Beer Nuts

This homemade beer nuts recipe is easy to make from simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Make it as spicy as you like by adding more or less Sriracha. Infinitely better than the original beer nuts.

An overflowing bowl of beer nuts on a wooden board with a glass of beer on a napkin beside it.

This beer nuts recipe is easy as can be. And it’s a perfect impromptu party trick since it can be made from scratch in mere minutes with India Pale Ale, nuts, Sriracha, brown sugar, and the expectation of beer drinking alongside these nuts. You can actually taste the complexity of the IPA in these perfectly sweet, salty, and spicy nuts. Shame, though, that this recipe requires you crack open a robust IPA and then use only 1/3 cup of it. What, oh what, to do with the rest of that beer? One approach would be to toss together a second or even third batch of these crazy easy, surprisingly nuanced beer nuts. Trust us, the recipe merits making more—quite a lot more. Although you’ve already probably conjured a simpler, more hedonistic approach to not letting that IPA languish, especially since nothing goes better with these than more of the same IPA that went into them.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Beer Nuts

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 2 1/2 cups for about 6 people
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook cookbook

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Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Dump the beer and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and let it cook, without stirring or otherwise disturbing the contents of the pan, for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and Sriracha until everything is completely incorporated. (If you want your beer nuts to have just the slightest trace of warmth, use just 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha. If you want your beer nuts to have more of a discernible kick, use 3/4 teaspoon or more.) Add the nuts and stir until each nut is well coated.

Spread the nuts evenly in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Stir the nuts well and then bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes. The syrup mixture should be bubbling pretty vigorously when you remove the baking sheet from the oven. Sprinkle with the cayenne. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. As the nuts cool, the coating will go from bubbly to gooey to stretchy to sticky to crisp. [Editor’s Note: If the nuts remain in the sticky stage when cooled, then they weren’t in the oven quite long enough. Next time, leave them for the entire 8 minutes after stirring.]

Break the nuts apart, if necessary. Toss them in a bowl and serve alongside a fresh IPA if you’ve already finished off the rest of the bottle used in the recipe.

Print RecipeBuy the The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook cookbook

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    How To Decide Which Nuts To Use

    • There are a lot of different combinations of mixed nuts out there. Good grief. And we thought trying to decide which toothpaste to use was tricky. We tried this beer nuts recipe with several different mixes of salted nuts and we loved ’em all, which is a damn good thing given how pricey nuts are these days. And if you need to make this recipe eminently economical, simply do what we did and make the recipe with 50% peanuts and 50% mixed nuts. Heck, you could even make the entire batch of beer nuts with nothing but peanuts, and we bet you’d hear no complaints. We certainly didn’t.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is without a doubt the simplest and best spiced nuts recipe I've ever encountered. It took all of 5 minutes, if that, to toss things together. And, more critically, the taste was incredible. I made these beer nuts the first few times with a Lagunitas IPA and we were all impressed by the subtle notes of IPA coming through in the candied coating, which went spectacularly with each kind of nut we tried, from peanut to pistachio, walnut to macadamia. I don't care for things to have a lot of heat, so I preferred the nuts with just 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha, which was barely discernible and, as such, didn't obstruct those lovely nuances I mentioned. The guys in my life, however, felt that version was much too tame and vastly preferred the second batch made with 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha and, in fact, wanted me to add more—a lot more. But we all noticed the nice, rich caramel flavor with the nuts. Definitely wait until the nuts are cool before sampling—not only does the flavor come through better when the nuts are a more moderate temperature, but those tempted by the hot, gooey mess on the baking sheet straight out of the oven will be justly rewarded with singed fingertips. I've already made this recipe several times, and the next time—yes, there will be a next time, and a time after that, and so on—with an amber ale or even a stout. This is going to be a staple for us. One word of caution, though, is that I've noticed that if you try to take a shortcut and don't simmer the beer and sugar long enough or take the beer nuts out of the oven before the requisite time, they remain a little sticky rather than turn crisp. Still taste incredible but much less easy to toss down by the handful.

    These are seriously addictive! I simply can't walk past the bowl without grabbing a handful. The recipe was simple to follow and turned out great. I used 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha, and I found the resulting heat quite subtle. You could definitely add more, or maybe 2 pinches of cayenne. I used a mix of almonds and cashews (no peanuts - severe allergy in the house). After 6 minutes in the oven, the syrup was bubbling slowly, and after 12 minutes, it was bubbling vigorously. The nuts were soft and sticky and gooey after coming out of the oven but did crisp up nicely. The ones in the very center of the pan were still a bit soft, so perhaps an extra 1 or 2 minutes of cooking could have fixed this.

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    1. I followed the recipe and the nuts are still sticky. Can I put them back in the oven once cold to get them to harden more?

      1. Hi Lise, once they cool completely, they should harden up. Are you in a warm climate? This might affect the hardening process.

    2. Do they need to be refrigerated? I made a batch for a secret santa at work a second batch was going to be for my father-in-law and husband but used part of that batch for my boss and another manager at work and will make my father-in-law and husband more for Christmas. I think i will cook up longer, though, didn’t seem to crisp too much. The second batch cooked about 16 minutes and then I cooled overnight and then stuck back in for about another 7 minutes but its okay. Trial and error. Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Rebecca, you’re so very welcome! Am so glad that you and everyone you know love these as much as we do! And yes, different batches may take different times, depending on a lot of relevant contributing factors, including just how sticky and syrupy your beer mixture was cooked to in the initial stages of the recipe. Thanks for following our advice about putting them back in the oven to crisp. And next time, make sure the initial beer syrup is sorta sticky before you take it off the heat and perhaps add a couple minutes to the baking time for the nuts. Cooking is a science but it’s also, like life, just sorta rolling with what happens and modifying from there! Your coworkers, father-in-law, and husband are all fortunate to have you (for more reasons, we suspect, than just the fact that you make them these beer nuts…)! Wishing you and yours all the magic of the season!

    3. If you make these nuts and they don’t end up crisping up as well as you’d like once they have cooled, it’s simply a matter of putting them back onto the pan in a single layer, if they have been removed, and place into a preheated 350 F oven for another 10- 12 mins. Works a treat!

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