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Buttered Beer Recipe

While browsing recipe websites I came across this one at medievalcookery.com. In medieval times everything was cooked from scratch; it would have been quite unusual for anybody to take horse to their local supermarket to buy convenience food in a microwaveable package. Very unusual indeed. And "unusual" would be a good way to describe this recipe. However, it was a particularly cold day today and hot "buttered beer" sounded like just the kind of internal warmer I needed when I got back from walking the dogs. Here is how I made it.

  • 12oz beer
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Sugar to taste
  • Spices (a pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Whisk the beer into a beaten egg yolk until smooth
  • Stir in the sugar and spices
  • Bring almost to the boil then remove from heat
  • Stir in the butter and serve while still hot

John's Notes
There are more recipes out there on the Internet than you can shake a rolling pin at. Unfortunately, many of them are reproduced by people who have never actually tried the recipe themselves. I did not have a picture to work with so I wasn't sure how this recipe was supposed to look. The recipe that I found commented on the flavour (so I assume the original author did actually make it) but not the texture.

My buttered beer was a rich, spicy, full-bodied drink. It had the kind of flavour that makes you feel good without wanting a second helping. Since the cooking process is too brief to boil off the alcohol you should treat this as an adult beverage.

I suspect the recipe was originally made with a rich, dark, malty English ale. I happened to have a 21st Century rich, dark, malty English ale lying around the house which lent its natural flavour very well to this recipe. The thin, light products churned out by the big Canadian beer factories would probably not work very well in this recipe.

Recommended for cold, winter evenings in front of a log fire.


  1. Found a whole bunch of recipes for buttered beer, and this one seemed very well balanced. Tried it, tweaked it, drank it. superb.
    I used a whole pint of dark beer (being here in old Blighty), increased the butter by another half a spoon, used 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, and added a pinch of ginger.
    Well worth a try.

  2. Ah! Dark, English beer! It comes in cans here but I remember back in Blighty it came out of a wooden barrel. What memories ...