Irish Beer Bread Recipe

When it comes to enjoying the simple pleasures in life, it's hard to beat a food that goes with just about anything, but that's plenty good on its own. And for that type of food, it's hard to beat a great loaf of bread. Bread is tasty, satisfying, filling, and comforting in a way that few other foods are. And when fulfilling a simple pleasure is equally simple to do? That's a double win. Don't let the rich flavor of this Irish beer bread fool you — it's quite simple to make. In fact, aside from its taste, it's the breezy prep work that the recipe developer, Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina, likes best.

"I love how easily this bread comes together," she says. "You can even make [it] a day in advance before celebrating St. Patrick's Day." That will leave you time to prep and make all your other St. Patrick's Day favorites, like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, and a fun (although perhaps not traditional) St. Patrick's Day cupcake recipe

Gather your ingredients for Irish beer bread

Not counting that bottle of Guinness beer, this basic beer bread recipe calls for just a half dozen ingredients, all of which you likely have on hand already. Beyond beer, you'll need flour, baking powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and ideally some salted butter, for serving.

"Any dark Irish beer would be good in this recipe," says Musgrave. You can also use a nonalcoholic stout here, or even a different beer, like a lager or pale ale, but note that then you'll be making a more traditional beer bread, not an Irish beer bread.

Prep the batter

Start the recipe by preheating the oven to 350 F — the prep is so quick and easy, you'll be ready to bake by the time it's warm.

Next, combine the 3 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, ½ cup brown sugar, teaspoon vanilla extract, and teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Then, pour in 12 ounces of Guinness and mix everything into a batter. "Make sure the beer is room temperature for the best quality bread," notes Musgrave.

Bake the beer bread, then enjoy

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan — ideally a 4x8-inch pan, or the closest you have to that — then pop the pan in the oven and let it bake for 45 minutes.

When the bread is done, a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool, then serve with salted butter. If you're looking for other serving ideas, Musgrave says, "This is great served simply with butter and coffee as a breakfast or after dinner snack. It's also great served with Guinness!"

And she also adds that you can store it on your counter, wrapped in foil to keep it fresh for up to 3-4 days. 

A few health benefits dark beer

Musgrave is onto something when she recommends enjoying beer bread with a glass of dark beer ... and it goes beyond flavor. Drinking dark beer in moderation actually has numerous health benefits, according to WebMD. Dark beers like stouts are rich in flavonoids which can help promote heart health.

Beer can also be a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals, and many of these remain present when a beer is used in baking. Also, beer bread is delicious, so the potential health benefits? They're just icing on the cake. Or butter on the bread, if you will.

Irish Beer Bread Recipe
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When you're looking for the perfect side to enjoy with a St. Paddy's Day Guinness, look no further than this easy recipe for Irish beer bread.
Prep Time
Cook Time
beer bread
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12-ounces Guinness beer, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine 3 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add 12 ounces of Guinness and mix.
  4. Pour batter in a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Allow bread to cool, then serve with salted butter.
Calories per Serving 251
Total Fat 3.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 7.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 46.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 9.0 g
Sodium 243.8 mg
Protein 5.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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