There is an old saying: Beer is liquid bread. There’s no doubt that beer has been just as important in history as bread, and just as ubiquitous. Beer was first brewed thousands of years ago by ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians, and some form of beer or cider has been commonly consumed by people of all ages in cultures around the world ever since, more commonly consumed than water in some places and times. In the United States, there’s been a huge boom in homebrew and craft beer making, and beer lovers have more choices than ever before. So, when my wife and I first saw jellies made from beer at an event a few years ago, it made sense. We make jellies from fruit juices, why not beer jellies? Fortunately, fellow Histocrat Margaret Duncan and her husband David are homebrew hobbyists and graciously offered to supply varieties, including historic recipes like a porter from 1744and a pilsner from the early 20th century, for our experiments.
We experimented and tasted and sold our products at farmers markets. They taste good and attract a lot of attention because they’re unique. They’re great on bread, just like fruit jellies and jams, but I’ve also used them extensively in cooking, adding them to sauces and chili and for marinating and grilling vegetables, seafood, and meats. Whenever we find something different in a beer or cider, our first thought is “what kind of jelly would that make?”
How do you do it? You need two regular bottles or cans or one big bottle, 1 box of pectin, and 3 cups of sugar. As with any canning process, you start by sterilizing and preparing jars and lids.