Beer-infused Hummus and Bean Dip Recipes

Add more depth to your hummus and dip with a splash of beer
Hummus and bean dips infused with beer

Patricia Niven

There are variations on hummus that mix in garlic, red peppers, feta cheese, and many other ingredients. But have you ever had hummus that includes beer? What about bean dip? Wine has always been a go-to ingredient for adding a splash of flavor to recipes, but craft beer can provide even more layers of flavor such as bitterness, sweetness, and sourness, making it a more versatile ingredient than wine. So there is no better time than around National Beer Day (which falls on April 7) to try recipes for a twist on hummus and bean dip that have additional rich layers of flavor with beer in the mix.

But not just “any old beer” will do according to Melissa Cole, a U.K.-based beer and food writer and author of the recently released book, The Beer Kitchen: The Art & Science of Cooking, & Pairing, with Beer. Through a good deal of trial and error, she formulated recipes that mix specific beers with dishes from appetizers to dessert including these recipes from the book—so the work is done for you in that regard. If her recommended beers are not available, use them as a guide for styles that will work well instead. Plus, there are ideas for pairing with each recipe. Cheers and bon appetit!

Hummust Try This

Makes 6 servings

I love a bad pun, hence the name of this recipe.

2 (14-ounce) cans cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 garlic bulb, roasted, with the flesh squeezed out (See Cook’s Note)
2 ounces (1/4 cup) classic German pilsner or Helles
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon superfine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) (optional)
1 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt

For the Swirly Topping:
1 teaspoon harissa
splash of olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  1. Reserving a few chickpeas for the topping, put the rest in a food processor with the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the beer. Blitz for 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the cumin, lemon juice, sugar, tahini, and asafoetida, if using, and blitz a bit more.
  3. With the blade running, start adding the olive oil very slowly so it emulsifies and becomes smooth, adding more beer if needed (it will depend on how damp your chickpeas are). You want a smooth, thick consistency.
  4. Taste for seasoning and acidity, adding more lemon juice and salt if required.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl and add an extra drizzle of olive oil. Use a teaspoon handle or chopstick to drag a deep swirl pattern in the top of the hummus.
  6. Mix together the harissa with a splash of olive oil and carefully pour into the swirl pattern. Place the reserved chickpeas on top, garnish with the parsley, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Cook’s Note: Just chop the top off a garlic bulb, place on a piece of kitchen foil big enough to wrap it in, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in the foil, and pop in a preheated oven at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until the cloves will squidge out the top. It will keep for ages in the fridge.

Suggested Beers/Styles

Cook: Camden Hells (U.K.), Veltins (Germany), Bierstadt Helles (U.S.), Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic), Moon Dog Beer Can (Australia)
Pair: Beersel Lager (Belgium), Augustiner Lagerbier Hell (Germany), Maui Bikini Blonde Lager (U.S.), Birrificio Italiano Tipopils (Italy), Victoria Lager (Spain)

Black Bean Dip with U.S.-style Pale Ale

Makes 6 servings

After only ever having had terrible meals of pastiche Tex-Mex food in London, it wasn’t until my much-missed, late friend Glenn Payne introduced me to the delights of proper Mexican food that my eyes were opened. He even gave me a great cookbook on the subject as an unexpected present one day. I’d like to think he’d hoover this up with gusto.

basic olive oil
3 medium-sized white, brown or yellow onions (10 1/2 ounces), roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) (optional, see Editor’s Note)
6 to 10 slices of jarred, pickled jalapeños, roughly chopped (depends how hot you like it)
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if required
1 3/4 ounces U.S.-style pale ale (I used Sierra Nevada pale ale)
grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed limes
small handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped, to garnish (optional)

  1. Put enough oil to cover the base of a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat, add the onions, and cook for 10 minutes until softened and translucent, stirring from time to time.
  2. Once softened, add garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin, oregano, asafoetida, if using, and jalapeños and stir well. Add the beans. Cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, add the salt and blend with the beer and lime zest (using either a stand or hand-held blender) until smooth. Add half the lime juice and stir, then taste, and adjust the seasoning and acidity accordingly.
  4. Spoon the dip into your chosen serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves, if using.

Editor’s Note: Asafoetida, also known as hing, is a crucial ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking. Derived from a species of giant fennel, asafoetida has a unique smell and flavor, unpleasantly strong while raw but mellow and garlicky when cooked.

Suggested Beers/Styles
Cook: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (U.S.), Dark Star APA (U.K.), Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale (U.S.), Sweetwater 420 (U.S.), Baird’s Rising Sun Pale Ale (Japan)
Pair: Fuller’s Montana Red (U.K.), Philter Red (Australia), Jopen Jacobus RPA (Netherlands), Hackney Red (U.K.), Negra Modelo (Mexico)

Recipes and their introductions from “The Beer Kitchen” by Melissa Cole ©October 2018, used with permission of Hardie Grant Books. Photos by Patricia Niven.

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Mary Subialka
Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her school-age son, who used to eat beets and Indian food, will one day again think of real food as more than a means to a treat—and later share this with his younger brother.