Non-Alcohol Beer in Braises, etc.

I know various savory recipes that suggest beer, as in corned beef simmers or certain some chilis. I have to assume that something goes lost when there is zero or minimal alcohol to volatilize some flavor compounds, but I also wonder how much that matters.

So: any thoughts regarding what contributions beer retains even without alcohol?

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For me the biggest issue with non-alcoholic beer is a lack of flavor, not alcohol.


Im sure there is some modicum of flavor, but i agree with Scott that NA beers that truly taste good are few and far between.

Withe all the silly jokes aside, I mostly cook with beer, wine, and liqueurs because most flavors are water soluble, fat soluble, or alcohol soluble. The first two are usually in rhe ingredients, but the alcohol needs to be added. The flavor that that alcohol carries, though, can make or break the dish.


There are some new craft non-alcoholic beers that some of my friends enjoy. Sober Carpenter is often recommended.

I haven’t cooked with non alcoholic beer, but I have cooked with non alcoholic wine, and my beurre blanc turned out fine.

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Agreed, Sunshine842. I don’t bother to make a fish or shellfish stock without wine, for example. Something about alcohol and fish bones/cartilage is just irreplaceable.


My husband has tried many and the only one he likes and drinks is Athletic. Their IPA is probably too hoppy for cooking, but I imagine the amber would work well. I’m not sure about how much potential flavor is lost in cooking in the absence of alcohol.

Oh it will come out fine…ita just unlocking the aocohol-soluble flavor compounds