Your New Morning Brew: Beer Jelly

Facebook user, Potlicker Kitchen
Facebook user, Potlicker Kitchen / Facebook user, Potlicker Kitchen

How about a little beer with your breakfast? Thanks to a new spread from the Vermont-based Potlicker Kitchen, you can indulge (and not be judged by your dining companions). 

Potlicker offers jellies made from local ales, IPAs, stouts, Hefeweizens, and other classic Vermont brews. As is the case with fruit jelly, the beer is boiled along with sugar and pectin, and then allowed to set and cool into a jiggly treat. The alcohol cooks off during the boiling process so the final product is full of beer flavor, but appropriate for any time of day. On their site, Potlicker Kitchen offers pairing suggestions, as well as jam-packed recipes for entrees like glazed chicken wings and slow-cooked short ribs.

Potlicker is run by a husband-and-wife team, Walter and Nancy Warner. The former archeologists moved to Vermont in 2010, where Nancy started experimenting with canning. After making more traditional fruit jellies all summer, she shifted her focus to less seasonal foods—first coffee and then wine. The wine worked out great—you can buy that on their site, as well—and it got her thinking about what else might work.

"We never run out of wine and we never run out of beer," Warner explained to Brew magazine earlier this year. "Nancy had a wine jelly recipe, but she thought, 'If I can make jelly out of wine, I can make jelly out of beer.'"

It took them a little while to perfect the process, but once they got it down the business quickly took off. They soon outgrew using a friend's homebrew and switched to using locally available commercial beers.

"We like to say that instead of using grape juice or 'kid' juice, we use 'adult' juice, which is beer. It's just like any other jelly recipe except we're using beer instead of fruit juice," Walter said.