Beer and Bacon Pinto Beans Recipe

Craft beer provides an extra flavor boost to this traditional bean dish.

Christopher Cina Oct 21, 2016 - 3 min read

Beer and Bacon Pinto Beans Recipe Primary Image

Serves: 4

Beer and Bacon Pinto Beans

2 cup pinto beans
3 cup (24 fl oz/710 ml) wheat beer
Smoked bacon, thick cut
Salt and pepper
Ketchup for serving

Place the beans in a soup pot. Cover the beans with at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water. Soak for 8–12 hours. Drain and rinse the beans, then return them to the pot, add the beer and bacon and more water to cover the beans. Simmer for about 2 hours or until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Assemble the cornbread batter a few minutes before the beans are fully cooked and tender.

2¼ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup sugar
5 eggs
2 cup (16 fl oz/473 ml) milk
3/4 cup (6 fl oz/177 ml) grape-seed oil


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and grape-seed oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

When the beans are fully cooked and tender, pour them into a cast-iron skillet and top with the cornbread batter. Bake at 375°F (191°C) for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with ketchup. It’s simple but very delicious.

Beer suggestions: For an extra hit of smokiness, cook with a wheat (weizen) rauchbier (smoked beer) such as Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen (Bamberg, Germany). For a more subtle dish, use a dunkelweizen or weizenbock. Since the beans have a strong flavor, try a contrasting pairing with a hoppy pale ale such as Three Floyds Alpha King (Munster, Indiana).

Find more than 125 great recipes in _Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine’s Cooking with Beer _special issue. Order your copy today!