The Great Beer Bread Experiment

Turns out it’s International Beer Day tomorrow (August 5). We love any excuse to bake, and thus The Great Beer Bread Experiment was born: bake a loaf of beer bread, and pair it with some of our favorite jams and marmalades.

We used this recipe, and the beer of choice was Scrimshaw. Before we knew it, a fresh-baked loaf of delicious (albeit slightly sweet*) bread was in our little hands.

The candidates for perfect match with beer bread: Red Raspberry-Strawberry Jam, Golden Sweet Apricot Jam, Nightfall Blackberry Jam, Lemon-Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, Seville Orange Marmalade with Vanilla and Muscovado, and English Marmalade. We chose the widest flavor variety possible. We’re very scientific like that.

Our results indicate that marmalade is an excellent match for beer bread. While the Seville Orange Marmalade was a little too intense for this batch of beer bread, we want to try it with bread made with a stronger beer — maybe Guinness. The Lemon-Pink Grapefruit was a little too light for the Scrimshaw. If we make a Stella Artois beer bread, Lemon-Pink Grapefruit will be our choice.

Jam, it turns out, is better suited for a lighter bread that does not taste like beer. However, we did think the Nightfall Blackberry jam was pretty delicious with this bread — it was a close second for the favorite pairing. We’d recommend using Nightfall Blackberry to accentuate a blackberry or other berry ale.

The clear first-place winner was the Seville Orange Marmalade with Vanilla and Muscovado. The strong notes in this marmalade — molasses-y muscovado sugar, rum, and vanilla — held up against the beer flavor, while simultaneously accentuating the different notes in the beer. Some of us may have gone back for a second helping. In order to verify our results.

Happy International Beer Day!

*This recipe recommends a bit too much sugar for our taste.