Rosemary Garlic Beer Bread
Rosemary Garlic Beer Bread

beer in bread? Yes, please! The crispy and tender rosemary and garlic beer bread is prepared with pilsner. It’s the perfect partner for a warm bowl of chili or an exciting base for homemade avocado toast.

In this recipe

  • What is beer bread?
  • Add rosemary and garlic!
  • How does beer bread taste?
  • The best beer for beer bread
  • Tips for baking beer bread
  • substitutions
  • Beer bread variations
  • Best way to serve beer bread
  • Storage Instructions
  • More savory quick breads to try

You may find a recipe for beer bread in the pages of Southern church cookbooks and in old collections of recipes shared by the family. I first learned about beer bread nearly 20 years ago when I was fresh out of college in Kentucky and was working in family and consumer science (formerly known as home economics).

After experimenting with my own variations, I made simple changes to this historic recipe. Rosemary Garlic Beer Bread uses self-raising flour, butter, fresh garlic, rosemary, and Pilsner, a crisp, refreshing pale lager with minimal hop bitterness that originated in the Czech Republic. It’s a flavorful bread that comes together quickly.

What is beer bread?

Beer bread uses beer as the main ingredient. The basic recipe for bear bread consists of three ingredients: self-raising flour, butter and beer. The texture of beer bread is cookie-like. It’s dense and firm, but crumbly around the edges.

Add rosemary and garlic!

While I find this classic combination to be just fine in terms of flavor, I took the opportunity to create something far better than the original.

My beer bread recipe uses the same key ingredients I learned almost 20 years ago: 3 cups of self-raising flour are stirred with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and a 12-ounce can of beer. I chose a pilsner because it tastes stronger than an American lager, but still has little hop bitterness. Its malty character and refreshing taste pair well with the biscuit notes of the bread.

I always add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to balance out the savory taste of the bread. Herbs, spices and sometimes cheese can also be added to my mix. This recipe features fresh garlic and rosemary along with scallions.

How does beer bread taste?

It tastes like beer. If you don’t like beer, you probably won’t like beer bread.

The first taste that hits your mouth is the familiar maltiness of beer, followed by a slight sweetness. It reminds me of a malty toasted shortbread cookie. Plus, you get the lingering flavor of rosemary, garlic, and scallions after every bite.

The best beer for beer bread

Beer bread should be tasty. The beer is said to enhance the malty biscuit flavor of the bread. While the beer flavor should be obvious, it shouldn’t overwhelm the bread.

I find that lagers, American lagers, pilsners, and pale ales work best because they have a more subtle malty character that complements the flavors of the bread. I’ve experimented with hoppy (i.e. more bitter) pale ales and India pale ales. While I enjoy the added bitterness, I don’t recommend it for people who don’t enjoy drinking it too.

I encourage you to experiment with beer bread, but if you’re new to this recipe, stick with the ones I’ve listed. Would you like to try something new? Step lightly and branch out to a brown or blonde ale.

For a savory bread like this, skip beer with flavors like vanilla or cinnamon. Fruit-flavored beers don’t fit either.

Tips for baking beer bread

Even if the dough feels thick or fluffy, I’ve yet to have a beer bread that isn’t nicely baked. This is a very forgiving recipe. Here are some tips for baking beer bread:

  • This is a dense bread. The batter will be thick and lumpy. It mixes quickly but takes about 40 minutes to cook through. At the 30 minute mark, begin checking by inserting a wooden skewer into the loaf. Once it comes out clean with no wet batter, the bread is done.
  • When properly baked, the top of the bread should be golden brown. If for some reason your bread is darkening too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil. I find this technique helpful when topping the loaf with chopped hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, or shredded cheddar cheese.
  • To get a correct measurement of the beer, pour the beer into a measuring cup and allow the foam to settle. You could pour a 12 ounce container of beer directly into the flour mixture. It will be bubbling, so make sure the bowl is big enough to hold it.
  • Use room temperature beer for this recipe. Chilled beer can clump the melted butter.


You can use store-bought self-raising flour or make your own self-raising flour. The leaven in this quick bread comes from the baking powder in the self-raising flour. Here are substitutions that would work for this recipe:

  • You can easily exchange the Pils for another favorite lager or light beer. You can also use a non-alcoholic beer that is not artificially flavored.
  • Chives are an easy substitute for the green onions.
  • If you don’t like rosemary, thyme and dill are nice additions too.
  • I find that grated fresh garlic adds the best flavor, but if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Beer bread variations

The possibilities are almost endless with variations for beer bread.

  • I often add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, like parmesan or cheddar, to the batter. I also covered the top with cheese before baking.
  • Any fresh herb will add flavor, like basil, cilantro, rosemary, or dill.
  • You can also add nuts or seeds. Pecans and hazelnuts are my two favorites, along with pumpkin seeds.

I prefer to bake one beer bread after the other. I rarely have success doubling the recipe. Plus, it’s easy to stir up the batter for a single loaf. This also allows you to tailor each bread to your liking, using a different beer or herb for each.

To make more than one loaf for your gathering, double your ingredients when shopping, but make each loaf separately.

Best way to serve beer bread

Beer bread tastes best when slightly warmed to room temperature. I let mine cool for at least an hour before serving so it yields clean, dense slices with minimal crumbling.

I’m a fan of sweet and savory combinations, so I drizzle it with some honey or add a thin honey butter spread. This is especially good for breakfast. I also like topping a slice with a poached egg and some arugula or use it as a base for avocado toast.

The slices of beer bread are small, so I rarely put it in the toaster for fear of not being able to fish it out again. If you want to enjoy it toasted or reheated, put some butter in a pan and toast the bread for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Here are some recipes that go well with Rosemary Garlic Beer Bread:

  • Chili con carne
  • lentil soup
  • Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
  • Poached eggs in the microwave
  • Grape and walnut salad with blue cheese dressing

Storage Instructions

Beer bread is freshest right after baking and for up to about 24 hours. During that time, I wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container on the counter.

Freeze it for longer storage. You can slice it, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Enjoy it within three months.

Since it’s already sliced, you can easily thaw one slice at a time by letting it sit at room temperature for a few hours or warm it in a buttered pan.

More savory quick breads to try

  • Irish whole wheat bread
  • Boston brown bread
  • whole wheat bread
  • Homemade rye bread
  • Homemade potato bread

Rosemary Garlic Beer Bread

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
40 minutes

total time
50 minutes

up to 10 servings

1 (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.) loaf


  • 3 cups (375G) self-raising flour

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted buttermelted, plus more for the loaf pan

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 cloves garlicgrated

  • 2 spring onionsEnds trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch slices

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

  • 12 ounces beer at room temperature


  1. Prepare the oven and loaf tin:

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with butter.

  2. Mix flour and butter:

    In a large bowl add the flour. Stir in the melted butter with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The flour will remain dry and crumbly, just give it a good stir a few times to make sure the butter is distributed throughout the flour.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients:

    Add the sugar, garlic, spring onions and rosemary to the flour and mix with the rubber spatula until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

  4. pour beer:

    Pour the beer over the flour mixture. Stir just until all of the flour is wetted and a thick batter forms.

  5. Fill loaf pan:

    Use the rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread the batter so it’s evenly distributed in the pan, filling in all the corners and flattening the top.

  6. Bake beer bread:

    Bake the beer bread for 35 to 40 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the bread by inserting a toothpick or wooden skewer into the center. It’s done baking when the toothpick comes out clean and the top and sides are golden brown.

  7. Cool the bread:

    Place the loaf tin on a cooling rack and let the bread cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let cool for another 15 to 30 minutes before slicing to serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
172 calories
3g Fat
30g carbohydrates
4g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!