Paired with Cucumber Beers

All About Beer Magazine - Volume 37, Issue 4
August 1, 2016 By
(Photo by Jon Page)

Cucumber can be a difficult flavor profile to isolate, never mind to add to a beer with any success. Vegetables, being mostly water, sometimes get lost in the boldness of malt, hops and yeast in beer. The refreshing beers featured below would go great after a day of outside chores or playtime. They would pair well with some cayenne-dusted candied almonds or hold their place at a dinner with richly spiced meats, hot roasted peppers and vegetables or this jasmine rice with a cooling cucumber and yogurt sauce. A delicious side and a topping for anything from vegetables to rice, grilled fish to seared flank steak. And for a bit of extra flavor, place grilled steak or chicken on top of the bed of rice and let the grain soak up any delicious juices.


For the sauce

2 medium cucumbers

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/8 cup dill, finely chopped

1/8 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chiffonade (cut into long, thin strips)

1 quart full-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Pinch of sumac

For the rice

2 cups jasmine rice

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon real butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Chopped herbs, citrus zest or ponzu sauce for garnish (optional)


1. Peel, seed and chop the cucumbers small and put them in a cheesecloth pouch or clean dish towel. Squeeze out excess water.

2. In a mixing bowl add cucumber, onion, garlic, dill, parsley, yogurt and olive oil. Stir well to combine.

3. Add lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. Place in refrigerator for an hour or overnight. Dust with sumac and serve chilled.

4. Make the rice. Rinse rice for several minutes under cool water. In a pot on the stovetop, add stock, butter and olive oil and salt. Over high heat bring to just boiling. Add the rice, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Stir, cover the pot and then reduce heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. Remove lid and place a clean towel over the pot and replace the lid. Remove the pot from the stovetop and allow steam to absorb into towel for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and season to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

The Chef’s Pairings: Cucumber Beers

Brewers continue to experiment with specialty ingredients, pushing the boundaries of flavor. Since a good beer deserves a good meal, All About Beer Magazine asked Chef Ryan Laufenburger of Brat Haus in Scottsdale, Arizona to taste three beers infused with cucumber and offer tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Get more pairing ideas and recipes at

10 Barrel Crush Cucumber Sour

ABV: 5% | Cucumber Sour
Tasting Notes: A bright start with a big fruity cucumber bite, a mild sour profile with a bit of citrus and straw as balance. Sweet and mild, rather unassuming, as a Berliner weisse. Pair with smoked meats, nuts or bacon. Salty hard cheese like Pecorino or a good Feta would complement nicely.

High Water Cucumber Kolsch

ABV: 5.4% | Kölsch-Style Ale w/ Cucumber & Coconut Water
Tasting Notes: A delicious mix of cucumber, coconut and grain flavors complement the snap of this Kölsch-style beer. A natural tasting cucumber note and a very subtle, sublime coconut afterthought. A refreshing treat with grilled sausages or chops, or an accompaniment to pickled vegetables and fruits.

Strangeways O.T.I.S. Cucumber Melon Sour

ABV: 5% | Cucumber Melon Sour
Tasting Notes: Truly sour, allowing wild yeast to attack the nose and front with crisp citrus, ripe melon, and, of course, cucumber cutting through to give this beer a high drinkability factor. Effervescence and tanginess finish with a slight reminder of added tangerine. A great all-around beer for sour lovers, good with mild fish grilled with lemons or chicken with a citrus marinade.