Berry Beer Baked Beans Recipe

A simple yet over-the-top flavorful baked bean recipe dedicated to my dad. Beans are immersed in a decadent swamp of berry beer, dried berries, molasses, broth, and a few other flavorful accents.

Berry Beer Baked Beans

Dad, this recipe is for you. You know how you always used to have something going in the kitchen when Heather and I were growing up? Weekends, weeknights - it didn't matter. Usually the oven was in play, but other times you'd break out the crock-pot or even the pressure cooker. It was always something that would make the whole house smell delicious. This is the same sort of thing. It's a big, rich, hearty pot of beans that you could let bubble away for a couple hours while you go about your business. The beans are immersed in a decadent swamp of berry beer, dried berries, molasses, broth, and a few other flavorful accents. They get nice and plump, and the broth cooks waaay down and thickens. I think you'll like them.

Baked Bean Recipe

AND in the end, I promise you one epically stained, heavy pot - all yours to soak and scrub. Because as we all know, there's no pot you won't tackle, and no place you'd rather wind down from a good meal. xo -h

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Berry Beer Baked Beans Recipe

I don't see why you couldn't do this recipe entirely on the stove top if you prefer. I use Lindeman's Frambois Lambic (Belgium-style raspberry beer) here, but experiment with whatever berry beer you like. Also, feel free to play around with the dried fruit component. You might try berry beer with dried berries, or cherry beer with dried cherries. Or a mix - I used a blend of dried cherries, dried raspberries, dried strawberries, and dried blueberries. There is always some confusion when it comes to molasses - I use Wholesome Sweeteners organic molasses. I also imagine ground chipotle powder would make a nice, smoked alternative to the smoked paprika called for here - whatever you have on hand.

2 cups dried cranberry, borlotti,or pinto beans, soaked over night

a splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups berry beer
1/2 cup dried berries and/or cherries, loosely chopped
2 cups light vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
fine-grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F degrees, and place rack in lower third.

In a large oven-proof casserole (I use my large Le Creuset Dutch oven), heat the olive oil and saute the red onion for a minute or so. Stir in the molasses, mustard, red pepper flakes, beans, beer, dried berries, and broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in oven for roughly 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Every batch of beans is different, and they'll decide for themselves when they're done. After an hour or so, (carefully) check every 25 minutes to see how the beans are doing. When the beans are tender remove the pot from the oven. In the off chance they need more liquid during the baking process, add more broth (or water) 1/2 cup at a time. More likely, if the beans finish cooking before the cooking broth really thickens up, pull the pot back up onto the stove top, uncover, and bring the pot to a boil until the liquid has more body - usually 5 - 10 minutes.

Now it's time to season the pot. Stir in the smoked paprika and a few big, generous pinches of salt. Wait a minute and then taste, you definitely need enough salt and to make the flavors pop and to counter-balance the sweetness of the molasses and fruit - the smoked paprika helps balance in this regard as well.

A big pot - serves 8 - 10.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I've only experimented with Indian lentils before...this sounds really amazing. The leftover seem like they would be good on toast with a side of grits...or scrambled with tofu or eggs. Thanks!


Such a fabulous (and lovely) recipe dedication to your dad!! :0)


Lovely tribute to your Dad and this is a great idea, I will give it a shot with ginger beer! Dark and stormy beans... sounds great.

Blushing Hostess

YUM. I think I'll try this with Long Trail Blackberry Wheat (; it's a great local Vermont brew! I'm also considering Magic Hat #9, for an apricot-flavored spin on things...


Sounds like your dad is a lot like my dad. Superman pot scrubber. :-)


Wow. Baked beans have always been a turnoff for me (I always think of them sort of like natto, which I know is an unfair comparison), but I think you've just converted me. @Archer: That blueberry wheat was better than good, if you can't remember it!


This sounds great. But it seems like using a non-Lambic berry beer here would significantly change the flavor profile. Lambics have a pretty high acid content (for a beer), which probably helps balance out the sweetness from the molasses. Although Lindenmans is on the sweet end of the spectrum for Lambics. In any case, it looks really good.


Leinenkugel's Berryweis is the BEST berry beer around!! I'm gonna try this recipe with that!


This is a recipe I sure could make to please most of the men I know! ;) I'm always having a hit with beer bread, so I'm sure this would also be a success. Around here, we have a beer that is called "Éphémère aux framboises", a very good raspberry beer (or so I hear, I don't really like beer! ;)) that would be perfect for this. There is also an "Éphémère aux pommes" (apple beer), wich would surely be great too, and would maybe lend itself to a little cinnamon along the way (altough I'm not sure if it would be that good with the Dijon mustard, but I'll experiment!). I like it when I see a recipe wich inspire me to try it, and then to try and make it my own...


Aaah, lovely sentiments evoking wonderful smells. Plus, the recipe looks amazing! I'll have to adjust for gluten-free beer, but I'll just add more dried berries. Right? It's worth a try. Sounds too good not to play with. Melissa


I think it's high time I make baked beans, and this recipe looks wonderful. It's a New England classic (I live in Beantown, after all), but I like this spin. BTW, @ Twig - I made the brussels sprouts just last night and I think I converted my sprout hating roommate!


Berry beer? i've never heard of such a thing (though it sounds delicious) - especially with molasses and beans. Yum! Does this preclude adding bacon to the beans? Would that be a nasty combo?


Sprecher's (I'm in Wisconsin) makes an incredible Raspberry Ale that would be amazing in these!


I find myself cooking with beans a lot lately, but have been concentrating on Indian (with lentils) and Italian bean dishes, so this would be a fun change. Sounds very flavorful and easy to make! Kimi @

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I love cooking with Lindenmans Framboise Lambic, it is so versatile and reminds me of a balsamic or berry vinegar. Yet another great idea from you Heidi!


Looks fantastic. I pass the name of your website around to a lot of people -- your brussels sprouts recipe has been very successful among my friends. Thanks : )


Looks delicious!! I don't have a cast iron pot though, will a normal copper-bottomed pot work? thanks!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

I'm sooo making this for my husband this weekend! Food with beer? Can't beat it!

Fit Bottomed Girls

Oh my. I am making beans this weekend. I'm thinking a raspberry wheat would be good- soemthing like Abita Purple Haze or the raspberry from Kalamazoo Brewing. I was at a micro brewery in OshKosh, WI this summer that had a FANTASTIC blueberry wheat, but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the brew or the brewery! What I do remember is a frosty pint glass of hazy purple-ish beer with a handfull of frozen blueberries thrown in. Heaven on a hot summer day!


Sounds delicious. And I love the note to dad.


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