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Craft Beer and Food Pairings: How Recipe Development Helps to Build Your Brand

Building your craft beer brand is a continuous job, and there are countless tools to strengthen your message about your company. Maintaining a strong websiteblog and social media presence will go a long way in building a brand, especially when the content is focused on your beer, company culture and food. By being in touch with your region’s cuisine and getting creative with pairings or recipes, people will recognize your brand as an expert in both beer and food. This is how recipe development can help build your brand.

Going Beyond Beer

Creating food recipes and pairing suggestions is a practical way to get creative with your product. Chances are that people enjoy your beer with a meal, and giving them an extra opportunity to have fun with that beer in the kitchen provides more value. Offering recipes based on your brewery’s region or unique restaurant items helps customers bring that entire experience home with them and establishes your company as their source for creative food and beer ideas.

One great example is Victory Brewing Company. It’s explored recipes for years, including desserts like Vital IPA-Infused Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Brittle Crumble. The brewery also started its own beer-fueled lines of ice creamcheese spreadsbeef jerky and pickles. Victory has truly surpassed the beer aisle in your grocery store.


Getting creative with your product often yields great ideas that can increase brand recognition among consumers. Inventive recipes will stick in people’s heads and get them thinking about what else they can do with beer and food. Leading them with your own ideas—whether cooking up a beer can chicken with your house pale ale or suggesting a dose of your pilsner in a vinaigrette—will remind them to reach for your beer next time they’re cooking.

While craft beer is always best consumed on its own, positioning your beer as an easy choice for cooking can do wonders for recognition, especially in grocery stores. One great example would be to market your easy-drinking lager, a logical choice for barbecues to start, as a prime choice for making beer can chicken or using as a marinade. Making your beer a household name at family gatherings can go a long way for your brand.

Opportunities for Collaboration

Working closely with your brewpub or restaurant’s own chef can often bring about awesome results that guests can recreate at home. Your chef is in tune with the company’s culture and inner workings, which makes him or her an ideal candidate for creating recipes that guests can make at home with your beer. Furthermore, reaching beyond your company’s walls and collaborating with local purveyors, restaurants or food trucks can broaden your reach and tie communities together. Beer not only pairs well with a main course, but with cheese, coffee, ice cream and even wine and spirits.

A great example of a brewery giving its guests access to cook-at-home meals is Iron Hill. In its blog, A Love Affair with Bacon, Wilmington executive chef Dave Foster explores the power of bacon, especially when paired with its signature Vienna Red™ Lager in a Bacon-Brisket Chili.

Keep up with the latest on what’s hot in the Pennsylvania brewing scene: Like Brewers of Pennsylvania on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.

Jay Breslin

Featured image: Jay Breslin; Photos, top to bottom: Alexandra Whitney; Jay Breslin; Sophia DiPersio, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant