A\J's famous beer brownies, made by publisher Marcia Ruby.

AJ’s Famous Beer Brownies

That’s right – brownies made with beer.

This is a slightly modified version of a recipe from Deschutes Brewery in Portland.

This is a slightly modified version of a recipe from Deschutes Brewery in Portland.

Tweeting a photo of these delicious treats at our recent open house at the University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment caught the attention of both students and faculty. They were such a hit that we just had to share the goodness! 


  • 1 C all purpose flour
 (takes a gluten-free flour substitute really well)
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbs of room temperature butter
8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, room temperature (5 if you use gluten-free flour)

  • 1 C raw sugar

  • 10 ounces local stout beer
 (Waterloo Union Mills Porter will be available by the tall can at the Brick Brewery while supplies last over the holiday! I used Mill Street Coffee Porter.)
  • 1¾ C semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9×13 pan.

  2. Put the flour and cocoa in a sifter and set aside (or whisk the two together in a medium bowl).
  3. Melt the butter, 3/4 C of the chocolate chips, and the bittersweet chocolate together in a non-stick pot or double boiler. 

  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until it gets light and fluffy – around two or three minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat until combined.
  5. Sift your flour mixture into your chocolate mixture and mix in the beer. The batter may seem thin but once you start mixing it up it will thicken.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the batter, but don’t mix them in. Some will sink in, some will stay on top. Pour the batter into your buttered pan and stick it in the oven.

  7. Bake it for about 25-35 minutes – until a toothpick in the center comes out almost clean. Then cool to room temperature. 
  8. Take to a party and impress all your friends.

Marcia Ruby is the publisher emerita and creative director of Alternatives Journal.