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How to Create a Beer Marinade

Fri, Dec 02, 22  |  beer recipes

Beer Marinades are great for steaks!As the weather begins to warm up and you spend more time outdoors, the memories of barbecues from summers past may spring to mind.

Now that it’s no longer treacherous to spend time outside, now is the perfect time to once again fire up your grill for the season.

Beer fans have found that beer marinade not only has great flavor, but works well with many different types of meat, as well as other meatless options. The beer marinade also assists in tenderizing the food, which is another reason why it makes a great marinade for your meat or tofu.

The following article from Wise Geek outlines the best ways to make a beer marinade that works with any meal theme. Whether you want to create a Hawaiian barbecue, or if you prefer the zest of Mexican food, one of the following recipes of beer marinade is sure to please your taste buds.

How Do I Choose the Best Beer Marinade?

Folks who like to tip a frosty beer on a sizzling afternoon are also likely to enjoy meat that has gone swimming in a good beer marinade. The best beer marinade depends entirely upon taste. Some like their steaks, chicken, or other meat with a bit of caramelized sweetness, while others prefer it with a little heat.

Serious beer drinkers no doubt have a favorite or two, likely from a microbrewery. Soaking a rib eye, chicken breast, or pork chop in an deeply flavored dark beer or a light, bright pale ale not only tenderizes the meat by breaking down collagen, but it soaks right in and adds subtle flavor that brings out the taste of the meat. Less expensive beer tenderizes just as well, but the flavor might not be as pronounced.

Beer marinade works just as well with scallops, shrimp, and heartier fish, such as sword or tuna steaks. Even tofu or tempeh can take a beer bath, so vegetarians needn’t feel deprived. The trick is timing; red meat can handle a soak of several hours or even overnight. Pork needs less time in the drink, and chicken only needs to marinate for a few hours. For seafood and nonmeats, a half hour or so is sufficient.

There’s nothing difficult about putting together a beer marinade. It can be as easy as just pouring beer over the meat or as complex as the cook desires. A simple beer marinade for red meat might include minced ginger and garlic, a few shakes of tamari or soy sauce, and a little sweetener, such as honey. For those who like a tomato barbeque flavor, a little ketchup or barbeque sauce works fine. Minced herbs such as cilantro or basil add a nice touch.

Pork chops and pork sausage are extra yummy when marinated in beer with lots of minced ginger and a jar of orange or mixed-fruit marmalade. If there’s no marmalade on hand, the wise cook can use a can of cranberry sauce instead. Some garlic and finely minced onion adds zest, and a few drops of hot sauce make this marinade perfect for anyone who goes for the burn.

Chicken runs the risk of drying out when it’s grilled or broiled without marinating first. A 3:1 mix of beer and salad oil will keep even skinless chicken breasts moist. This marinade likes a couple of squirts of lemon or pineapple juice as well. Chop some herbs, and it’s done.

An outstanding marinade for fish and shellfish includes both beer and tequila, to which a good amount of salad oil has been added. Lime juice is a must for this marinade as well as cumin, cilantro, and garlic. For true south-of-the-border flavor, some jalapeno pepper adds heat.


Experiment with different ingredients to create your own unique beer marinade. Beer, barbeque sauce, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar is one classic way to make a beer marinade that helps tenderize red meat and chicken.

It can be fun idea to sample beer marinades made with various types of beers. Perhaps you can spend some time choosing drastically different beers and invite your friends over for a beer marinade taste test.

Oftentimes, a pale beer, such as Corona, will work just fine as a base to your beer marinade. On the other hand, more robust beers can help add an extra dimension to your beer marinade. Wheat beers and pale ales work well with chicken, while Guinness tastes great on steaks. Just be careful that if you choose to use a hoppy beer, do not marinate for too long or the food become bitter.

Fortunately, at Julio’s Liquors, we carry such a wide selection of beers, so you can try just about any beer type for your marinade recipe. If you have any questions about creating your own beer marinade, our staff would be happy to help you pick up the right ingredients. We also offer a selection of other marinades and have an entire aisle dedicated to hot sauces. You will be in beer marinade heaven as soon as you set foot in the door.

What is your favorite beer to use in a beer marinade? We’ve love to see your comments below!