pulled pork
Pulled pork is a gameday favorite. Flickr photo by Steven Depolo.

Beer-Braised Pulled Pork

A staple of beer cuisine, pulled pork is a sacred food. Breweries around the country have worked to perfect this flavorful meat, making sure it is falling-off- the-bone tender, with each piece full of the flavors of marinade and spice. Proper application of the dry rub is crucial, and you’ll see a difference in taste the longer it’s allowed to sit. Shredded and piled high, pulled pork is best enjoyed on a soft toasted roll (topped with coleslaw or red onion slices) but is just as delicious served on top of a salad or alone on a plate. This recipe from Jolly Pumpkin is a harmonious combination of spice and sweet, with an earthy touch from the beer. Because it is so versatile, you can pair this with any number of beers, but a saison (like Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere) is a particularly good choice.

Dry rub

2 1/2 tablespoons light chili powder

2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

5–6 pounds bone-in pork butt


1 (12-ounce) bottle amber ale, wheat ale, or saison

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small white onion, chopped


1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup tomato purée

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 Make the rub: Combine the chili powder, salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, cumin, mustard powder, and coriander in a mixing bowl. Rub the mixture over the sides of the pork butt. Wrap the pork butt with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

2 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Unwrap the pork and place in a roasting pan with sides about 2 inches high. Cook the pork for 45 to 50 minutes, or until browned all over.

3 Make the braise: Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the temperature to 320°F. Pour the beer over the pork butt and add the garlic and onion around the pork. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and poke several holes in the top of the foil. Cook the pork butt for 3 to 31/2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F and is tender enough to pull apart easily.

4 Make the sauce: Remove the pork from the pan and pour the pan juices into a saucepan. Add the brown sugar, ketchup, tomato puree, Worcestershire, mustard, and hot sauce, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced by onethird, about 25 minutes.

5 While the sauce is reducing, pull apart the pork using tongs or forks. Discard any large pieces of fat, transfer the meat to a large bowl, and pour the sauce over the top. Mix until combined and serve.

Makes 8–10 servings

The American Craft Beer Cookbook

Excerpted from The American Craft Beer Cookbook © John Holl used with permission from Storey Publishing