Substitute for Stout Beer in Cooking

Most of us have enjoyed a beer once in a while, and stout beer is no different. But did you know that you can use stout beer in some of your recipes to improve the flavor of your food?

It is accurate, and when I discovered this, it was a game-changer. I did an experiment whereby I prepared some beef tew with stout beer and then without it.

To me, the difference was highly noticeable. The dish with stout beer was a huge difference. 


Stout beer is not hard to find, and if you don’t get it in a store, you can order online.

That said, there might come a time when you want to use stout beer, but you have none, and so you need a substitute. 

What are the best substitutes for stout beer? They are porter, lager, any carbonated drink: caramel and coffee, stock or broth, and apple cider.

Stout Beer

It is an Irish beer perfect for drinking and preparing some dishes.

It comes in different variations: imperial stout, dry stout, milk stout, and oatmeal stout. It is a dark brown beer with a higher alcohol percentage than regular beer. 

Stout beer has been used since the seventeenth century. It is used to add taste to food, marinate meat, and thicken soups in cooking. 

The Substitutes

Beer has been used for cooking various dishes for a long time. Some recipes recommend using stout beer dues for its strong aroma and effect.

However, there are various substitutes that I am going to talk about below that I have known to work wonders when you don’t have a stout beer. 

I have used most of these substitutes when cooking, and the results are excellent. So, keep reading to know what alternatives you can use in place of stout beer. 

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1. Porter


Porter is a type of beer that has a lot of similarities with stout beer. It comes in a dark brown or black color, and it has a taste like that of stout. The taste, however, is slightly lighter than that of stout. 

This beer is an excellent alternative for a stout, and you can use it in any recipe that requires you to use stout. I have used porter in several meat stew recipes, and I recommend using it as stout beer. 

What I mean by this is that you can substitute porter for a stout in the ratio of one is to one. You can, however, use it as you see fit. If you feel it is lighter than you would like, you can use more of it. 

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2. Caramel and Coffee


Stout beer has coffee notes in its taste, and so you can substitute it with a mixture of caramel and coffee. So, what is caramel? Caramel is a dark brown solution made from dissolving different types of sugar and cream. 

One of the main advantages of using caramel and coffee as a substitute for stout beer is that it is readily available and can even make some at home. 

This combination is both strong and sweet. You should be careful about this substitute because using too much of it will be detrimental to your dish.

Caramel and coffee will not give your food the bitter taste at the end like stout beer would, but they will have the rest of the taste. 

3. Apple Cider


Here is another excellent replacement for stout beer. If you want to replace that sharp and slightly bitter taste of stout beer, apple cider is a good choice.

Other than that, apple cider has the taste of fruits, and so in addition, it will add taste to your dish. It is also perfect for drinking.

Apple cider is an excellent substitute for stout beer, especially when making sauce. They are also easy to find as you can buy apple cider in any grocery store. You can also order it online if you don’t have it already. 

You can use apple cider just like you use stout beer. Replace it at an equal ratio, and you are ready to go. 

4. Stock or Broth


One of the main reasons we use stout beer in our dishes is to thicken the soup and add flavor. Stock or broth do that too. Hence they are a good substitute for stout beer. 

I use broth regularly in my recipes and stock at times. Both of them have rich flavors, and if you are using either of them as a substitute for stout beer, you can use any brand that works for you. Even so, you can make some stock at home if you are in a hurry. 

Using stock or broth in a recipe will differ from using stout beer in the same recipe. Both broth and stock are non-alcoholic and lack significant elements that stout beer does. However, stout beer and broth or stock will add flavor to your dish. 

If you are looking for a stout beer alternative that is not alcoholic and will give you a good outcome, either broth or stock is a perfect choice. 

5. Lager


Lager is another perfect substitute for stout beer. It has a lighter taste than stout and an even lower alcohol percentage, but that only means you can use it in a higher amount than stout beer. 

It has the same color as stout brown beer, though it is brighter than stout. Lager is a perfect stout alternative, especially when cooking meat stews and soups. It adds the same slightly bitter end taste as stout beer. 

Lager is locally available and relatively cheap. It is another reason it is a suitable replacement for stout. Maybe you already have it in your fridge if you are into beer. If not, you can quickly get it from the nearest store. 

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6. Any Carbonated Drink


Carbonated drinks are soft drinks like Pepsi or coke. Most people are fans of either of the drinks or both of them.

We are guilty of having coke or Pepsi in our refrigerators. That is why it is so easy to use either of them or any other carbonated drink that we might have as a substitute for stout beer. 

Stout beer is used in the marinating process to tenderize the meat. That said, I want you to know that you can use carbonated drinks for the same process.

Stout beer and carbonated drinks have a similarity. They both have caffeine and therefore have the same effect on the meat. The flavor is different, seeing that most carbonated drinks are sweet and stout beer is not. 

If you use carbonated drinks in place of stout beer, it is crucial to note that you can only use them for the marinating process. The general taste of your dish will be different. 

Bottom Line


Stout beer is an alcoholic drink that people sometimes use in cooking. Alcohol has been incorporated in dishes for a long time now. Adding stout beer to your recipe is good because it improves the taste of the food. 

Other than that, stout beer marinates meat and thickens the broth. Whatever reason you are using stout beer, there is a perfect substitute for it. I have discussed these substitutes at length above. 

Note that different stout beer alternatives have different effects on your dish. Some taste the same as stout and are perfect for flavor, while others are good for marinating. 

Before using a substitute for stout beer, it is critical to know what purpose you want it to fulfill. Other than that, I hope you have enjoyed my list of stout beer substitutes. Cheers!

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