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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Being half Belgian, I echo earlier comments regarding caution before substituting another beer for a lambic. Lambics are known for being dry and cidery, with a slightly sour aftertaste, which may be masked in a fruit lambic.
On the plus side, Lindemans is vegan (and delicious). I’ve recently become aware that many beers and wines used animal derived substances (some ovo-lacto, others not) for clarification.
Heidi, this looks amazing. You have such incredible ideas!


I made these this past weekend for a fall potluck, and they were delicious! (And quickly devoured by vegetarians, beer lovers, and beer-loving-vegetarians.) The smokey/sweet combination was perfect for the season and a welcome change from typical baked beans. Thanks for a great recipe, Heidi!


It’s great to see this recipe. So many people have never experimented with baked beans because they have been relegated to the canned food aisle. Good baked beans make a great side with the opportunity to add some real punch to a tailgate party. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try!

Winchester Restaurant Guide

You are making this 13week pregnant lady SOOOOOO hungry right now! :p

Kara Davies

Your photography is really outstanding, like pages out of a magazine or a, ahem, cookbook. So beautiful to look at!


This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try. Anyone have suggestions for what to accompany them with?

Cake Is Sweet

Baked beans with berries. I will have to try this!


Wow–this looks fantastic. Can you recommend a grain to serve with it?


Oops. Used unsweetend cherries so it’s a liitle tart but still scrumptious. And the smell in the house has been delightful. Took four hours for the pinto beans to get tender and it thickened up nicely.


I think this recipe looks so good.If i was making it now i couldn’t wait for it.i’m making beans this week.were going to grill and have a good time.ill try this recipe one day.i hope it turns out good.i’m not really a big fan of cooking.sounds great.i;m soo making this,even though i’m not a bigfan of cooking but i’m still making it.brillant idea.why didn’t i think of that.could you use a regular pan?Thanks.this is a really good mom would sure like it.


I love cooking with beer (even though I’m not much of a beer drinker). It adds such wonderful depth to a dish. Here I can just imagine the hint of sweet and smokey playing off each other. Fabulous! And such a huge leap up from icky canned beans.

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

One of my late father’s favorite things to cook was baked beans. Whenever I baked a ham he always had dibs on the bone and the next morning he was off to the store to get whatever wasn’t already in the pantry for the baked beans. Then back home to start chopping onions etc. Baked beans and cornbread would be that night’s dinner. Thanks for reminding me of the old timer, a man who loved to eat with his family and make dinner an enjoyable meal, always to be shared with family and friends, always to discuss what was happening in the world at large as well as our small part of it. He was a great Dad!
P.S. Thanks for all the great recipes, Heidi!


What a great recipe. I think I’m going to try this weekend to go with our fall cookout.


Very sweet post. I love when food evokes good memories. 🙂


I never saw this flavor combination coming, but it sounds fantastic!


I don’t usually take the time to comment blogs, but this was different. My dad passed away 5 years ago and he loved and I mean just loved any kind of beans, especially baked beans such as yours. What got me was the “pot tackler”, my Mum when I was growing up had the shiniest pots around! My dad would happily keep them and the stove spotless. This recipe and tribute to your dad brought back wonderful memories of my father, Micheal. I miss him dearly. Keep up the good work. If any of your readers have not talked, or hugged your Dad, today is the day! 🙂

Billie in Greenock

This sounds really, really good; and I’d love to make it, but I do have some questions (please pardon my ignorance, but I’m not a “foodie”): can you substitute something else for the beer? It’s against my religion to consume alcohol (I’m assuming this has some alcoholic content), but I’d like to try it nonetheless. Any alternatives?
Thanks! I love this site, by the way. I’ve done quite a few recipes from here and they’re always a hit. They sometimes look intimidating, but they’re fun, interesting and tasteful.


This would go well with a slice of toasted artisan bread, (and greens) for a complete meal. Although I’m not sure about using beer with beans, perhaps I’ll have to try it. As always, I love your photos. How delicious they look!


Great post Heidi! Looking forward to making this – and I am lucky that my liquor store has a whole WALL full of single beers – I am sure to find a good one!


“Now thats a MEAL!”


Definitely adding this to the “to cook” list for this weekend!!!


Those look amazing! Yum.


How would this work in a crock pot?


It’s just getting cool enough in Miami to pull off a bubbling pot on the stove for a few hours–can’t wait to make this over the weekend! I love the idea of an apricot/honey combo too, might need to make more than one batch of these…which means I’ll need to stock up on a LOT of delicious beer.


Sounds delicious! This will be going in my ever growing TBM (to be made) pile.


In Belgium they cook a lot with beer, and it indeed smells delicious, but usually there´s meat involved… Recently, I was thinking how I could use the idea of beer in a stew for a vegetarian wintery dish but didn´t really figure it out yet… so thanks for the great idea!!! Sounds absolutely lovely…


Just a note, Lindeman’s is AMAZING! I love all their lambics, though the peach is my personal favorite. I love to celebrate with it after a grueling week/month/trip.


I’m very excited about this recipe. I’ve just fallen completely in love with the taste of Lindeman’s Frambois Lambic, after reading a completely random article about it. It;s not overpowering at all; I’d imagine it a lovely complement to the beans.


I love cranberry beans, and just about anything cooked with beer! It’s a fantastic flavoring agent/marinade/acid/tenderizer!


Now that is my kind of hearty dish! You do remember that any bean dish is my dish. I also remember why I learned to clean the pots. I had no volunteers from my two daughters.


this is sweet! and, looks delicious!


I wonder if this recipe would work in my slow cooker? Sounds delicious!


Hey there! I recieved the love for cooking from my father. I totally understand and share that “always something that would make the whole house smell delicious” thing. So i decided to celebrate him with this recipy. I just have one question: here in Venezuela we don´t have berry beer. What can i use instead? Thanks a lot!

Cynthia from Venezuela

Try this recipe with a baked bread bowl.It is very GOOD.


Umm… I like the idea of big bean pots, but the idea of sweet beans sounds crazy to me… I’m mexican 🙂


While it’s less of a berryful (?) flavor than the framboise lambic that I’ve had, I am in love with Sea Dog blueberry wheat ale when I can get it. Poor New Englander…moved to the warmer climes of Tennessee, but had to give up my beer from Maine!

All for Veggies

Hey there! I learn the love for cooking because of my father too. I completly understand that “always something that would make the whole house smell delicious” thing. So i decided to celebrate him with this recipy. I just have one question: here in Venezuela we don´t have berry beer. What can i use instead? Thanks a lot!

Cynthia from Venezuela

For those of you not familiar with the lambic she mentions, it’s very heavily fruit flavored and pretty sweet. Not really comparable with slightly fruity beers (I recall some kind of apricot beer, perhaps by Pyramid, which is more apricot-scented than flavored), it’s more like thick fruit juice (similar to the concentration of Pom pomegranate juice), with a bit of beer for fizz and distraction. I would estimate that substituting half beer/half potent juice would do admirably.


this sounds amazing. i am a bartender, and serve lindeman’s frambois so much that i unfortunately lost my love for it. for those of you that are looking for a way to cut some sweetness (or just the lambic) i am going to try this recipe with rogue brewing’s chipotle ale. it has a nice smoky flavor that i think will do just fine.

zoe maya

What an awfully sweet post!


My husband will LOVE these beans. I’m going to make them for his lunches next week.


I love baked beans, but I am the only one in the house that will eat them. Do you think this is something you could freeze in smaller portions??


Yummy! Sounds like a perfect dinner for Saturday. Thank you for sharing 🙂


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.


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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