A Tale of Two Salmons: Grilled Salmon with Two Different Craft Beers

by Beer Answers on December 30, 2009


Two days before Christmas we decided it was time to make some recipes with beer. While shopping for our holiday dinner, we ran across some beautiful Wild Alaska Salmon (once again at  the reliable Cardiff Seaside Market).  This salmon had a deep red color and looked great.  (The folks at Seaside always remove the salmon skin for us on request.  We prefer to cook it that way and they are quite skilled at this task.)

I searched online for beer and salmon recipes and found quite a few. One that stuck out was from the Food Network courtesy of Sandra Lee. It has few ingredients, cooks in less than 10 minutes and has an easy clean up. It also allows you to select your beer. Here is the recipe:

Beer Salmon

Recipe from Food Network courtesy of Sandra Lee


  • 1 1/2 pounds of salmon filet
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar (we used low carb Splenda Brown Sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of beer


Note: The recipe called for a grill and covering the fish with foil, but we used the oven broiler without covering it and it turned out fine.

  1. Using aluminum foil, create an oblong cooking tray approximately 13 inches by 8 inches and creating a pocket 2 inches high that you put on a cookie sheet.
  2. Place the salmon in the center of the pocket. Season first with garlic salt, sprinkle with brown sugar, cover with pieces of butter and then top with the sliced onion.
  3. Pour beer in the pocket to about half way up the salmon.
  4. Put in the broiler for about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through depending on the thickness of the fish.

The two salmons came about because we decided to cut the recipe in half and create two foil pockets so that we could use two different beers. In our case, we chose two very different beers: Stampede Light Beer and Autumn Maple from The Bruery.

We weren’t sure what would happen with two very different beers, but we didn’t see anything in the recipe that would work for one and not the other. Surprisingly, each worked, but in different ways.

Salmon and Stampede Light Beer: We found that Stampede was a great complement to the salmon because the two didn’t over power each other. The beer did not get in the way of the salmon and vice versa. Overall the taste was very nice.  Similar to drinking a good dry white wine with the fish.

Salmon and Autumn Maple: The Autumn Maple is a Belgian Ale with spices and fall veggie notes.  It brought out the sweetness in the salmon.  It was delicious and made the salmon a bit heavier.

The bottom line for us, we now have two different recipes to use with salmon and beer. We should be eating more salmon anyway! Here is the link to Sandra Lee’s recipe.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: