adult | alcohol | beer | irish | jelly | recipe | st. patrick's day | traditional with a twist | treats

I like a little beer in my jelly.

March 10, 2012

I’ve made tea jelly, & champagne jelly… both with excellent results. so really, the only jelly left for me to make (aside from coffee jelly & whiskey jelly- and trust me, I’m working on it) was beer jelly.

Yup. Beer jelly. Not just beer, but stout. Guinness stout, to be exact.

I know you purists are turning your noses up. But for the rest of us- COME ON. IS THIS NOT AWESOME?! I think it’s insanely awesome. When I found this recipe my heart skipped a beat. I was wondering if anyone had tried it before & I was not only happy to know I wasn’t the only freak wanting to make jelly out of beer, but also that someone had a successful beer jelly-making experiment for me to follow. Let alone one that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Guinness (play /ˈɡɪnɨs/ GIN-is) is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries and available in over 100 countries.[1] 18,000,000,000 US pints (8,500,000 m3) are sold annually.[1]

A distinctive feature is the burnt flavour which is derived from the use of roasted unmalted barley (though this is a relatively modern development since it did not become a part of the grist until well into the 20th century). For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed product to give a sharp lactic flavour (which was a characteristic of the original porter). Although the palate of Guinness still features a characteristic “tang”, the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad, and, in spite of a decline in consumption since 2001,[2] is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland [3][4] where Guinness & Co. makes almost 2 billion annually.

The company had its headquarters in London from 1932 onwards. It merged with Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and then figured in the development of the multi-national alcohol conglomerate Diageo.

GUINNESS STOUT BEER JELLY (thanks to grow it cook it can it; recipe is hers exactly)

Makes about 7 half-pints; I halved the recipe & got exactly 3 half-pints & one 4-oz. jar


  • 2 12-ounce bottles of stout beer
  • 1 package powdered Sure-Jell pectin
  • 3 ½ cups sugar


  1. Bring canner to a boil. Wash jars and lids. Put lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water with the canner.
  2. In a large, non-reactive pot, bring the beer and powdered pectin to a rolling boil. It will be very frothy, that’s normal. Stir in sugar and bring back to a rolling boil. Cook on high heat for two full minutes.
  3. Pour hot jelly into jars. It will still be very frothy. I decided to leave a thick layer of foam on top of the jellies to imitate the way dark beer looks in a glass, but you could certainly skim it off with a spoon if you like. I only wanted a little froth on top, so I ladled the jelly into jars and led the air bubbles rise to the top for a few minutes before I screwed the lids on.
  4. Wipe rims clean, screw on lids, and process half pint jars for 5 minutes.

Crazy talk. It’s absolute crazy talk that I have jelly made from stout in my presence. But I do, my friends, I really do. And this makes me really happy. It should make you happy, too, because it’s really easy & quick to make. The coolest part is the foamy top! It really looks like a glass of just poured Guinness straight off the tap. I should warn you though, the more you pour or ladle it the more it loses it’s foam. What I did was I filled the three half-pints first, then the quarter pint jar. By the time I got to the tiny 4-oz. jar, there wasn’t much foam at all. But that’s okay because I wanted the larger jars to look more like beer glasses. The littler jar was just an added bonus! Also, the longer it sits without a lid, the more the foam dissipates and the lower the “level” of the jelly gets. So get on that shit! Don’t wait too long to lid them.

It’s a loose set jelly, so don’t expect it to be as firm as most, but it’s firm enough.

I wouldn’t try using a liquid pectin with this, reason being powdered & liquid pectin act very different. I stuck with what the original recipe author suggested & it came out perfect. Although if you’re rebellious, let me know how it works out for you. And here’s the deal: it’s amazing on Irish soda bread, whether you use my recipe or your own. It’s also great with the Irish soda bread muffins I made last year. It’s also great on a cracker with a piece of Irish cheese, like Dubliner, or on a thick ol’ piece of toast slathered with Kerrygold butter. But… true to form, it’s also great on scones. Specifically a plain scone.

And of course I had to “dress ’em up” to make them more festive.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is genius.

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  1. Hey there. I love the courageousness of this recipe.

    Regarding Guinness, I once had one at Durty Nelly’s pub in County Clare, Ireland. This was recommended to me by two raucous elderly ladies who were curious about me and whom I met at another pub. They asked me what I was doing in town (I stood out like a sore thumb there: I’m a Spanish girl with a Southern accent) and I told them I was taking in the local color. So they told me it was imperative that I go to Durty Nelly’s and have a steak “the way they make it at the bar” and a pint of Guinness. I told them that I don’t drink. They responded, well, in that case, have half a pint! I felt they were quite serious when they said that this was a must-do in order to truly experience County Clare so I took them quite seriously. I then confessed, “I have a problem with the bitterness of such a dark stout.” One of them nodded and said, “Tell the barkeep to put in a dram of currant juice. That will take the bitter off.” I looked at her in askance and her friend nodded. They were quite solemn so I knew it was the right thing to do. It sounded like the gospel to me.

    So later that evening, I wandered over to Durty Nelly’s and asked the barkeep to make me a steak “just the way he makes it” (as the ladies had instructed me to ask for it) and for half a pint with a dram of currant juice.

    I sat in a corner at an old darkened table and waited. The drink he brought me was probably the tastiest beverage I’ve ever had. It had a beautiful thick head that was like mother’s milk going down. The currant juice cut the bitterness and it turned the Guinness into a real lady drink. I have never forgotten it and every time I go to a place where alcoholic beverages are served I ask wistfully for a Guinness with currant juice. Which no one ever has. But one day. One day.

    So I offer up this little idea to you that you might give it a try. Maybe not in jelly, which has the sugar already to sweeten it up, but when you feel like drinking a Guinness.

    By the way, the steak was done durty, on a grill a hundred years old and seasoned by a hundred thousand steaks before it. So simple, and so good.

  2. What an awesome story Pola! Now I’m inspired. I love the currant juice idea. I’ve never heard of that but I’m totally intrigued!

    Also, I’m jealous you went to Ireland. It’s on my bucket list 😉

  3. Ireland isn’t so far away, Marilla. Hop a plane in NYC and you’ll be there in 6-7 hours. You’re young, strong, beautiful and freee! So take a hop and see some Irish local color. It really isn’t all that much trouble to do, and if you’re frugal, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. When I went, I stayed just five days (a long weekend I had off from work) and then hopped back. It was lovely.

  4. ok – I am flipping out here! I have got to make this. You used one of my recipes and now you can expect me to use one of yours. Wow! I am so exited right now.

  5. Haha yeah the Guinness jelly was a very interesting experience… I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it. It’s good with cheese, actually, but it’s also good melted as a kind of glaze on chicken. Probably ham too. Enjoy it!!

  6. I am co owner of Siter Sues homemade Jam and Jellies in Martinsburg WV and we make a coffee jelly as part of the 50 flavors we make it is one of our best sellers

  7. I’ve made this “jelly” a couple of times, but I’ve never used it on bread. Instead I have glazed pork lion and brats with it. Nothing taste better than a grill brat with a Guiness Stout glaze while tailgating.

    I will am going to have to try the currant juice in my Guiness next time, sounds delish!

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