you use a pot big enough for the beer to bubble as it releases its carbonation. I typically use a 3 quart stockpot.
- The process of heating the beer will bring out any bitterness, so you'll want to avoid beers that are already bitter to the taste.
- We've found that milk stouts, ales, and some porters work well with this recipe.
- You want to keep the beer at a low simmer. If the temperature of the mixture gets too hot, you'll end up with syrup that tastes bitter or burnt. Yuck.
- Reduction time varies for each beer. Most beers we've tried take at least 30 minutes to reduce, but some beers can take close to an hour. Please plan your time accordingly.
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This post was originally published on November 25, 2014. It has been updated with new process shots, tips, and FAQ.
Theresa @DearCreatives says
Oh, this sounds amazing. I’ve never tried or seen this type of recipe. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party pinned & shared. See you again soon.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I originally made this syrup for a cookie recipe, but it was so delicious on its own, we just put it on our waffles that morning.Please let me know what you think if you make it.